NEW ROYAL DRAGON
6528 E. 101st St.
Food: ￼￼￼￼3.5 Stars
Atmosphere: ￼￼￼3 Stars
Service: ￼￼￼￼3.5 Stars
(on a scale of 0 to 5 stars)
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; accepts all major credit cards.
We recently dined at the new spot with a visiting granddaughter and her 3-year-old son, Jacob, who chowed down on chicken nuggets, rice and sweet potato fries ($4.50) and some of our edamame ($4).
The menu is not as lengthy as one sees at many Chinese restaurants, but it features most of the dishes familiar to Americans.
I ordered the moo shu pork with four pancakes ($10), a dish that reportedly first was seen in this country in New York and Washington, D.C., in the mid-1960s. It can have a number of combinations of ingredients depending on the restaurant or cook.
The New Royal Dragon version included a stir-fry mix of small pieces of pork, zucchini, scallions, carrots, red peppers and cabbage. The pancakes were nothing like American breakfast pancakes. They were thin, steamed wrappers, more like a spring roll wrapper though not as elastic, or perhaps a very thin tortilla.
Some restaurants allow the customer to put the dish together, and some have a server do it. In this case, Schuzhen came by just as the platter came out of the kitchen, and she did the honors.
She put a pancake flat on a plate, spooned on some sweet hoisin sauce and added a mound of the moo shu pork. Then she folded the pancake edges over in a rectangular shape to hold in the mixture. After putting four together, there still was some moo shu pork and hoisin sauce left over, which was tasty with or without the wrapper. I was all over the place eating the dish, using fingers, fork and plastic chopsticks.
We also shared a small bowl of egg drop soup that was thick with egg, along with two other main dishes — hibachi scallops ($15) and sweet and sour chicken ($8.50).
The hibachi scallops included a mix of broccoli, red peppers and onions, topped with a generous amount of small, sweet-tasting bay scallops. As with most of the entrees, it came with a choice of brown, white or fried rice. We had the latter, which was moist and dotted with peas and carrots.
The chicken was among 12 specials that come with a choice of selected soups and appetizers. The chicken was crispy on the outside, tender inside and came with a thick sweet-and-sour sauce. For the sides, we chose hot sour soup and a chicken egg roll.
The soup included a mix of chicken, egg, mushrooms, green onions and tofu in a spicy-hot sauce. The egg roll, like the chicken, was crispy and had a fresh flavor.