The A on the front door of Lake Pavilion beckoned like a flashing welcome sign. And we happily turned on to a block off of Main Street in Flushing to find parking. The idea of yummy Chinese dim sum made us smile and delighted us to learn that this Chinese restaurant earns an A from the New York City Health Department.
Delicate shrimp dumplings, shrimp wrapped in silky rice noodles, pork in thin tofu skin with a syrupy glaze, eggplant stuffed with shrimp, salt baked skinny fish, chunks of boneless chicken, thick pork puns, hacked up sweet spareribs, mounds of noodles and greens fill the carts the ladies wheel between tables. And we wanted a taste of it all.
We stopped visiting Lake Pavilion after a scathing health department report in the fall of 2014. Even though the restaurant cleaned up quickly and got the all-clear from the health department, we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat there right away.
But on this Sunday morning, we made a trip to a nearby Costco, in Rego Park, to load up on household cleaning stuff and paper goods, and decided to swing by the restaurant to check it out again.
Lake Pavilion fills the old Palace diner right off the Long Island Expressway and you can’t beat the convenient location. The bright, sun-filled restaurant looked spotless when we arrived. Our timing seemed pretty good. Only a handful of people waited around the reception desk. While the main room and all the little side rooms were full, the wait was only about five minutes.
Frequently, we share a table with others. But this time, we got a table for two jammed in between two big tables filled with families. And the food started coming almost as soon as we sat down.
The ladies wheeled their carts with the steaming bamboo containers filled with everything we love to eat and tried to explain dishes we hadn’t tasted before.
My husband Nick puts fiery spicy red sauce and mustard on most of the food he eats for lunch. But I love the delicate taste of the naked, plump dumplings and it all tasted just right to me. Nick held off on dumping the sauce on the delicate tofu skin rolls stuffed with pork. “This dish doesn’t need anything,” he said.
Now we plan to visit Lake Pavilion for dinner when the seafood menu shines. We’ll tell you about that in the coming weeks.