|Image by petrichor via Flickr|
|Lotus Cafe offers price-fixed, multi-course meals for four to 10 people.|
I continued my birthday celebration on Saturday night by hosting an eight-course meal for family and friends at Lotus Cafe, the popular BYO Chinese restaurant in Hackensack.
We began by popping the cork on a bottle of pleasantly sweet Italian spumante wine and toasting good food and good friends.
I ordered our meal for six from the restaurant's price-fixed dinner and banquet menu.
Eight courses -- from soup to sticky rice -- worked out to just under $23 a person, including tax and a 20% tip.
We started with bowls of tasty Seafood and Tofu Chowder, which had the consistency of egg-drop soup.
The next course was to be Three Cup Chicken Casserole, but I asked to substitute Shrimp Soong with Pine Nuts, which is served in a lettuce leaf that you roll up like a Chinese taco. I added hot chili paste to mine.
I skipped two of the following courses -- Crispy Aromatique Duck and Beef with Chili Pepper and Mustard Green.
But I loved a fresh-tasting Fillet of Sole with Yellow Chive and South Pacific Prawns, a pepper-and-salty preparation served on a bed of chopped lettuce, garlic and hot peppers that I added to my bowl of brown rice.
Our vegetable was crunchy Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli with Garlic, and instead of the usual ice cream or fruit platter, we received a hot dessert of sweet sticky rice glistening with corn syrup.
After we finished the spumante, we drank fragrant tea. Want a refill of your tea pot? Leave the cover open -- a universal sign in a Chinese restaurant.
Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack,
in the Home Depot Shopping Center, 201-488-7070.
BYO, reservations necessary on weekends.
Web Site: http://lotuscafenj.com/