Lai Yuen – Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Lai Yuen - Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
What I Ordered
  • Lai Yuen Vegetable Dumplings
  • Alaskan Roll
  • Lychee

In Short: I love Asian fusion cuisine, it is exciting when I can get sushi and General Tsao at the same place. However, this restaurant- as popular as it is among locals- just didn’t do it for me.

When I worked near Lai Yuen, a lot of my coworkers loved to go there for lunch. I had been several times, and each time I left feeling very disappointed with my choices. But, everyone insisted that it was great food and so I thought something must have been wrong with me. I don’t eat Chinese food very often anyway because it is always so greasy and heavy I end up feeling sick afterwards, but my fiance and I decide to give this place another shot after bumping into a few friends that raved about it. They claimed it had been completely revamped, so we figured… What the heck!

Instead of bread, they bring you a customary large bowl of fried wantons with duck sauce, hot mustard, and soy sauce. I was starving so I dug in and I thought that the duck sauce and greasy wantons were as good as they always had been. I guess, though, that I’ve gotten to low sodium soy sauce that the regular soy sauce was way too salty for me; I couldn’t even eat it. But it wasn’t really needed since I was actually enjoying the duck sauce. Not a bad start to the meal.

For our apps, we ordered an egg roll and some steamed vegetable dumplings. I didn’t taste the egg roll but I heard nothing but complaints from across the table. So, I bit into my dumplings instead and they really weren’t very flavorful at all. The dumpling itself was very thick and floury and even dipped in the accompanying sauce, I couldn’t force down more than 2.

Next, I ordered an Alaskan sushi roll because I have been on a serious Alaskan roll kick lately, so I just couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t horrible, but definitely wasn’t great either. In fact, I really didn’t enjoy any of my dishes enough to finish them and had to resort back to wantons and duck sauce by the end of the meal just so I left feeling full.

All of our food came out at once (rather than getting our apps first and then our entrees). Luckily, we had a booth because if we’d just been sitting at a table for two, our food would definitely not have fit. I had felt a little overwhelmed with so many plates in front of me.

Not having really enjoyed anything but wantons and duck sauce, we ordered some lychee for dessert hoping to at least get some nutritional sustenance. Regrettably though, the fruit tasted like it came out of a can and had been poured onto a bed of ice. Another disappointment.

I had thought perhaps it was just me who wasn’t a big fan of the food here. This time though, I had a witness and we both agreed that we will not be coming back here for a Chinese or Japanese fix again.

Lai Yuen Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon