King Yum Chinese & American Restaurant
181-08 Union Tpke., Fresh Meadows
Sun.-Thurs. noon to 9:30 p.m.; Fri. Noon to Midnight; Sat. noon to 11:30 p.m.
Cuisine: Chinese, American
Credit Cards: Yes, all major
Celebrating its 60th anniversary as a family-owned operation, King Yum is still cooking in the traditionalist fashion of Chinese and Polynesian cuisine, which is now a staple in the Fresh Meadows community. Beginning as a two store-front property, through the years outlasting all of its competitors, this beautiful restaurant now runs the length of five full commercial spaces all wrapped into one delightful eatery. The space is separated into three different rooms: the first equipped with a private full bar, a Polynesian tiki room and a stunningly-decorated traditional dining area, which the owner calls the China Room.
Upon meeting Robin Eng, the son of King Yum founder James Eng, the family hospitality is evident in the atmosphere. Everyone seems to know each other in this neighborhood hot spot. Even if you don’t live in the neighborhood, Robin and his staff will make you feel at home with big smiles and tasty food.
As we sat, we could hear the regulars chatter about how amazing the restaurant’s recent renovations looked. King Yum took part in a restaurant makeover show, soon to air on TV. King Yum has also been visited by celebrity chef Emeril Legasse who helped create and perfect some of their dishes. A major motion picture, “The Other Guys” staring Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell, film a few scenes here. Since King Yum has been known over the years for their Karaoke Friday nights, it seemed like a perfect fit to have the picture’s Karaoke scene be filmed at this location.
The meal started off with one of Robin’s “must try” creations, a roast pork turnover, a classic spin on a dim sum item. The turnover has a perfect warm and flakey outside covering with stewed pork filling that tantalized my taste buds. A few of their signature items include plump and tender spare ribs that were spot on and a giant golden fried egg roll that trumps any possible current or future competitors. The daily special was calamari, giant and fried with scallions and spicy green peppers with a General Tso’s dipping sauce. Yum is Right.
For our entrée Robin recommended one of Emeril’s favorite dishes, bacon wrapped butter-fried shrimp… must I say more? Their Wor Shu steak, a bone-in-shell steak served over a chef’s special ginger sauce, was spectacular. The dish is served sliced ready to share, and melted across my teeth as I bit down to enjoy the overflow of flavor.
King Yum definitely sets the bar high when it comes to top-notch food and quality service, I can’t wait to go back next Friday for some of their other tasty treats and some Karaoke on the side.