Sunday, January 18, 2009

Golden Leaf Chinese - Naples Review

Golden Leaf is the newest Chinese restaurant in town, and their fast service and tasty food brought back nostalgic feelings. As a kid, my family had a favorite Chinese restaurant we visited every month, even though it was 15 miles away. It was just worth the time and drive to get our fix of Chinese comfort food! Golden Leaf is that kind of place.

It recently opened at Shing Long’s former site, with all new owners, cooks and staff. Golden Leaf’s sauces are delicate and tasty, whereas Shing Long was heavy on corn starch. While other Chinese spots serve sushi, and “fusion” foods, Golden Leaf serves a healthier version of the Chinese food popular in the 60’s-90’s, pre-celebrity chef era. They serve fresh, freshly prepared food, Chinese-American style, Mandarin, Szechuan, and Hunan styles too, and lots of it, for a very good price.

The restaurant is across 41 from Naples' Mel’s Diner, in a strip mall. Enter, you’re quickly welcomed to your seat, and service is prompt. Early on a Saturday night, the new place was soon half full! The décor is Spartan to simple, pale yellow walls with some paintings, lighting from overhead large white paper lanterns and “high hats” over the comfortable booths. Very crisp fried noodles are delivered, along with ice water. The menu selection is large. Start with small or large soups respectively for $2.50 and 5.25. Most appetizers are under $7. We shared the beautiful, gargantuan Pu Pu platter appetizer assortment ($19 for two people); it was almost too much for two good eaters to finish! It’s piled high with 2 large egg rolls, 2 fried shrimp, Beef Teriyaki (2 skewers), chicken teriyaki (2 skewers), large juicy chicken wings, gold fried chicken fingers(4), and two large, succulent BBQ spare ribs. We heated our skewers on the

Huge Pu Pu Platter
central little grill. Our favorites were the delicious juicy ribs and the beef teriyaki skewers, followed by the large crisp, yet juicy wings.
Specialty dishes include General Tso’s Chicken (14), delicious Crispy Orange Flavored Beef (15). Mongolian Beef (25), Happy Family with shrimps, scallops chicken and roast pork (18), and Peking Duck for two ($33) classically served. We were very, very happy with our Sizzling Seafood Worba (below) (19), with a 1.25 lb lobster’s tail, shrimp, scallops, surimi seafood, and Chinese vegetables, served on a sizzling hot plate, with a side of white rice. My smiling companion said, “It is just too much for one person to eat,” The seafood is cooked to perfection, tender and moist, and the
One Third of the Worba on a Plate
lobster sauce is delicate. Our neighbors enjoyed their Crispy Orange Beef, and a pork dish for $11, saying, “Quality just as good as we have in New York.” We filled up, and still filled a takeout Styrofoam container, We had no room for dessert! Special complete dinners are $14, with choice of one soup, one appetizer, and a main course. There are over 30 complete lunch specials from $7-9, with rice, one appetizer and a good sized main course. This is my kind of place- a neighborhood type spot (not over run by tourists), with quick attentive service and generous amounts of great simple classics. It’s familiar Chinese comfort food at great prices (for Naples). There’s wine and beer. Hungry, check out their Sunday buffet, all you can eat, for $8.95! Open 7 days a week, from 11:30 am till 10 pm.

Golden Leaf, 3615 Ninth Street N. (Tamiami Trail N), Park shore Center, 434-6336


Anonymous said...

I usually always get the chicken in garlic sauce when I first visit a Chinese restaurant. The flavor was very enjoyable. Not sure what it was but instead of "inhaling" my food as I do 99% of the time I found myself slowing down and enjoying the meal. Just brought back memories of some of my favorite chinese places when I was a kid and the staff was very friendly and worked together to take care of our needs. If you are looking for a nice quiet place to get a good meal I believe most people would be happy going here.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to eat there, I'm hoping for good things!