Dining Out: An Asian feast

February 9, 2015 Helen Klein
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A neighborhood staple since 1991, New Ruan’s Chinese Restaurant in Bensonhurst proves through its every dish, not to mention its superior service, why the family-owned eatery is a success.

On a recent Friday night, my daughter and I feasted on an array of the restaurant’s dishes and were impressed with each and every one, from soup through appetizers and the bountiful main courses that we sampled.

To start off, we enjoyed the Hot and Sour Soup $2.75), which was subtly tart and peppered, replete with tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and scallions among the goodies, and the Szechuan Rice Noodle Soup for two ($6.95), which was really large enough to serve as a full meal, chock full of shrimp, meat, vegetables and broad noodles in a flavorful broth. Both were studies in contrast – with the crunch of vegetables playing off against the smooth bouillon base.

That was just the beginning. We moved on to thin and crispy Scallion Pancakes ($5.50), served with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce, and Fried Bananas ($4.95), both of which were not oily in the least. The amply battered banana chunks were as tender inside as they were crispy outside, delicately sweet without being cloying.

Moving on to the main course, we enjoyed the Pork with Garlic Sauce ($11.95), gorgeously glistening and crammed with fresh vegetables, including strips of red and green pepper. The pork was sweet and tender, and the sauce perfectly flavored. It was as beautiful to look at as it was delicious, presented on a pedestal garnished with radish roses.

We also sampled the Singapore Style Mei Fun ($12.50), delicate noodles studded with chunks of meat and vegetables, in a spicy, curry-inflected sauce, whose warm and inviting fragrance rose up to greet us when the plate was set down at our table.

Finally, we enjoyed the Shrimp Fried Rice ($9.95), which was generously endowed with the sweet crustaceans, as well as other goodies. The rice was significantly darker than the usual fried rice you get in Chinese restaurants because, explained Co-Owner Donald Ruan, it is made with soy sauce imported from China.

“We choose only top-of-the-line ingredients,” Ruan noted. “Whatever is fresh and available in the market, we use.”

Ruan, who owns the eatery founded by his father with his brother, stressed that the restaurant is constantly innovating. “We are constantly changing and improving the menu,” he said, noting that not only does the restaurant prepare a wide array of traditional Chinese dishes, but also American Chinese food and classic American food, including steaks and chops so if someone in a party does not enjoy Chinese food, there is a variety of appealing alternatives.

The restaurant also plans special events.  On Sunday, February 15, for instance, it will be hosting Rock, Pop and Doo Wop with Sal and Joe from 5-9 p.m. For such occasions, New Ruan’s offers a special four-course prix fixe menu for $30 that includes soup, an appetizer (from a selection of five), a main dish (from a choice of six) and ice cream for dessert. Such events are a regular fixture at the eatery, adding to its appeal.

But, for anyone who enjoys Chinese food impeccably served, a meal at New Ruan’s any day or night has its appeal.

We will certainly be back.

1955 86th Street
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Free delivery within 1½ miles

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