NJ Dining: Lotus Cafe (UPDATED)

Lotus Cafe
450 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ
(201) 488-7070

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.

Storefont, 2010

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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.

8 Responses to NJ Dining: Lotus Cafe (UPDATED)

  1. Robyn says:

    Ahhh, those hand cut noodles look really good! And that eggplant looks!…interesting. I’m totally unaware of Chinese food in NJ, sadly. Thanks for the suggestions; I’ll tell my mum about it. :D

    And now I’m interested in trying Dim Sum Dynasty. I’m in Ridgewood all the time and am slooowly making my way around almost all the restaurants in that area…but I haven’t tried the dim sum. My mum went there once with some friends and she said it was good.

  2. Dr. Stewart Perlow says:

    Stuffed seafood eggplant looked great.You’ll have to take us there some day.Regards

  3. Jill says:

    Those hand-cut noodles ARE good…REALLY good. Also, try the filet of sole in either black bean sauce or rice wine sause. Fabulous.

  4. […] to dinner at the funky but excellent Jack’s Café instead of getting Chinese food from Lotus Café (the best Chinese restaurant in the county) just because it’s close to […]

  5. matthew lee says:

    just happened to stumble across this place last week. was originally trying to get into applebees for the 9.99 steak special but the lines were ridiculous during dinner time on saturday. what was i thinking right? and to my suprise it was a quaint restaurant that was patroned by a diverse group yet still had several tables of asian customers (thats how i could tell it was authentic). i tried the basic fair general tsaos, chow fun, and salt and pepper squid. it seemed that the 3 chicken hot pot and lotus delight wrapped in pancakes were quite popular. im going to try them out on my next visit.

  6. Mark says:

    I have been going to this place for 10 years. Usually do take out. Lotus Delight is my favorite dish but thanks to your pictures, I can now order different stuff since I now what it is. If you notice, there are a lot of Chinese patrons in this place, that’s always a good sign. A little expensive and no Egg Foo Yong but this is the best Chinese food in the area.

  7. […] Lotus Cafe in Hackensack is also serving great Taiwanese and Cantonese dishes for Year of the Tiger. […]

  8. Lotus Cafe has to be the most overlooked Chinese restaurant in North Jersey. I’ve enjoyed the food there for well over a decade, and their special, multi-course dinners are a great value.

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