If it was authentic Chinese Food you’re after, Yao’s Diner fits the bill. If it’s a romantic setting, or Americanized Chinese food, then definitely keep on rolling.
It’s clearly not a place you would go on a first date. Though there was a couple there that appeared to be on a first date. I don’t give him a good chance for a second date!
And, the bathroom is clearly there for emergency purposes only.
All that being said, the wait staff was excellent and our waitress did offer us suggestions as we were looking for authentic Chinese food! And that’s exactly what we got.
Yao’s Diner is definitely a hole in the wall kind of place, and if you don’t know where you’re going you’re sure to pass it right by (Just ask Wandering Jew, err Mee Yong Joo… he finally arrived once appetizers were on the table. Perhaps he knew what he was doing after all!).
Yao’s Diner is located at 2503 Middle Country Road, Centereach, NY 11720.
Even with the help of an address, if you’re relying on Google Maps on an Android phone, then perhaps you better look for a visual cues. Like this one:
The restaurant was BYOB (at least we think it was… they didn’t speak much English there, so we took the liberty of it). That always scores high with us. We know if a restaurant doesn’t depend on revenue from alcoholic beverages, they have to put their focus on the quality of the food.
So, what did we order? Our waitress picked out all the dishes we ordered with just a few requests from us. We started off with a few appetizers:
- Multi-Flavors Spare Ribs (these are NOT the typical spare ribs you would expect to encounter in a Chinese Restaurant. These were meaty and tasty… not sweet)
- Szechuan Pork Dumplings
Next we ordered a few entrees and one vegetable side dish:
- Sliced Basa Fish w/Silken Tofu Pot (that was a Famous Szechuan Dish (that’s what it was listed under on the menu… so it must be true!)
- Chicken in Spicy Hot Pot w/Mixed Vegetables
- Shredded Pork w/Baby Bamboo Shoots
- Dry Sauteed String Beans
I’m going to leave the detailed analysis to the other Mee’s who said they wanted to post a separate review. I will let them then break down the dishes.
Yao’s Diner has now moved in to First Place in our Survey of the Chinese Restaurants on Long Island. We have many roads still left to travel. Will Yao’s stay #1? Time will tell.
As has become our tradition, here are the fortunes that we received (spelling IS correct):
- “You adventure could lead to happiness”
- “The kind of advice we do not like to take often turns out to the be the best”
- “The life of every woman or man –the heart of it– is pure and holy joy”
- “The path is getting easier from here on out. Luck is helping”
Thank you, my friends, for allowing this Mee the opportunity to share my opinion with you.
— Lonnie Goldman aka Mee Magnum “Chop Chop!”