The march of authentic Chinese restaurants continues into Syosset village, where Zou Ji Northeast China Home Style Cuisine has opened on Ira Road. Zou Ji succeeds the more standard-issue Chinese restaurants Z & Y Dynasty and, before that, Kam Fong. (Before Kam Fong, this was the site of Christiano’s, long rumored to be the inspiration for Billy Joel’s epic “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”)
The extensive menu features such takeout-friendly favorites as beef with broccoli ($13.99), General Tso’s and kung pao chicken (both $12.99) and shrimp fried rice ($7.99), but the focus here is on the gutsy fare of Dongbei, the region in Northeastern China once known as Manchuria.
Among the highlights are cold starters such as wood ear mushrooms in vinegar ($8.99), ox tongue and tripe with roasted chilies ($9.99) and bitter melon salad ($8.99). Mains include deep-fried head-on shrimp and stir-fried squid (both $15), cumin lamb and lamb kidney with leeks (both $16.99), red-braised pork belly ($13.99) and mapo tofu ($11.99). There are vegetable dishes such as shredded potato with hot and sour sauce ($8.99) and Shanghai bok choy ($11.99) as well as a selection of grilled and fried skewers ($2 to $3.85 apiece).
The setting is modest in the extreme. Staff is very friendly.
Zou Ji Northeast China Home Style Cuisine is at 19 Ira Rd., Syosset, 516-802-3500.