Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

MIDDLETOWN: A RETRO CHINESE NEW YEAR

020216houseofchong6-500x240-5518371Shrimp lo mein, left, and shrimp in garlic sauce at House of  Chong. Edward Chong, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

020216houseofchong1-220x154-6706877Chinese new year begins Monday, and diners with a yen for a little time travel along with well-made Asian cuisine might set their GPS for House of Chong in Middletown.

The restaurant, located in the Union Square Mall, has been serving Cantonese and Szechuan-style Chinese delicacies since 1976, owner Edward Chong tells us. His parents first opened House of Chong in Brick in 1969, and though that restaurant is now closed, the Middletown eatery remains a family affair — and something of throwback.
020216houseofchong4-500x325-1459718Big bowls of soup such as hot and sour and wonton come with all of the lunch specials and family-style dinners. From the bar, a banana daiquiri, below. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

102915houseofchong-220x220-4580649The place is something of a time capsule to the ’70’s, with nostalgia-inducing decor that seems to appeal to young adults as much as older clientele.

A long, ebony cocktail bar gracing the front of the restaurant offers classic Polynesian drinks such as mai tais, daiquiries, and pina coladas with festive little paper umbrellas.

Some menu choices are straight out of the past, too, but in the very best way. All may be ordered ala carte.

The retro styling of this restaurant isn’t the reason it’s been in business so long, though. It’s all about the fresh, clear approach that the kitchen utilizes in preparing dishes.

An order of shrimp lo mein ($7.25) had plenty of shrimp and accompanying vegetables, but the non-mushy, al dente treatment of the egg noodles had us taking special notice. This lo mein is above average in every way.

The garlic shrimp ($7.75) were plump, juicy and spicy enough so that you knew you were eating something meant to convey heat, but not sweat-inducing.

Traditional Americanized Chinese options, from eggrolls to chicken chow mein fill out the menu. We loved the egg foo young, a dish that PieHole had given up ordering elsewhere because it was too often coated in grease and a thickened, starchy, flavorless gravy. House of Chong gives it a more ethereal treatment, with a thinner but full-flavored gravy.

Modern favorites also grace the menu. Grand Marnier shrimp are made with colossal, deep-fried shrimp served swimming in an orange-tinged cream sauce. Singapore-style mei fun, those thin rice noodles mixed with assorted protein and vegetables, came prepared with a healthy dose of fiery curry powder.

Three distinct dining areas offer tables big enough for large groups and tables for four or fewer. A raised platform with plenty of cushy booths offer a more romantic-date-night ambiance.

Busier on weekends than during the week, House of Chong does a brisk takeout business, and offers delivery on the Greater Red Bank Green. Prices for lunch specials run from about $6.50 to $7.50 per dish, which and includes your choice of soup.

Open weekdays 11:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

susan-ericson-9177851

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."
TRAINING UNDER FIRE
RED BANK: Volunteer firefighters train to cut into pitched roofs under active fire conditions.
“SUPERMOM” WANTS YOUR VOTE
Business owner. Dyed in the wool, lifelong Red Banker. Mother of six. Yup, seems like Anita Pierce does it all. In other words, she’s ...
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
RED BANK: Town prepares for Saturday's Pride in the Park celebration with another lawn art design by public works supervisor and Fire Chief ...
MOVIES VIA LIBRARY
RED BANK: Public Library now offers members access to streaming movies via Kanopy, with some 30,000 titles and tons of content for kids.
NEW RAINBOW CROSSWALK ON BROWN PLACE
Kicking off pride month, some Brown Place and Spring Street residents, ages 5 to 11, constructed a rainbow crosswalk with chalk over the wee ...
WHAT TO WEAR?
RED BANK: Dressmakers' mannequins appeared to mull what to wear as they looked down on Monmouth Street last week.
SYMPHONY RETURNS JUNE 29
RED BANK: An annual crowd pleaser returns June 29 with a free concert in Marine Park by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, RiverCenter said ...
Heard on the Green
Heard on the Green
DUCK RESCUE EFFORT
Duckling rescue attempt underway in sewer at East Front and Broad, 10:29 a.m.
HOUSING CRUNCH
Demolition begins for new apartments at Globe Court and Mechanic Street.
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...