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Petite Soo Chow (Cliffside Park NJ)
||607 Gorge Road,|
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2011 Issue: 18(2) page: 27 and 35
The name says one city, the food offers a few Shanghai dishes, others from nearby Zhejiang and Jiangsu, and just a few from Suzhou (the current Pinyin spelling). This eatery replaces a now defunct restaurant in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, of the same name. One of the owners, Mindy Zhou, makes fresh soup dumplings here and everyone observes her doing so almost all of the time. These snack foods satisfy the multitudes who come specifically for these delicious delights.
The xiao long bao are fantastic and worth watching Mindy while your salivary glands rev up your appetite. Taste-wise, they are very good even though we wish they had more soup within. The Chive Box dumplings are tops, loaded with Chinese chives, and stuffed to the hilt. Pan Fried Juicy Buns are terrific, too, their thick doughy exterior are as intended, their insides loaded with soup.
You may recall in Volume 13(2), in the Letters to the Editor column that Martin asked if anyone remembers Petit Soochow, a restaurant he adored on Manhattan's East Broadway? Associate Editor Harley Spiller, owner of the world's largest collection of Chinese take-out menus did recall, but alas could not locate its menu. Martin was waiting patiently to eat more foods from this region and wanted to know of other Suzhou restaurants. At that time we could not help, now we tell him and all that this is the only place to date that has some foods from Suzhou.
Go, enjoy, and be pleased to know the owners of this Petite Soo Chow are offspring of the original Manhattan eatery carryng on a family tradition. But one does need to cross the George Washington Bridge to get to this Bergen County classic. It fills up on week-ends, so go early and do enjoy their great casseroles. The Fish Head in Earthen Casserole is the one we remember best; do not miss the chance to make it part of your food memories. Three Cups Chicken is a winner, too, as are the Oyster Pancakes, Dried Scallop with Squash & Pork Tendon, and Conch with Basil. Try the Beef Chow Fun made dry, and the Shredded Pork & Baby Shrimp Rice Cake and other dishes, too. Learn why so many of us loved the place their elders made famous!