Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lotus Cafe feast is my calm after the storm

Filet Mignon Casserole with Chestnuts and Cellophane Noodles at Lotus Cafe.

Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp with Asparagus in Sweet White Sauce.

Lotus Cafe in Hackensack is celebrating the Year of the Snake (4711) with a special prix-fixe menu -- a bountiful four-course dinner for $28 per person.

You won't find snake on the Chinese New Year's menu -- which is being served through Feb. 24 -- but the food is seductive, nonetheless.

Late Saturday afternoon, after we had cleared our driveway and sidewalks of more than a foot of snow from a nor'easter, we set out for the unassuming BYO, which is only a couple of miles away.

I brought a chilled bottle of sparkling Spanish white wine that I bought in late December, but didn't open on New Year's Eve.

Fillet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves.

Braised Half Tangerine Duck on soft pancakces.

After I popped the cork, the four of us started our meal with an appetizer of Lobster Spring Roll and  5-Spice Chicken Skewer.

I don't eat chicken and asked for two spring rolls (a $2 supplement), but was rewarded with twice as many tender, fresh lobster bits among the vegetables.

The second course was soup, either Pork and Winter Melon Consomme or Seafood Hot and Sour Soup, both delicious.

The special menu offers four entrees, and we ordered one of each. The portions were generous enough to be shared:

Filet Mignon Casserole with Chestnut and Cellophane Noodles, Fillet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves, Braised Half Tangerine Duck and Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp with Asparagus in Sweet White Sauce.

An appetizer of Lobster Spring Roll and 5-Spice Chicken Skewer.
Seafood Hot and Sour Soup.

Tender Snow Pea Leaves in a bowl of brown rice.

Owner Philip Su personally removed the duck meat from the bones, and plated it on top of thick, soft pancakes -- Peking duck style.
I gorged on the beautifully cooked flounder, tender snow-pea leaves and jumbo shrimp, and plucked chestnuts, caramelized tangerine skin, mushrooms, garlic and cellophane noodles from the other entrees.

This was another unsually good, belly busting meal from Lotus Cafe, a small, unassuming restaurant that has been pleasing customers for decades.

Ice Cream Filled Sweet Rice Mochi.

The front of the dining room at Lotus Cafe.

I have two small complaints: The spring roll was deep fried, but not drained properly, and tasted oily. 

I asked for fruit instead of ice cream for dessert, but the restaurant didn't receive its order of lichee and pineapple that day. 

Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center, Hackensack

BYO, large parking lot. Reservations recommended on weekends.

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  1. This place is by far the best Chinese food in the area! I used to work in Parsippany and there was an amazing Chinese food place there. Couldn't find a place that made it the same. I suggest you try the beef sezhuan, its amazing!


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