[Chinese Restaurant Review] Cho-Sen Island, Lawrence

It was time for us to return to their roots. Two of our last three Quests took us to Flushing, NY. We had to find our selves again. Center our being. Get back in to the ‘hood.

We’ve tried a mix of other styles of Chinese food. Cantonese, Szechuan, Singapore style. But, never Kosher Chinese food. There are plenty of Kosher Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. But, our Quest, as yet, isn’t to find the best Chinese restaurant on that little finger of an island that they call Manhattan. Our Quest is to find the best Chinese restaurant on LONG Island.

So, we had to find the most densely populated Jewish area we could possible find. The Five Towns. Destination: Lawrence, NY

And when we got there, we nearly missed it. It sure looked closed and out of business from the outside. But, we’re smart Jews. We’re literate. We know how to read. The sign said “Open for Business”. That must mean that they’re open for business.

So in we went.

For anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps, the restaurant is located at:

Cho-Sen Island

367 Central Avenue

Lawrence, NY 11559

And, oh what a schlep it was to get there. Oye vey!

The number of yarmulkes in the restaurant outnumbered the number of chopsticks by a ratio of 40-5 (or, 8-1 for those of you mathematician who like to bring their fractions to the lowest common denominator (Jews AND Chinese will love that reference!)

The restaurant was packed. And it was a Wednesday night. I can only imagine what the crowd is like on the weekend. Hmm… Shabbos. Perhaps Wednesday IS their busy night of the week. Dunno. Can anyone verify what crowds there are like on a weekend for us please?

There’s a sushi bar in the restaurant. We didn’t order. In fact, the fact that there was a sushi bar nearly disqualified the restaurant. However, we did some research and learned that sushi didn’t come from Japan. It originated in China. (check wikipedia if you don’t believe Mee). So, Cho-Sen Island was back… and we were there.

The restaurant also has a full bar (though no one was sitting at it, but they do serve a full slate of drinks). The mai tai’s, I must say, were fabulous. OK, was fabulous. I just had one. Could have had another… but, we did some pre-gaming of another sort prior to walking in.

We wanted the full Chinese food experience. An authentic meal. It’s a little hard with the restaurant being Kosher and all. No pork for example. D’oh!

But, what we saw on some other tables made me shake my head. Steak and potatoes. Really? It was seen at quite a few tables. Clearly THAT was NOT for the Mee’s.

So, what did we eat? We ordered:

  • Wonton and Subgum Wonton Soup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Veal Spareribs
  • Dragon and Phoenix (tender chunks of prime-rib steak and succulent chicken sauteed & served on a “garden” of choicest Chinese vegetables. perfect for a prince or princess!)
  • Double Delight (seafood & veal)
  • Shredded Crispy Beef
  • Chicken Chow Mein
  • Vegetable Fried Rice

Some observations if I may. First it’s Glatt Kosher. Some of the dishes were extremely expensive (yet paradoxically, our bill was way lower than we expected. Mee’s do love getting a bargain. And, good food!)

And the food WAS good. Surprisingly good. A LOT better than some of the other Chinese restaurants we’ve been to.

A few complaints… the sauces tasted exactly the same on a few of our dishes. And, our taste buds detected a lot of sodium.

We left full, bloated in fact (none of us were hungry an hour later… I purposely waited not to wirte this review for 24 hours just to see when we’d get hungry again). There were left overs as the food was very filling. But, we didn’t fight over who was NOT going to take it. It was taken home gleefully.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

–Lonnie Goldman aka Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)