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When it opened, Resorts World Casino attracted customers to the gaming floor with a veritable sensory overload of flashing lights, ringing bells and clanging coins.
Now, close to one year after the curtain went up on the South Ozone Park casino at Aqueduct Racetrack, customers are getting a taste of a culinary hidden gem on the third floor.
Genting Palace, one of the fine dining options at Resorts World, presents authentic Chinese cuisine prepared by chefs straight out of Hong Kong for hungry casino customers looking to unwind and adventurous eaters visiting just for the food.
“Anyone can eat here — you don’t have to be a casino customer,” said Francis Wang, the restaurant’s manager and a Flushing resident for 30 years. “We have customers who are regulars, but they aren’t all necessarily gamers.”
The menu focuses on southern Chinese cooking with Taiwanese and Southeast Asian sensibilities added to heighten the flavor profile. Many classic Chinese restaurant items grace the menu, but Wang said the main draw to Genting Palace are the dishes that attract discerning foodies — including live seafood straight out of the restaurant’s exquisitely clean tanks, bird’s nest soup and sauteed frog.
But Wang said the restaurant’s main attraction, which has Queens eaters buzzing, can be summed up in two words: dim sum.
The traditional Chinese dish routinely eaten for breakfast and brunch is an experience all its own. Prepared as bite-sized or individual portions and served in small steamer baskets, dim sum is a food meant to bring family and friends together in a boisterous and talkative setting.
“It’s a meal to enjoy with family and friends,” said Wang. “It is sort of like a reunion for families. They eat together and talk constantly. That is why it sometimes takes a long time to eat — because people are always talking.”
And it is a safe bet that most of the talking is about the food itself, as the dim sum menu is loaded with uniquely interesting and enticing options. Rather than be picky about the choices, the best course of action at Genting Palace is to order a lot — and to keep an eye on your server for a refill when the plates go empty.
Genting Palace’s dim sum boasts an array of dumplings, including shrimp, pork and soup, as well as more daring dishes like beef tripe and chicken feet. Noodle fans should definitely sample the cheong fun — a broad rice noodle rolled with fillings like shrimp and golden chives, pork and mushrooms and minced beef with Chinese parsley.
One of the major standouts is the pork ribs, served in a style that might be unfamiliar to some. The ribs are butchered into small sections, steamed with fermented soybeans and served with black bean paste, yielding a moist, slippery texture. Another favorite among customers, according to Wang, is the shrimp siu mai — an open-topped steamed dumpling.
All of the dishes are intensely authentic, which is important when serving one of the largest Chinese populations in the world outside China.
“We must be unique and we must be authentic,” said Wang. “Queens is a very diverse place with many Asian Americans. If we are not authentic, they will not come here.”
And they are coming — for the genuine food, the elegant tea and the prompt service. Plus, it is a great place to drown one’s sorrows after a rough day at the slots.
“We give the people a place to sit down, relax and enjoy a good meal,” said Wang. “If they are losing at the games, they can come in here and improve their mood. We are like the backstage area of the casino.”
Dim sum is served Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., while Genting Palace is open for dinner Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 1-888-888-8801 to make reservations or visit rwnewyork.com to view the full menu or reserve a spot.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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