Yep sounds about right! They were supposed to have a liquor license when they opened but something happened and the deal /transfer fell through. The bar was already built (and fully stocked at my last visit 5 years ago) Although your prices don’t sound bad I recall thinking the place was a rip off too.
If the food was good, the prices are fine. But when its worse than takeout, yeah, I have a problem.
Funny about the bar. Guess those bottles have been sitting there ever since.
I think it might have been joon who said something like “this is slightly better than take out but 3-4 times the cost.” Therefore, I never went and I live pretty close to rb.
He was right on the cost, but not the quality. It was worse than takeout. It doesn’t take much to please me. Like I said, it was not awful. The chicken would have been a good appetizer (if cut smaller), but if I wanted a literal mound of deep fried chunks, I would have went to KFC, or dare I say it, the infamous Zhang’s Grille. Maybe a Mai Tai would have put me in a better mood but that ship sailed…or was never even built.
I know there are several Chinese threads, but anyone have more info on House of Chong? I swore I would never go back to Crown Palace Middletown, so a sit-down restaurant with ancient Tuxedoed waiters and a full bar is tempting. I have one friend and his wife who rave about it. My parents ate there years ago and did not like it. My friend today hated it (I had suggested it since we were passing by it en route to Red Bank). Good? Bad? Ugly?
I used to get delivery from House of Chong and really enjoyed their food. They stopped delivery to my area several years ago so it’s been awhil but it was good. It’s rare to have a Chinese place with a bar so that’s a neat thing about it, I would give it a try for sure.
I just went to Crown Palace on 79 in Marlboro and it was sub-par. There was nothing special about it and the place / decor is really starting to show it’s age.
“Starting to show its age”-- that is EXACTLY how I would describe the Middletown one (I have not been to the Marlboro location). Tuxedoed waiters in their 70’s, a flickering pink neon light running across the ceiling border of the restaurant, and those God awful banquet chairs.
If you ate there in 1985, went into a coma, came out of it, and went back now, I doubt you’d spot any difference…except prices!
My sense of the place is that they were shooting for a PF Chang’s kind of thing, but pulled up a little short. As you note, the food is meh with nothing really worth going back for. And service is spotty too. A lot of Red Bank restos are like that.
Liquor Licenses in NJ are a topic worthy of several Sopranos episodes.
As a thought for next time, you probably would have been happier at Oriental Empire with a six pack of Kirin.
54 English Plaza, Red Bank, NJ 07701
It’s American Chinese with some Thai stuff thrown in, but is basically the only edible Chinese in the Red Bank area.
Sounds good to me. I will have to try it. Thank you!
Well let’s see…
Decor: What’s the Chinese word for kitsch? And no windows. Suspended styrofoam ceiling.
Menu: Extensive but indifferent. Americano Cantonesi. All dishes taste the same, even those labled Sichuan.
Patrons: Preponderance of middle aged Americans.
Dead by: 8:15pm. 9:00pm Sat/Sun.
Service: Generally acceptable.
Date: Since 1969 (Let’s do the time warp again !) Dark red vinyl seating is original, a homage to Saarinen.
Pluses: Have tables, chairs and a liquor license. And tablecloths!
Negatives: None that I can think of, it’s a perfect example of it’s type of thing.
Still the same, but the son that was overseas is coming back to run Middletown. Maybe some nice changes coming as Mr. Chong takes a little step to retirement. For the near future, stick with American Chinese basics here and it is good.
What was your problem with Crown? I think they put out better food all around there.
House of chong is on par with little szechuan I would say. I haven’t been to either in probably a year but I’ve been to both many times over the last decade…more than that. I’d give the portion aspect to house of chong. Food quality/taste depends on what dishes you like.
You’re honestly better just driving to sichuan cottage. You’re not too far
Thank you for the breakdown. “Americano Cantonesi” is hilarious.
If you would like to read something more extensive I wrote on Crown, here is my review. A couple years old, though. It was not terrible, I just thought it was so average that a picture of it could have been next to the dictionary definition. And too dated. I like places stuck in time, but they just couldn’t pull it off.
Johnny, an update on my review of Zhang’s Grille, which was shared on this forum by another poster and what actually brought me on here: the owner some months back cursed me out in an email saying I didn’t know what good food was. I didn’t bother to respond.
If you thought they overused the batter/deep fryer at Temple, then you should check out Chong. They are moving a ton of General Tso through that place.
Don’t get me wrong, the food is good for what it is. Prices are at least 30% lower than Temple. And they have a bar.
But I couldn’t get Helga back if the moon was blue cheese and they were serving slices.
My parents however would love it.
Pretty sure 40% of the meals out of these places are general tso and chicken and broccoli.
There’s a really great documentary on Netflix about the ole General:
Deep fried chicken is a mainstay at Chinese restaurants, but the meal was advertised as lightly fried and the restaurant as “gourmet” in the title. I’ve had more appealing meals fall out of a brown paper bag.
+1 for this film!!! Saw it at the Tribeca Film Fest on Easter Sunday the year it premiered–Jews seeing a movie about Chinese food on Easter? OF COURSE! And there were dumplings before, and Grand Sichuan after.
I’m now wondering if there’s a thread for food films…off to search, but I’ll add my other favorite here–The Search for Israeli Cuisine. FANTASTIC.