Sunday, October 16, 2016

A great Chinese-style seafood meal with no fish-by-the-pound penalty

A whole Striped Bass, steamed with ginger and scallion, was the centerpiece of a wonderful seafood meal last weekend at Lotus Cafe, the Chinese BYO in Hackensack.


Unlike newer and pricier Chinese competitors, Lotus Cafe doesn't have "seafood" in its name.

But the Hackensack BYO's menu offers plenty of heart-healthy fish and other seafood.

And lovers of fresh whole fish won't be charged by the pound, as they will at Aquarius Seafood Restaurant in Fort Lee and Lan Garden in Ridgefield.

As usual at Lotus Cafe, me and my wife ordered too much food at a late afternoon dinner last weekend, including seafood soup, seafood dumplings and a whole striped bass, one of the tastiest fish around.

Our fish, steamed with ginger and scallion, was arranged artistically on an oval platter, and looked like it weighed 1.5 pounds ($28.95).

Whole flounder also was available, and the kitchen will fry your choice, but we prefer steamed fish with its light sauce.

Brown rice also is available at no extra charge. We took home leftover soup, dumplings and fish.

Seafood Soup for 2 is packed with squid, shrimp, scallop and fish cake, plus a few vegetables, and the broth isn't overly salted ($7.95)

You can order eight shrimp-filled Seafood Dumplings boiled or fried ($7.95).

We also ordered Sauteed Chinese Star Squash, a delicious side dish ($10.95).

At exactly 5 p.m. the servers at Lotus Cafe bring out the tablecloths.


Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center, Hackensack; 1-201-488-7070. BYO, large parking lot. Free delivery within 3 miles ($12 minimum).

Reservations recommended on weekends.

Ask for a separate menu listing multi-course, price-fixed dinners for 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 people (6 to 12 courses for $79 to $358, plus tax and tip).

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