Master Chef is a new restaurant that has taken the place of various previous Chinese restaurants at the same location. In the past, this location was Empire Szechuan for a long time, and it was a very popular restaurant with great food, despite its very modest atmosphere. Then, the location shut down and restarted up as Golden Temple II, but that evidently quickly died down as well. Finally, after construction and closure for a very long time, this location has opened up again as Master Chef.
The location is very ideal. It is right off of Jericho Turnpike, and it essentially has its own little island with decent parking. There is plenty of space for the restaurant as well. I was not sure what to expect, and the name of the restaurant, “Master Chef,” struck me as rather tacky.
Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try. Upon entry, I was very pleasantly surprised. The interior is dramatically different than what it once was in prior years. They significantly reconstructed sections and elaborately decorated what seems like every inch of the restaurant.
The decor is very extravagant, and can be described as grand. It makes you feel as though — at some level — you are in a palace. The tables are large and comfortable. There is both booth seating and regular tables with chairs. One of the most noticeable aspects was the chopsticks — they provide you with metal chopsticks that have a disposable foam “tip” that is in a Master Chef paper wrapping. I was very impressed by this feature, as I personally have not seen restaurants offer the disposable tip for chopsticks before, especially in such fine presentation.
Many of the qualities within the restaurant do not seem cheap. Rather, I could imagine that the restaurant had a lot of money poured into it — more than needed to be — for this atmosphere.
We ordered the soup dumplings as an appetizer. I actually have never had soup dumplings before, but I was very pleased with both presentation and taste. They were done very well, and full of flavor and seasoning. I would order this again, and I even want them now as I write about it.
Then, we shared the shrimp in garlic sauce and dried sautéed string beans. Both dishes were great. I would not say they were anything out of the ordinary from another quality Chinese restaurant, but it was very tasty nonetheless. I would order these dishes again as well.
Their tea is noteworthy. They serve it in fine China with a very attractive tea pot. The flavor itself is also very good. It did not taste like the regular Jasmine tea conventionally served at most Chinese restaurants. Big plus.
Overall, I had a very pleasant experience and impression at this new restaurant. The service, additionally, was very attentive. In fact, it was almost too attentive. There were times I felt as though a waiter could practically sit down with us at the table because of how carefully they were making sure we were okay. It is possible that a lot of this extra TLC is a consequence of the restaurant’s newness, and therefore, the restaurant is doing its very best to impress its customers and leave a very positive impression.
However, it did work.
I would return to Master Chef, and I look forward to the next time I go. This is a great addition to Syosset.