South Pacific Prawns at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack are jumbo shrimp in the shell that are butterflied and pan fried.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
What wasn't there was almost as big of a draw as all of the wonderful garlic used to prepare the dishes we ordered late Saturday afternoon at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.
Chinese dishes often are made with a ubiquitous "brown sauce" that is based on soy and filled with sodium.
But we ordered two dishes without sauce:
South Pacific Prawns ($17.95), which are pan-fried with shallot, garlic, ginger, scallion and peppercorn, according to the menu.
The preparation also is known as pepper and salty, and we ate the jumbo shrimp shell and all. I dipped mine in Chinese mustard.
You also can get the shrimp cooked without the shell.
Our second dish was Chinese Broccoli stir-fried with fresh garlic ($10.95).
We asked for the broccoli "well done" to soften the stems.
We were finishing dinner in our favorite Chinese restaurant, and noticed the waiters putting tablecloths and cloth napkins on empty tables.
That's when I knew it was 5 o'clock.
|Leafy Chinese Broccoli stir-fried with fresh garlic.|
|We began with Seafood Soup for Two ($7.95), above and below.|
|Our soup contained shrimp, squid, sliced fish cake and vegetables, but I didn't find any of the bay scallops I enjoyed on previous visits.|
|Lotus Cafe doesn't charge extra for brown rice.|
Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, in the Home Depot Shopping Center; 201-488-7070.
Open 7 days, BYO, big parking lot, special fixed-price multi-course dinners for four or more, free delivery within 3 miles ($12 minimum).