By Carlotta Mohamed
A new Chinese restaurant is now serving authentic Shanghainese cuisine right in the heart of Bayside.
You Garden Xiao Long Bao, located at 41-07 Bell Blvd., made its grand opening debut Aug. 28, treating guests to free samples of its signature dishes.
“There’s not a lot of authentic Shanghai Chinese restaurants in Bayside, especially on Bell Boulevard,” said Victoria San, manager of You Garden Xiao Long Bao. “We actually are busy everyday, since people are coming out to try our authentic dishes. Hopefully, we continue to keep busy after a month or so.”
San said the new restaurant is an expansion of their Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House at 135-33 40th Rd. in downtown Flushing, which is usually packed with customers during the weekday and weekends for dinner.
You Garden took over the 5,417-square-foot space that once housed the Golden Wine and Liquor Store, which is now located across the street.
In comparison to its Flushing counterpart, the Bayside restaurant is more spacious with 80 seats for customers, San said. In the Flushing location there is often an hour-long wait.
“Part of opening up a new restaurant, we hope to expand it so people won’t have to wait that long in Flushing,” said San. “People can go to the one in Bayside, and it can lessen the burden on the restaurant in Flushing.”
Similar to its Flushing menu, You Garden offers its signature dishes of steamed soup dumplings, or “xiao long bao,” served in a bamboo basket, and roasted Peking duck. Guests can receive a free sample of both during the restaurant’s ongoing promotion, San said.
The soup-filled dumplings are made using the same techniques as dumpling houses near the Yuyuan Garden in the Old City region of Shanghai, China — hence the restaurant’s name.
Other items on the Bayside menu include cold dish appetizers, soups, beef with broccoli, fish filet with pickled vegetables, mango shrimp, sweet and sour shrimp casserole, and sweet and sour crispy chicken.
Guests have the option to dine in or order takeout by the window in the storefront.
Upon entering the restaurant guests are welcomed by paintings of flowers and birds along the walls, lantern fixtures hanging from the ceiling above their table and a VIP section separated by a curtain of beads.
“When you walk in, you actually feel like you went to a different place,” said San. “It’s a pretty Chinese feel, and that’s the one you don’t really see on the boulevard or in Flushing for that matter.”
San said that so far there has been a great influx of guests to the new restaurant on Bell Boulevard.
“We’re still getting used to Bayside and hopefully the people will get used to our restaurant…we’re still adjusting,” said San. “We just hope they love it.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha