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Sunday, January 29, 2017

At Lotus Cafe, 4-course Chinese New Year dinner is something to really crow about

Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp & Snap Peas in Sweet White Sauce is one of the entrees available when you order a special Chinese New Year meal at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Friday marked the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, according to the Chinese Zodiac, so we wasted no time celebrating at one of our favorite restaurants, Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.

The modest storefront in the Home Depot Shopping Center is serving a fixed-price, four-course Chinese New Year Menu for $29.95 per person through Feb. 12.

Entrees include:

Filet Mignon Casserole with Cellophane Noodles and Enoki Sprouts, Filet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves, Braised Half Tangerine Duck, Sizzling Jumbo Shrimp & Snap Peas in Sweet White Sauce, Walnut Prawns; and Dragon & Pheonix, a chicken-and-shrimp combo.

Late Saturday afternoon, we grabbed a chilled bottle of French Champagne to have with our meal, and drove a short distance to the BYO. 

Highlights included the Lobster Spring Roll appetizer, dipped in sinus-clearing Chinese mustard; some of the biggest, crunchiest shrimp I've ever been served in a restaurant, and the delicate snow pea leaves with our second entree.

The special meal can be ordered for lunch or dinner from the Chinese New Year Menu on a flier available at the register.


Each of us started with a small bowl of Seafood Hot & Sour Soup. A second choice was Pork & Wonton Melon Consomme.
Only one appetizer is available, a Lobster Spring Roll and batter-dipped Chicken Wing.
For her entree, my wife chose a large platter of Filet of Flounder in Ginger Sauce with Snow Pea Leaves. We shared the delicious fish and wonderful greens, but took home plenty of leftovers, including two of the jumbo shrimp from my entree.
Each of us also had a small bowl of brown rice.
The special Chinese New Year meal includes ice cream or the house-made Chinese Rice Pudding (served to a minimum of four persons), but I asked for fruit and was happy with pineapple chunks, even though they came from a can.
A bottle of dry French Champagne from Costco Wholesale in Wayne was the perfect celebratory drink, along with a pot of Chinese tea.
Lotus Cafe gives you chocolate fortune cookies with the check.

Details

Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center in Hackensack; 1-201-488-7070.

BYO, large parking lot. Fixed-price Chinese New Year Menu served through Feb. 12. Reservations recommended at dinner.

You can order takeout and delivery online at a redesigned website.