Here’s Newsday’s list of the top 10 Chinese restaurants for 2018.
Note: Most dishes mentioned are samples of the restaurants’ menus and may not be available at all times. Seasonal changes and dish substitutions are common.
Beijing House (170 Jericho Tpke., Syosset): Before 2015, Nassau's North Shore had never seen a Chinese restaurant anything like Beijing House. The small, L-shaped dining room looked like scores of others, but the bustling kitchen was putting out seaweed and slow-cooked pork spare rib bone soup, stir-fried quail with cumin seed, soft fried boneless spare rib with salt and pepper, braised pig feet in brown sauce, stir-fried pork intestine. Local Chinese families showed up in droves and, gradually, curious and adventurous non-Chinese have joined in. While the menu offers Chinese-American classics, don't miss the opportunity to sample such Northern Chinese winners as sautéed lamb with scallion, spicy dan dan noodles, Chinese thin celery with sliced dried tofu or whole fish in hot chili oil. More info: 516-864-0702, beijinghousesyosset.com
Fried shrimp with salt and pepper is served at Beijing House in Syosset.
Chef Wang (1902 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park): The restaurateur behind several Manhattan spots -- Legend 88, Legend 72 and Legend Upper West -- presides over this sprawling eatery whose decor is Swiss chalet crossed with Buddhist temple. You can get sushi here, as well as most Chinese-American standards, but Wang is at his best with classic Sichuan dishes such as braised pork belly with leeks (surprisingly lean), cumin lamb (or beef or ribs), cold rabbit with spice ("cold" refers to the numbing presence of Sichuan peppercorns; the chunks of bone-in rabbit with fresh bamboo shoots is served over flame), and a terrific noodle soup with shredded pork and pickled vegetable, a rib-sticking brew with an unexpected sour kick. There are also five types of you-cook-at-the-table hot pots. More info: 516-354-2858, chefwangny.com
Braised sliced fish with hot chili sauce is one of the Sichuan dishes served at Chef Wang in New Hyde Park.
Green Tea (1015 Rte. 25A, Stony Brook): Located on the edge of the Stony Brook University campus, Green Tea is probably the most approachable and refined of the area's Chinese restaurant, the dining room is serene, the staff speaks English. When Andy Ge opened it in 2014, the menu drew largely on the fare of Guangzhou (formerly Canton) and Hong Kong with such dishes as stir-fried lobster, walnut-shrimp with mayonnaise. But local students have demanded more spice, and more homestyle dishes, and he has obliged with stir-fried kidneys, pork belly with preserved vegetable, pork and sour-cabbage soup and the pork-noodle dish "ants climbing up a tree." More info: 631-689-1111, greentearestaurantsb.com
"Ants climbing up a tree," is served at Green Tea in Stony Brook.
Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine & Bar
Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine & Bar (14 Northern Blvd., Great Neck): The moonstone symbolizes passion and luck -- and standout Chinese food at this sleek, contemporary restaurant. It brings a taste of Flushing and much more to points east. Recommended: Shanghai-style soup dumplings, wheat noodles in sesame-peanut sauce, roast pork-and-taro puffs, pan-seared chicken-and-Chinese chive dumplings, Beijing duck, claypot chicken, wok-seared rack of lamb, citrus-flavor crisp beef, kung pao monkfish, "kung fu" halibut with peppery Sichuan-style mala sauce, whole red snapper in sweet-sour sauce, eggplant in garlic sauce, stir-fried string beans with minced pork, banana spring roll. More info: 516-500-1000, moonstoneny.com
Whole red snapper, fried crispy and served in a spicy Thai chili sauce at Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine & Bar in Great Neck.
New Fu Run
New Fu Run (50 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck): This sparkling satellite of Flushing's Fu Run specializes in the cuisine of China's Dongbei region (the northeasternmost area that used to be called Manchuria), which is heartier than Cantonese, less incendiary than Sichuan. There are comparably authentic Chinese restaurants on Long Island -- most of them centered around Stony Brook -- but what distinguishes New Fu Run is that it aims to serve diners of all backgrounds: much English is spoken. Recommended: a cold starter of country-style beef shank with cucumber, stew cabbage (sauerkraut) with pork and vermicelli served in a gleaming soup tureen, triple delight vegetables (a salty-sweet stir fry of potatoes, eggplant and red and green peppers) and the signature dish, cumin lamb chop, a rack of lamb ribs that hasn't been seasoned so much as overwhelmed by cumin. More info: 516-708-1888, furunrestaurant.com
Stew mixed fish with homestyle cookies served at New Fu Run in Great Neck.
Red Tiger Dumpling House
Red Tiger Dumpling House (1320 Stony Brook Rd., Stony Brook): Soup dumplings -- the Shanghai specialty of delicate little parcels filled with savory pork in a steaming broth -- are increasingly common on Long Island, but very few restaurants make them on the premises (frozen ones are readily available). That's reason enough to travel to Red Tiger Dumpling House. Fill out your meal with dainty shrimp dumplings and Kung Fu buns, fat with pork and vegetables. Beyond dumplings are larger dishes from Shanghai, Beijing and Northern China, like the perfectly crisp scallion pancakes, Singapore mei fun or a bold beef noodle soup brightened by bok choy. More info: 675-6899, redtigerdumplinghouse.net
In Stony Brook the Red Tiger Dumpling House serves a spicy dish of shredded potato with hot peppers.
Spicy Home Tasty
Spicy Home Tasty (1087 Jericho Tpke., Commack): Owner Yuling Chou and her partner, chef Xian Chun Du, serve dishes from all over China (as well as some Chinese-American standards), but the focus is on the sophisticated cuisine of Sichuan Province, some of which is indeed spicy, but all of which is tasty. The menu is full of the hearty, fiery specialties from that region in China's southwest, among them: hot and spicy fish fillet, beef tendon with carrot and Chengdu-style roast chicken. Sichuan starters include pork belly with sweet chili oil, wontons in chili oil, and spicy, crispy cucumber. From the "authentic noodle" roster: dan dan noodles, crystal noodles with pork intestine and spicy beef noodle soup. More info: 631-543-8880
Beef noodle soup served at Spicy Home Tasty in Commack.
Tao's Fusion (1310 Middle Country Rd., Selden): Don't let the word "fusion" in the name fool you: In Tao's case, it means pan-Chinese, not Chinese-American with a side of sushi and pad thai. English-speaking guidance is at a premium here, but persevere and be richly rewarded by a whole leg of cumin-infused lamb that comes to the table a-sizzle, beef tendon shaved so thin it's translucent and buzzy with a touch of numbing Sichuan peppercorns, white fish poached in a green herb broth and, rare on Long Island, Peking duck made on the premises. More info: 631-320-0414, taosfusionselden.com
Sour pickled fish stew served at Tao's Fusion in Selden.
Yao's Diner (2503 Middle Country Rd., Centereach): One of the pioneers in Northern Suffolk's authentic Chinese surge, Yao's was opened by Adam Yao to offer fellow expatriate Stony Brook University students a taste of their native land, specifically the fiery cuisine of Northern China where cumin and chilies contribute a depth and heat that may surprise diners expecting the subtlety of Cantonese cooking. Among the don't-miss dishes: incendiary cumin lamb, West Lake beef soup, deep-fried crabs, steamed pork ribs, pickled cabbage and Chinese celery with bamboo shoots. English-language menu guidance can be spotty. More info: 631-588-2218
Cumin lamb is served at Yao's Diner in Centereach.