King Yum: 181-08
Union Tpke., Fresh Meadows; 380-1918
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30
Credit Cards: All major
When King Yum first opened on Union Turnpike, Harry Truman
was still president and chopsticks was just a piece of music. The year was 1953 and as
hard as it is to believe today, there were almost no other Chinese restaurants in Queens.
Three generations and thousands of residents and students later, the king is by no means
ready to abdicate.
"I may have been doing this long before you were
born," said owner James Eng. "But I am not done yet."
While the menu and the restaurant have expanded
dramatically over the past four decades, Yums spirit and philosophy have remained a
constant: to present cuisine of the highest quality, reasonably priced, in a family-style
While the restaurants decor is more reminiscent
Hawaii, then China, this somehow adds to the restaurants overall personality. In
fact, the fiftieth state is present throughout the menu in entrees, combinations platters,
and even among the beverages.
Dont come to King Yum without sampling appetizers
like their Dim Sum ($1.30), their barbecued spare ribs ($5.95), and what is arguably the
best Wonton soup ($1.70) in the borough.
With a seemingly endless selection of beef, poultry,
vegetable, and noodle entrees, it is difficult to know where to begin. This decision is
further complicated by the fact that several nights a week one is also faced with deciding
which song to perform on Yums famous karaoke stage. We opted for the General
Taos Chicken and "American Pie."
But dont let your levee run dry, King Yum also boasts
a wonderful "exotic" cocktail menu. Enjoy unusual beverages like Tabu for two
($7), which is a "frosty froth of fine rums," orange, lemon, and lime liqueurs.
We also tried the Roast Pork Chow Fun ($8.45), and the
Shrimp Soong ($13.95), which is served with minced pork, water chestnuts, blended in a
wine sauce, and topped with noodles.
King Yum also has many specials, including combination
platters and family dinners. The family dinners allow for the sampling of the best of the
menu in a way that is intended to be both reasonable and fun. Prices range from $26.95 to
$87.75, depending on the size and appetite of your party.
With their personable service, and terrific food, King
Yums reign is sure to continue well into the next century. After all, this palace is
more than just a fixture in the borough, it is truly a landmark.