MIZU: Hibachi, Asian, Sushi; 4037 Hempstead Tpke Bethpage, NY

Sushi & Sashimi for 2.

     Ok, so maybe I'm a little nuts to order sushi take-out from a brand new restaurant that I know nothing about, that delivers, and also serves Hibachi and other Asian delicacies - just because I got the flyer in my mailbox.  But I was in the mood for Sushi?!?!?!   Just to play it safe, we got the kids Wendy's. 

     Fortunately for me, this is one risk that paid off.  As you can see from the photo here, this is one take-out platter that you would never know was take-out.  We did pick it up, but it came perfectly placed in beautiful plasticware, each piece of sashimi beautifully sliced, cold and fresh, each nigiri susi generous and well-formed, a lovely selection of fish, two additional Special Rolls of my own choice from the menu, the wasabi nice and hot; fresh soy on the side, with individual serving cups included and chopsticks.  No complaints at all.  Loved every single bite.   This platter also came with soup or salad of your choice.  We ordered 2 Miso Soup, which was delicious, but we could have shared one salad and one soup.   

     We also ordered a side order of Fried Oysters (crispy, lightly fried, huge and served with an excellent bbq sauce) and a Crispy Duck Roll (served with hoisin sauce).    I'm going back as soon as I can...!

MINADO SEAFOOD BUFFET, Glen Cove Rd., Carle Place NY

Photo Courtesy www.tripadvisor.com

     A staple on my list of go-to restaurants if I'm in the mood for sushi or fish, Minado is the place to be!  Having been their for lunch dozens of times, and dinner occasionally, I can affirmatively state that the fish is always fresh, the sushi is distinctive, well-cut, well prepared, plentiful and cold! (Warm or Room Temp Sushi Is Not Healthy). All the sushi is made fresh right before your eyes, and they keep the trays cold and replenished throughout the lunch or dinner crowd. The Sashimi Salad is a particular favorite, and there are plenty of sushi choices that do not have raw fish. Considering the amount and variety of raw fish I have eaten there over the years, its remarkable that I have never been ill or tasted anything even slightly past its prime.
     You can feel comfortable taking your non-fish, non-sushi eating friends, because there is an entirely separate island for traditional Chinese & Japanese favorites, where you can choose from Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura, White and Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Baked Clams & Mussels, Beautifully Sliced Steak, Chicken and other types of Fish; you can choose from a selection of 3 or 4 soups, which you can garnish to your liking with green onions, crispy fried strips, and more. The Crab Soup is delicious, and if you want to add some sort of dumpling or other cooked item, they will make it for you right there. If you want to eat on the light-side, across from the hot foods you will find an expansive Salad bar with everything from Seafood Salad, to multiple Seaweed Salads, Vegetable Salads such as Cucumber, Tomato and Mushroom, DimSum & Dumplings and, of course, the standard Mixed Greens, Caesar and Spinach Salad.
     Minado is one of the few Buffet Restaurants that I recommend all the time, whether its date night, a family dinner a party or special occasion. The service is excellent - not just for a buffet, but for service in general. Try and get there at opening time for lunch and enjoy the ensemble staff offer the traditional Japanese Greeting. Every single server is helpful and friendly, even when they are busy.

MoCa ASIAN BISTRO, photo Credit: Newsday.

MoCa ASIAN BISTRO opens in Woodbury

Apr. 30, 2014

With Nisen having closed, Woodbury lost a gem. Does MoCa live up to the standard

According to Newsday, making its Woodbury debut is MoCa ASIAN BISTRO an offshoot of an established Hewlett Asian fusion restaurant. It occupies the former Nisen digs within Woodbury Village Shopping Center, a local restaurant hub that also hosts Butera's, Laguna Grille, Sage Bistro Moderne and Ben's Kosher Delicatessen.
On the menu: coconut seafood chowder ($13), duck tortilla ($10), sushi pizza ($14), a Woodbury roll made with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and avocado ($15), salmon teriyaki ($20), shrimp dumpling noodle soup ($11) and Thai mango chicken ($19).
MoCa Asian Bistro is at 7967 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, 516-496-7000.
I'll keep you posted as soon as I can get there!!

NISEN SUSHI WOODBURY*, *Woodbury Location Closed 5/31/13, Commack Location Survives!

     Open since November, 2007, I've been looking forward to getting to NISEN in Woodbury for some time now.  Its taken me long enough, but with new restaurants popping up all over the place I had a hard time fitting it in.  After last night's dinner, that is going to change. Walk into Nisen and you're suddenly whisked away into a a stunning Manhattan-style nightclub.  However, since you're not dressed for it, you are thankful that the staff is so charming and attentive and the atmosphere turns out to be so comfortable.  However, they are serious about their sushi, their sake choices are top-of-the-line and you have to check out that martini list!

     With such an extensive wine, sake and drink menu, I found a wonderful cold sake - a real treat. Their IPA beer was also excellent and full of flavor.  With that out of the way, it was time to choose from an extensive and overwhelming list of starters. Everything from soup to nuts.  Seriously: Miso Soup, Lobster Bisque, Spicy Lobster Miso & a daily special at least; a number of different salads- each one reading better than the next - including a Warm Truffle Wild Mushroom Salad w/ Goat Cheese Quenelles; and a list of hot and cold appetizers like Lobster Taco, White Tuna Truffle & Oyster Shots to Grilled Miso Eggplant, Shumai, Kobe Meatballs & King Crab Pizza w/ Flying Fish Roe.   BUT, Nisen has Sea Urchin on the menu. We don't get much of that on Long Island and I couldn't resist.  You might think that at $7.00 a piece it would not be worth it. It is so worth it.  Creamy and silky on the tongue, one bite and you can smell and taste the sea from which it came, so sensuous you don't want to swallow it, but when you do you are left with a slightly briney aftertaste.  Heaven on a plate.  We ordered two so my husband and I could share.  I took most of his. Fortunately, he is not a fan of that thorney little creature.  Next time, I'm going back to Nisen to sit at the bar, sample Sake and make a dinner out of Sea Urchin.

     The Mixed Tempura appetizer we shared (yes, this time we shared) was delicious.  The tempura batter was light, crispy and flaky on the outside, and the chicken, shrimp and vegetables were all cooked perfectly.  For dinner, I intended to order one of the Fusion specialties on the menu (Sea Bass over Risotto w/ Bok Choy, but the TNT Roll turned out to be enough for me.  Tuna, Avocado & Mango wrapped in rice, topped with these fantastic Garlic Chips and Toro Tartare, with a truffle soy dressing.  Fantastic.  The combination Sushi & Sashimi was not only a sight to behold, but was filled with some of the freshest tuna, salmon, yellowtail, tartars and whitefish around.  The fatty tuna melted in your mouth, the salmon was perfectly sliced.  It was a treat.   Finally, for dessert "Oreo Funnel Cake with Tahitian Vanilla & Grean Tea Gelato."  Can't go wrong with that one.

     There was so much more on the menu we wanted to try, its hard to say where to begin, but I know we will be going back.  I'm not going to tell you the prices are inexpensive, they are not.  But the food is well prepared, fresh (a necessity for sushi) and presented beautifully and innovatively.  The restaurant is beautifully decorated but not pretentious. The staff is efficient, knowledgeable, acommodating and friendly. (**Thank you to our waiter Nicholas - I bet you excell at everything you do!) This makes it worth the extra few bucks for dinner on occasion.  However, you do not have to order Sea Urchin, and you can find reasonly priced dishes on the menu if that's an issue.  Oh, and they're open for lunch!!  So take a look at our photos, go, check it out, and let me know whay you think.

  • Nisen: Sea Urchin w/ Wasabi & Ginger

  • Nisen: Mixed Tempura Shrimp, Chicken & Vegetables

  • Oreo Funnel Cake w/ Vanilla & Green Tea Ice Cream

Jade King Restaurant, Willis Ave., Williston Park, NY

Shrimp w/ Lobster Sauce at Jade King.

 Jade King. Its gong to be difficult to objectively review a restaurant that has been one of my favorites for over 25 years. Just remember, I do not get paid by the owner to do this!
Jade King, on Willis Ave, Roslyn Heights has been a neighbrhood institution since I was a teenager, and I have been going there ever since. You can sit down at a table with white tablecloths and real napkins. They boast the best spare ribs in town, and they are correct. The chefs and the staff are trained well and your food always comes out exactly the way you order it. Its the kind if place where you order a Pu Pu Platter complete with flame, and family style dishes. If you go for lunch, they have you in and out in a snap. But if you want to just go in and relax, they will give you all the time you need. Your meal always comes with soup, and those wonderfully bad for you crackers with duck sauce, as it should!
I was there only recently (within the last few months), and the soup was as delicious as always, the wontons tender and meaty. The chicken and broccoli - a standard as far as I'm concerned, was excellent. My new favorite, chow mei fun, comes in many variations, and the sezechuan spicy thrills your tastebuds. The menu is extensive, and typical of a chinese restaurant, serving chinese, sezechuan and cantonese dishes. But what keeps you going back is the the service. The fact that they have not turned into a take-out restaurant (even though they will do take out).
So, take a break and go to Jade King. They are one of only a handful of real family -style chinese restaurants left. Have some egg foo young, shrimp with lobster sauce, hot and sour soup -- and don''t forget that pu pu platter.
(and to my dearest friends who know and love this old favorite - come back soon and we'll go together!

Kwong Ming, Wantagh NY (Chinese, Cantonese & Szechuan)

Scallops & Chinese Vegetables in brown sauce

Speaking of family style Chinese restaurants, if you happen to be in the Wantagh area, do stop in at Kwong MIng Restaurant on Jerusalem Avenue. Its been there as long as I can rememeber, as has most of the staff. Yet it remains traditional in style and service, but innovative in food and taste. The beef and scallops in a light brown sauce are a must have, and in fact, I have them everytime I go! Since you have figured out by now that I am a big fan of the Pu Pu Platter, the one at Kwong Ming is excellent. I think its just the flame and being able to heat my own food that does it.
The service is impeccable, the waiters are dressed in black jackets, as they should be, and you sit down at a table with a white table cloth and cloth napkins. Here, the Fried Chinese Noodles are amazing, and you have to try them with the duck sauce mixed with a bit of hot mustard.
They are set up so that you can go as a couple and find a quiet little booth to relax after a busy day, or you can bring a family like mine (loud and noisy) and you will still be accommodated without disturbing the other diners. Of course, the waiter having brought out a tray of multi-colored ice creams with pineapple and mandarin oranges didn't hurt either.
This is just one more of the few old fashioned sit-down Chinese restaurants left that doesn't make you get your own food. And I love it.

Akbar, Ring Road, Garden City (Indian)

If you like Indian, you should try Akbar in Garden City. First you have to find it tucked away off to the side of Roosevelt Field, just off Stewart Avenue. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but when you walk in, you are transported to India.
If you have never had Indian food, go for lunch and try their lovely buffet style lunch. You will get a sampling of traditional hot and cold dishes, including Taka Dal (yellow lentils with sauteed onions and tomatoes), Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese simmered with creamed tomatoes), Chicken Tiki Masala (chicken in a creamy tomato curry), and maybe even lamb or goat if you're lucky. The selections change periodically. You will always find the fluffy steamed basmati rice, and the Tandoori (clay oven baked) chicken for those with a milder taste. Every table is served with a basket of Naan, traditional Indian soft flat bread (plain or flavored with garlic, or onion, or vegetables). Its a quick taste of India, and you can get in and out at lunchtime.
Then again, if you want the full experience, go for dinner and take your pick from the entire menu, which includes everything above and so very much more. You can have almost everything curry, including shrimp, prawns, fish filet, lamb goat. If you are vegetarian the selection is endless, including the delicious Malai Kofta (dumplings in cashew & onion gravy), vegetable jalfreze (stir fried with cumin, Aloo Gobhi (potatoes & cauliflower with herbs and spices), and all kinds of lentils and other vegetables, and variations on the rice.
Don't skip the appetizers. Try the Samosa (peas & potato wrapped in crispy pastry, Chicken Wings marinated with mint and coriander and grilled in a clay oven, or the Fried Cauliflower tossed with onion and chilli garlic.
This is a fun change to your classic eatery. The decor inside is beautiful and grand, the food is delicate and authentic. If you love Indian, you will love it. If you haven't tried Indian, this is the place to try it. Ever since Jewel of India in Syosset closed, Akbar is the best for the total experience.

RUBY BUFFET, Westfield/Sunrise Mall, Massapequa, NY

     As you know, I’m not a big fan of reviewing buffets, but the Ruby Buffet just opened within the past six months over at the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa and I thought I would go check it out.  If their food was anywhere up to their advertising it would be worth the trip.  So, when we got there and found it hidden all the way at the back of the mall with an entrance only outside the mall, I began to wonder.  However, as soon as I opened the door my fears were alleviated.  The entrance was clean and beautifully decorated, the restaurant was well appointed and comfortable and we were offered our choice of a booth or a table.  (They also have separate rooms for private parties).  There was no greasy smell and no fishy smell, and the food was constantly being replenished.  Good sign. 
So, we started with the sushi and raw bar, which was plentiful.  All the sushi was being made right behind the counter and was fresh and cold.  They used real fish, not the fake crab thing you so often find, and the sashimi was clean, fresh and tender.  The rolls were inventive and varied.  You could have made dinner out of the sushi alone, topping it off with the clams & oysters on the half-shell, steamed mussles and manila clams, and shrimp.  Add the dim sum and I was finished.  But there was so much more to taste. 
     My favorite, the crispy duck, was excellent.  Tender and succulent inside, crispy skin outside, little fat, peking sauce on the side.  The grilled sliced sirloin was cooked perfectly, seared outside, pink inside. There were plenty of king crab legs to be found if you’re into that much work.  There was also broiled salmon and another white fish I didn’t have room for.  There were stuffed clams (just ok) and mini crab cakes (yummy).  But the best, most excellent taste of the night were the fried wonton cheese rangoons. OMG, I have never had them so good anywhere else.  They were light, crispy and airy outside, then melt in your mouth creamy when you get to the cheese.  I’m going back just for that. 
     Of course, there were your asian staples: rice, fried rice, lo mein, chicken & broccoli, kung pao, salt & pepper calamari and so much more I can’t remember.  And, yes, there was a dessert bar and ice cream fountain which we were way too stuffed to even go near.  It takes a lot for me to turn down ice cream anywhere.  But, the biggest surprise of the evening – was the check.  Friday night price – 15.00 per person.  With the advertising coupon, 13.00 per person.  Total bill with tax and tip: $35.00.**
   **I know there are a lot of Asian buffets that are very inexpensive.  I have 4 kids, I have to know and I’ve been to them.  I don’t even bother reviewing them.  But inexpensive and a high quality of food with fresh Sushi & Seafood is very hard to find and we here at DebsFood will definitely be back. 

Best Buffet, Rte 110, Huntington (Asian of all types, plus...)

 There are so many Chinese and Asian buffet restaurants on Long Island, mostly similar in type and average quality, and I wouldn't even attempt to review them all. However, there are 2 that deserve mention and Best Buffet (formerly East Buffet) is one of them.
Even from the outside, Best Buffet is imposing and when you walk in you know you will experience something more than the average buffet. Best boasts over 200 selections, and I'd bet that they're close. There are at least 4 separate buffet stations for cold salads, hot international type foods, hot asian foods and along the wall a hot carving station, hibachi grill and cold sushi bar.
We have been there a number of times, and almost every time we have had something wonderful, something exoctic and something new. The carving station is usually manned by a chef (hat and all) carving fresh peking duck. At the hibachi grill you will find skewers filled with all sorts of chicken, meats, fish and shellfish. At the sushi bar, the sushi chef does struggle to keep up, but the sushi is fresh, cold and spicey.
The cold salad station is filled with fresh fruits and salads, but also with tiny delicacies like baby octopus, cold razor mussels, chinese noodles, and all sorts of other interesting items to tickle your palate. But don't fill up there because you may want to pick up something from the International section. There you will find the food for your kids: eggplant, pasta, fried chicken and such. I stay away from anything purporting to be a red sauce, but the chicken and chicken wings are excellent, as are the ribs, baked clams and egg rolls.
For myself, I head straight to the Asian and grilling section where I start with the dumplings (of all sorts), baby clams and shrimp with lobster sauce. And the duck, of course. Their soups are also delicious. You can also find those mussels baked with that seasoned mayonnaise on top, and your basics like kung pao chicken, beef and broccoli, sesame chicken, tempura vegetables, and so on. For dinner (priced higher) you will find lobster, quail, shrimp scampi, even prime rib, along with other delicacies. At Best, you will find a bit of America, along with Chinese, Italy, Japanese, Korean, Malaysia & Thai.
Save a bit of room for dessert (yes, a dessert bar too) and try one of those little peanut butter pastries.
Ok, Best is a bit expensive, at last glance Lunch @ $14.99, Dinner @ $28.99 on Saturday and Sunday, less on the weekdays. One thing more - take note that the add a charge for whatever drinks or soft drinks you order (not for refills) and they add a gratuity, so don't tip twice). However, for all that you get, it just may be worth it.

DJ's International Buffet, Stewart Ave., Garden City (Asian & International)

Hibachi Grill station at DJ's International.

The last of my buffet reviews, for now, is my personal favorite for price and taste. DJ's International is the best value for the money, so I am going to start there. Lunch on the weekdays is $7.99, Dinner is $16.99. On the weekends, Brunch $10.99, Dinner $22.99. Where do you see that anymore?
More importantly, the food is excellent. At lunch & dinner, you will find a full sushi bar and their sushi master is excellent. They also have a soup bar, with about 5 different selections. The seafood bar has snow crab legs, fresh oysters, shrimp, mussels and clams on the half shell.
Here, their international bar is delicious. You can eat the eggplant parmigana, the pizza, the mini cordon bleu, the lamb stew, the stuffed seafood shells and pierogies and they will actually taste good. Oh, and try the creamed spinach, its very good. Then they have this philly cheese-steak thing wrapped in a light pastry dough. Its unbelievable.
Then there are your basics, lo mein, kung po shrimp, chicken with black bean sauce (excellent), peking duck, roast duck, dim sum and assorted dumplings, basil chicken (also excellent), ginger & scallion lobster and more.
Dessert is ok, but you wont want it anyway.