Sunday, February 2, 2014

You can eat like a horse at Hackensack's Lotus Cafe

Two of the entrees on the price-fixed Chinese New Year Celebration menu at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack are Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp and Asparagus in Sweet White Sauce, above, and Filet Mignon Casserole with Cellophane Noodles and Enoki Sprouts, below.


My son is a high school athlete who eats like a horse, consuming food often and even continually, so it only seemed appropriate to go to Lotus Cafe in Hackensack on Saturday night to enjoy its special Chinese New Year menu.

This year -- 4712 in the Chinese calendar -- is the Year of the Horse, whose "spirit is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos [in] making unremitting efforts to improve themselves," according to one Web site.

Four of us couldn't finish our delicious, four-course meal -- appetizer, soup, entree and dessert -- and we brought home plenty of leftovers ($28 per person).

Another choice on the price-fixed menu is Fillet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves.

Our waiter removed the bones of the Braised Half Tangerine Duck at the table, and the meat eaters in my family ate the duck in split buns, rear.

Huge shrimp 

With four people at the table, we were able to order all four entrees on the special menu, and share them, along with bowls of steamed white and brown rice.

The Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp were among the largest I have ever seen in a restaurant, and they tasted extraordinary.

Seafood is a strong suit at Lotus Cafe and I also enjoyed the Fillet of Flounder with a wonderful green, Snow Pea Leaves, especially the fresh garlic and ginger.

The appetizer is one 5-Spice Chicken Skewer, above, and one Lobster Spring Roll, below.

The choice of soup is Seafood Hot and Sour Soup, above, and Pork and Winter Melon Consomme, below.

Lotus Cafe is a BYO.

Opening the lid of your teapot is a signal to the waiter you want a hot refill.

The horsey set

We arrived a little after 5 on Saturday afternoon, and the restaurant's 75 seats filled up quickly, straining the usually fast service. 

We were seated opposite the kitchen doors, and could hear the slap of metal tools against woks as the cooks prepared dishes from the special, regular and banquet menus, including takeout.

The Chinese New Year Celebration menu will be served through Feb. 9.

We didn't have room to finish dessert, a choice of 8 Treasure Rice Puddding, above, or ice cream.
The special Chinese New Year menu.

Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center, Hackensack; 201-488-7070. Reservations recommended on weekends. Open 7 days, BYO, large parking lot.

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