NJ Dining: Petite Soochow (UPDATED)

June 27, 2010

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Petite Soochow
607 Gorge Rd, Cliffside Park, NJ
(201) 313-1666

The abrupt permanent closure of my favorite Shanghainese-style Chinese restaurant, China 46 in Ridgefield Park, forced me into seeking out alternatives for Xiǎolóngbāo, the elusive “Soup Dumpling” or “Steamed Juicy Bun” that originates from Shanghai and is also a popular dish in Hong Kong and Taipei. It’s also served in a number of Shanghai-style Chinese restaurants in New York City’s Chinatown, such as Joe’s Shanghai, Shanghai Cuisine, and New Green Bo.

Fortunately I had recently heard of another Shanghainese restaurant, Petite Soochow, from another foodie blogger, TommyEats, on a random New Jersey post at the CNET Chowhound forums site. Petite Soochow, which has been in business for just over a year, is the second incarnation of a defunct Shanghainese restaurant in Saddle Brook, Old Soochow. Somehow this place managed to escape earlier notice, but I’m very happy I saw Tommy’s post, because Petite Soochow is probably one of the best authentic Chinese restaurants in Northern NJ.

Petite Soochow in Gorge Road in Cliffside Park.

Your Soup Dumpling supply chain is still intact. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NJ Dining: Lotus Cafe (UPDATED)

February 26, 2010

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

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NJ Dining: Little Charm

July 22, 2009

Little Charm Thai Kitchen
210 Main Street, Fort Lee NJ

Little Charm, Fort Lee NJ by you.

Little Charm, located on Main Street in Fort Lee, is a tiny storefront serving inexpensive Thai food.

I love cute little restaurants, particularly inexpensive ones. Recently, a tiny little Thai place, Little Charm, opened up shop next door to another one of my favorite Asian restaurants, Mo’Pho in Fort Lee. I must say up front that I am a long time friend of the owner of Mo’Pho and I am predisposed and biased towards eating her cuisine, so when I saw the competition next door, I thought I had best check it out.

Little Charm really isn’t competing with Mo’Pho in the sense that its price point is  lower and is not trying to match their next door neighbor on a qualitative or creative level and is serving a different type of Asian cuisine, but from the perspective that they are next door and are serving similar types of dishes, I wanted to see what it was all about.

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Dim Sum RAP!

April 3, 2009


Ok, admit it, it’s catchy.

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NJ Dining: Bergen County Dim Sum Parlors (UPDATED)

May 27, 2006

Bergen County has some of the best Chinese eateries anywhere in the state. We’re lucky to have two really phenomenal Dim Sum restaurants, Silver Pond and Dim Sum Dynasty, who make some of the best dumplings in the entire Tri-State region.

NOTE: Please also see my earlier entry for Noodle Chu, in Parsippany. Not Bergen County, but definitely worth the trip if you are in the Morris County area.

Silver Pond Seafood Restaurant
230 Main St, Fort Lee, NJ
(201) 592-8338

Silver Pond is a Fort Lee institution that has been in business for over 20 years. It really looks like something that belongs in Hong Kong, not in Northern New Jersey. Like all Dim Sum parlors you need to get there fairly early on a weekend (11:30-12 Noon is about as late as you really want to get there) and bring either cash or your American Express Card, ’cause they don’t take Visa or MasterCard. In fact, I maintain a personal AMEX Optima just for the sole purpose of eating at this place and going to Costco. That alone should tell you something. The photos here just barely scratch the surface of their dim sum offerings.

Main Dining Room (Chinese New Year, 2010)


Live seafood tanks amuse small children

Mr. Li, the Big Boss Man. (2010)


Scallion Pancake

Fried Shrimp Paste Balls, Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce (2010)

Pan Fried Noodle with Superior Soy Sauce (2010)


Salt and Pepper Fried Shrimp

Cart Service (2010)

Pork Shu Mai, Shrimp Har Gow (2010)

Shrimp and Cilantro Yuba Skin Roll (2010)

Steamed Tripe (2010)

Shrimp and Scallion Pan Fried Dumpling (2010)

Rice Congee (2010)

Eggplant stuffed with Shrimp Paste with Black Bean Sauce (2010)


Pork Wrapped with Yuba Skin. (2006)

Fried Shrimp Paste wrapped with Bacon (2010)


Pan Fried Pork Dumplings (2006)


Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf (2006)


Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf (opened)


A type of fried shrimp dumpling with cilantro. (2006)


Fried Shrimp Balls (2006)


Roast Duck (2006)


Mushroom Roll (2006)


Steamed Fluffy BBQ Pork Bun (2006)

Manilla Clams with Black Bean Sauce (2010)

Cantonese Desserts (2010)

Dim Sum Dynasty
75 Franklin Ave, Ridgewood, NJ
(201) 652-0615

If Silver Pond is the classic, dependable, experienced Dim Sum Parlor then Dim Sum Dynasty is the young whippersnapper, with new tricks up its sleeve and wearing a much snazzier outfit. It is by far the more elegant restaurant and has some very interesting offerings that you don’t necessarily get at old warhorses like Silver Pond. This is not to say all the food items are superior, some are better and some are average. I like to alternate between the two restaurants myself.



Main Dining Room of Dim Sum Dynasty (2006)


Dim Sum Dynasty’s Pork Siu Mai (2006)


Fried Squid with Cashew Nuts (2006)


Crab/Shrimp Beggar’s Purses (2006)


Shrimp Har Gow (2006)


Clams in Black Bean Sauce (2006)


Flaky Pork Pastry Triangles (2006)


Mango Pudding (2006)


Steamed Pea Shoot Dumplings (2006)


Dim Sum Dynasty’s Pork Wrapped in Yuba Skin (2006)


Green Pepper stuffed with Shrimp Paste (2006)


Fluffy BBQ Pork Buns (2006)


Another type of clam dish, this one is dry sauteed. (2006)


E-Fu Mein Noodles (2006)


Baked Pork Buns (2006) Dim Sum Dynasty’s are not to be missed, especially if they are just out of the oven.