In case you haven't noticed, Long Island seems to be short on Chinese restaurants of late. Enter Wong's Noodle House, a cheery and casual sit-down spot that draws its clientele largely from nearby Winthrop Hospital and the Nassau County courts. It's a known fact: doctors, nurses, lawyers and judges all work better after that all-important lo mein fix.
USING THEIR NOODLE
Noodles, while not made at the restaurant, are of high quality. I feel fortified after a big bowl of chicken soup - a meal in itself - filled with lots of boneless white meat, vegetables and thin Chinese egg noodles. An appetizer of cold noodles in sesame sauce tastes pleasingly peanutty.
What really impresses, though, are fresh spinach noodles tossed with shrimp, scallions, bean sprouts, carrots and cabbage. The green strands are properly al dente, firm yet pliant. Pork lo mein hits all the right notes.
Tangerine chicken (batter-fried in a sweet and piquant sauce) may be a cardiologist's worst nightmare, but it tastes very good. The same might be said of "dry crispy" beef, shredded deep-fried shards of meat in a lively sauce; broccoli sharing the plate amounts to a nod toward healthfulness.
A favorite is a dish called "double wonder" - jumbo shrimp and scallops sauteed with broccoli, peppers, celery and water chestnuts in a perky garlic sauce. Sliced pork with eggplant is lush in both flavor and texture. Vibrancy underscores the ginger chicken with snow peas, shiitakes and red peppers.
CHOW NOT SO FUN
Hot-and-sour soup is wimpy, needing a jolt or two of the hot. Chicken dumplings are way too heavy, scallion pancakes hard and oily. And while I like the flavor of the chow fun with beef, it's weighted by a surfeit of sauce.
Kevin and Lisa Wong are affable hosts at this noodle house / something-for-everyone Chinese restaurant, the kind of place so many Long Islanders grew up with. Even in its early stages, there's much to recommend it.