Sometimes, it feels as though a new Asian fusion restaurant is born hourly on Long Island. One after another, they seem to blur into a single amorphous house of sushi, pad thai and kung pao chicken.
While Ruby Asian Fusion may have the sleek cookie-cutter look of the others, it sets itself apart by virtue of the care and skill shown in both food and service.
One dinner begins with a fragrant bowl of spicy Chilean sea bass soup with snowy pieces of fish and vegetables. Flavorful wonton and watercress soup is afloat with delicate dimpled pork and shrimp dumplings. More than simply pretty: Shanghai short ribs with a spicy miso tangerine glaze plated over sweet potatoes. A forte of Malaysian-born chef Steven Ng is roti paratha, flaky fried pancakes alongside a bold chicken curry sauce, for dipping and spooning.
One afternoon, a salmon-avocado roll registers as a bit too cold. On a subsequent evening, though, the sushi bar aces the temperature for both fish and rice. Ornate, but surprisingly harmonious, is the Three Stooges Roll -- nyuk, nyuk, nyuk -- pink soy paper enfolding a combination of spicy tuna, yellowtail and avocado.
A meal-size bowl of roast duck and egg noodle soup banishes a winter chill, its full-bodied broth harboring burnished bone-in poultry, pliant noodles and vegetables. Suggestion to chef: Hold the broccoli, add more bok choy. And while thin grilled Vietnamese pork chops look as though they're going to be dry, they turn out moist, with nuances from lemongrass, galanga and garlic. Spicy garlic chicken is light, bright and slyly incendiary. In comforting counterpoint is an exemplary rendition of shrimp chow fun. Better yet: a lovely vegetarian stir-fry of eggplant and tofu with basil garlic sauce.
Frozen Italian desserts from an outside source are decent enough. More than decent, though, is what Ruby is all about.