A Family Affair

Every Friday, my entire family (grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins) gets together and eats dinner. Needless to say, it's fairly nosy with lots of shouting and laughter. These dinners used to be at my grandparents' house, then when they moved, their apartment and every once in awhile, a Cantonese restaurant in Brooklyn Chinatown. The kids would congregate around the television, relishing TGIF (oh, how I miss the days of Family Matters, Step by Step, Perfect Strangers, Boy Meets World), while the adults would be around the dinner table discussing whatever it is grown-ups talk about.

Last summer, my uncle opened his own restaurant on Eighth Avenue (Bklyn Chinatown) and 52nd Street, called Lucky Eight (there was much debate on what the name should be, I suggested On Rice and Men, hehehe). Another of my relatives is the chef, previously he had been a four star chef in Asia. It's much classier than most of the other places in the neighborhood and serves really great Cantonese food for a great price. The waiters speak English and the menus feature lots of pictures so you won't have a mystery dinner. Below are some of the dishes we had this past Friday. I don't know their names, since my uncle usually orders in Cantonese, so I will give my own interpretation of what the dish is.
Giant crab with chow fun - this was my favorite dish of the night. It's really flavorful, and the first time I've ever had crab sitting in noodles. We normally get crab with steamed egg which is also heavenly and really rich.

Steamed fish topped with scallions, parsley and ginger in soy sauce. I think the fish is probably sea bass, but don't quote me on that. It's a really great way of cooking fish, because it keeps it tender and delectable. I like especially like eating it with the scallions and ginger, adds extra punch. My grandmother loves the sauce and spoons gallons of it over her rice.

Eggplant with squid and a myriad of other goodies like snow peas and mushrooms. It's sort of like a hot pot dish, but keeps the eggplant intact and not overly mushy like other eggplant dishes. I love eggplant, so I like this dish a lot with it's smoky flavor and chunky eggplant pieces. Really good with rice.

Sauteed chicken with Chinese broccoli. I usually don't like chicken cooked this way because it's dry and tasteless. But here, it's really moist and flavorful.

This is my grandmother's favorite dish and we've ordered it at basically every restaurant we go to. It's green beans sauteed with minced pork. It's pretty salty, but it's really great when the green beans are fresh and not overcooked.

So yes, it may seem like I'm biased, but I really wouldn't lie about food of all things. I've eaten lots of Cantonese food, to the point of being sick of it sometimes, and this is truly the best Cantonese place in New York. If you ever want to go, just let me know, and I'll be there. I would recommend going with at least 3 other people so you can share a good number of dishes, family style. Don't be intimidated by the trek to Brooklyn, it's really easy to get there, just take the N train to 8th Avenue and walk down to 52nd Street.

Lucky Eight
Eighth Avenue and 52nd street

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