Chengdu 46

 1105 Us Highway 46
Clifton, NJ

What Chinese dining should be!

This should really be a 4.5 star rating, but I had to round up rather than down since it’s simply a lovely place. Chengdu 46 is a bit of a throw-back to when Chinese restaurants were all dine-in and the dutiful waiters and waitresses never let your water glass get more than halfway empty. It is simply decorated with beautiful wood tables and comfortable chairs, adorned with table cloths, candles and a single flower. The acoustics are decent, making Chengdu a restaurant that would be great as either a night out with friends or a date. Service was perfect, not too intrusive but attentive and knowledgeable.

The egg drop soup was delicious, but may not be good for those wary of salt (I love salt, but it may be too much for a lot of people). I ordered the Emperor’s Fillet Mignon, prepared mild. It arrived looking similar to many other beef dishes you would expect from a Chinese restaurant. However, the fillet was so tender it melted in your mouth, and was accompanied by snap peas, green beans, red peppers and scallions. The dish was perfectly covered in a brown sauce that was light and flavorful.

Fortunately, we had room for dessert. We ordered the bon bons, which were common but good, and the fried bananas. These were perfectly crispy without being covered in fried dough, and were served in a light honey sauce with sesame seeds. It was a truly unique treat.

None of the food left us with the feeling we generally get after eating Chinese food; instead, it was satisfying and memorable.

Warning: Chengdu 46 is more expensive than the average Chinese meal. However, the quality of the food and service and the serenity of the atmosphere easily explains the price difference. Give it a shot!

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