3 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Trey Yuen

Mandeville: 600 Causeway Blvd. 985-626-4476. Map.
Nice Casual
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
No major restaurant attracts as wide a range of customers on the North Shore as does Trey Yuen. Diners converge from all over the area, even Baton Rouge. Few local Chinese restaurants can match its kitchen for versatility and ambition; almost none are even close in terms of surroundings. In its specialties (anything with seafood or tong cho sauce), it’s consistently excellent.

WHAT’S GOOD
The Wong brothers–all of whom are chefs–emphasize fresh, local food, particularly in the seafood department. Trout, alligator, soft-shell crabs, crawfish, local shrimp and oysters–all of them figure prominently. They introduced tong-cho sauce to the area, which right there set the place apart. (It’s a translucent, sweet-heat sauce that seems to go with anything.) The bar, wine list, and desserts are also significantly better than standard Chinese restaurants offer.

BACKSTORY
Trey Yuen set new standards for New Orleans Chinese restaurants when it opened in 1981. Until then, even the best Chinese places were essentially neighborhood cafes, slinging the food out in minimal surrounding at minimal prices. The Wong brothers, who had been successful in Hammond for years, built an impressive restaurant in Mandeville (and, a few years later, another one in Hammond). They made up a much more ambitious menu than had previously seen hereabouts, and defined themselves (quite rightly) as gourmet chefs. Since then, all Chinese restaurants have been compared with it.

DINING ROOM
An impressive domed dining room, flanked by two smaller rooms with windows giving onto the lush, exotic Asian gardens planted outside. The dining areas are extensively furnished with genuine Chinese antiques. The service staff is on the young side and not always up to speed on the fine points of the food. But the Wongs are always there, and they can explain everything.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Spring rolls (with pork or vegetables).
Pot stickers.
Spicy chicken wings.
Hot and sour soup.
Moo shu pork, chicken, or vegetables.
Tong cho duck, seafood combination, chicken, or pork (a sweet heat sauce).
Scallops imperial.
Szechuan alligator.
Honey pecan shrimp.
Crawfish with lobster sauce.
Steamed whole drumfish.
Soft-shell crabs any style.
Shrimp and crawfish in a cloud.
Dragon boat flounder.
Lobster with black bean sauce.
Smoked tea duck.
Presidential chicken.
Spicy lemon chicken.
Choo-choo chicken (fried, spicy).
Braised spicy lamb.
Steak kew.
Black pepper steak.
Braised tofu with fancy vegetables.
Kung po tofu (spicy).
Lotus banana.

FOR BEST RESULTS
Go for dinner rather than lunch. Ask whether dishes are stir-fried rather than deep-fried; the latter seems to be taking over the chicken department in particular. And for goodness sake, forget about all those old dishes you’ve eaten in every other Chinese restaurant of your life, and get something new.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The Wongs have the ability to produce the most innovative Chinese cooking in the area, but the menu has been static for too long. They need to work up some new dishes and specials.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +2
  • Consistency +1
  • Service
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

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