Yellow lanterns sway above a burbling indoor waterfall, whose murmurs mask the sound of keen knives slicing through flanks of fish behind Water Moon’s sushi bar. Inside the bustling kitchen, pinches of spices culled from Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai culinary traditions grace dumplings and spring rolls as thick or glassy noodles entwine with vegetables, duck, seafood, or pork beneath a sprig of leafy herbs. Above the dining room’s black lacquered chairs and curved, orange banquette seating, wallpaper inspired by antique scrolls teems with classical characters and the definitive lyrics to “Louie Louie.”
In 1979, Sam Chan arrived in New York City from his native Hong Kong. He quickly set to work moving up the ranks of the restaurant industry chain—from dishwasher to prep cook to chef maitre'd and finally to owner of his own establishment, Sichuan Pavillion. Chan poured his heart and soul into his restaurant, painstakingly developing a menu of freshly made authentic cuisine from all the distinct regions of the China. In time, Sam's son Ricky joined his father to help run the business, drawing on years working there to help create a new menu as an ode to Chinese-American culture and cuisine.
The restaurant’s seasonal tasting menus feature morsels of exotic treats such as marinated jellyfish or fivespice-salted Peking chicken. Made-to-order dishes include steamed pork dumplings and slow-simmered spicy Sichuan tofu. In addition to whipping up traditional delicacies, the restaurant's chefs also show off their skills with plates of Americanized Chinese fare enlivened by unexpected touches, such as General Chan's chicken made with succulent dark meat or surf and turf of filet mignon and sea scallops stir fried in a zesty black pepper sauce.
Green Leaf's cuisine craftsmen chop, slice, and stir-fry traditional Chinese and Thai dishes. Diners whet their palates with a pair of crunchy egg rolls before selecting dishes from Green Leaf's menu of 21 chef's specialty entrees to fill out their meal. Morsels of crispy chicken breast march lockstep across a plate of General Tso's chicken, coated in shining hot-sauce armor ($12.95). Sizzling shredded beef nestles next to hot pepper in a warm bed of spinach ($13.95), and Twinkie and Pinkie, a combo of shrimp and scallops ($15.95), fight villainous hunger like a seafood substitute for Batman and Robin. Green Leaf's prompt and friendly staff will also accommodate vegetarian requests.
At Chili Chicken Indian Twist, palates on a mission to explore eastern cuisines can traverse the esculent gamut of both Indian and Chinese cuisine on the extensive menu. Warm body interiors with a bowl of sweet-corn soup ($3) or lightly breaded hot and crispy shrimp with a sweet chili sauce ($7), or sate subcontinent-shaped stomachs with Indian treats such as samosas ($5), lamb tikka masala ($13), or vegetable clay-pot curry for a traditional taste of vibrant, aromatic spices ($9). Alternatively, those with stomachs hankering to venture north of the Himalayas can try double-fried tofu in a mild chili-ginger sauce ($9) or bombay szechwan fried rice with shrimp ($10). Chili Chicken Indian Twist also offers a list of domestic and imported beer ($5–$8), as well as house wines by the glass ($6.50), ideal for swigging before partaking in blindfolded slam-dunk contests.
Red lanterns cast a warm glow over burnished wood floors inside Village Gourmet China Bistro & Sushi, and hand-painted murals of blooming flowers and scenic mountains adorn the walls. In the kitchen, chefs pan-sear duck pot stickers, sizzle sesame chicken in woks, and steam filets of chilean sea bass. Diners can also take a seat at a cherry-red sushi bar to watch chefs craft specialty sushi rolls like the heart-shaped, tuna-wrapped Valentine roll with avocado and crisp apple.
The cooks at Masala Wok specialize in flavorful, aromatic Hakka-style cuisine, blending together Indian and Chinese culinary techniques. Pan-fried dry chili chicken, Singapore-style hoisin shrimp, and golden-fried cauliflower dumplings are a few popular menu items. Patrons can order carryout or stay to eat in the casual restaurant.