Mon-Thurs 12-16, 18-23; Sat 12-23
When Kong came to Israel to work in 1980, he realized that there was a big void in the restaurant industry for authentic and tasty Chinese food. For Kong it presented a good opportunity to fill a market and follow his life long dream of opening his own restaurant. In 1982, Kong and his wife opened Long Sang Chinese in Tel Aviv giving Israelis the much needed gift of both tasty and authentic Chinese food locally. For the last 27 years, Kong’s mission has not faltered in the least bit. Long Sang continues to provide its patrons with some of the best Chinese food without losing the integrity in its ingredients and recipes.
Every dish is cooked with the same spirit and passion that Kong had thirty years ago when he was a culinary student in Hong Kong. From the wonton soup – made with soothing broth, homemade wontons, and fresh, crisp assortment of vegetables, it is clear from the first spoonful that each ingredient is important. The quality of the food is part of the philosophy which is Kong’s cooking. “If the meat and vegetables aren’t fresh, then the food will not taste as good,” affirms Kong. Therefore, one of his favorite things about owning Long Sang is the convenient location in proximity to the Shuk HaCarmel (open air market), where he goes everyday to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, and seafood.
In preparation of each meal, specific emphasis is placed on each ingredient. Take the shrimp and broccoli; with each bite you can taste the steamed shrimp, crispy broccoli and light ginger broth. Other dishes, such as the Lo Mein, provide a richer flavor. The Lo Mein noodles are sautéed ever so perfectly in peanut oil then combined with a colorful array of cabbage, red pepper, onion, carrot, chives, and bean sprouts. We can almost follow its nutty aroma as Kong delivers it to our table. Kong demonstrates the sophistication in Chinese cooking in each dish. From roasting techniques in which originated in Central Asia to the frying techniques of Beijing, it is evident that Kong has mastered Chinese cuisine. For instance, the sweet and sour chicken has a light airy crunch on the outside with a tender, warm mouthful on the inside. It is a dish that clearly demonstrates his expertise.
Staying true to its roots is one of the things that makes Long Sang’s unique. Kong offers his patrons two different menus, one for those who have more of a “Westernized” taste for Chinese food and one with dishes that are more common in traditional Chinese cuisine. Dishes on the traditional menu such as the roasted pork belly reinforce Kong’s understanding of Chinese cooking methods.
What makes Long Sang so special though, is that it exemplifies the tenements of every great city; a place you can come to fulfill your dreams, a place that might seem gritty on the outside but is full of rich life on the inside, and most importantly a place that celebrates culture and diversity. With its kitschy Chinese lanterns and cut outs of girls in traditional Chinese dress, Long Sang may not look like a place that offers culinary treats, but it’s a truly a gem that one only needs to discover.
Cited website: http://www.chcul.com/china_culture/bj/gourmet.html
Photos: Rachel Brender