450 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ
At first glance, you might dismiss Lotus Cafe offhand as your average suburban American Chinese joint in a strip mall, because that’s entirely what it looks like. For the first couple of years I lived in this area, that’s exactly what I did, and now I regret that mistake. While I wouldn’t say it has the depth that Petite Soochow or Chengdu 1 have with their Shanghainese/Sichuan cuisine, Lotus Cafe is putting out some seriously good select Taiwanese-style dishes on its menu, particularly all the noodle stuff they do.
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Dining Room during Chinese New Year, 2010
You certainly wouldn’t go wrong with its American-style Chinese food (and sometimes, that’s what you want) because they do a good job with it (and they make a great Egg Roll and Fried Rice) but then you’d miss out on stuff like this:
Beef and Tofu “Chowder”
Hot and Sour Soup, 2010
Saute of Chinese Winter Squash, 2010
Hong Kong-style Lobster with Fried Chicken combo, CNY 2010
Peking Duck tableside service, 2010
E-Fu Mein with XO Sauce, 2010
Vegetable Wrap Tofu Skin appetizer
Pan Fried Pork Dumplings
Lotus Deight, sort of a Taiwanese take on Moo Shu Pork
Lotus Delight, rolled up into pancakes
Tofu Skin with Sweet Peas and Mustard Green
Happy Monks Feast, another excellent vegetable dish
Sauteed Taiwanese-style Hand Cut Noodles with Beef
Seafood-Stuffed Mandarin Eggplant
A signature dish they do that I really like is the 3 Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji) which is a traditional Taiwanese casserole dish that is one (small) cup of rice wine, one cup of sesame oil and one cup of soy sauce, boneless cut up chicken peices and a lot of basil and a lot of ginger and a lot of garlic and a few other things including anise, plus other stuff I would be hard pressed to identify. Definitely order it.