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November 05, 2009 - Image 69

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-11-05

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World Class!

Innovative Nu-Asian cuisine keeps Mon Jin Lau on top after 40 years.


orty years and still counting in a
very successful way ... Its big sell-
ers in 1969 were Chop Suey Steak
Kow, and Almond Boneless Chicken ...
Today, four decades later, popular favor-
ites include Mandarin Filet, Chili Pepper
Calamari and Banana Leaf Sea Bass.
To say that Mon Jin Lau, East Maple,
northeast corner of Stephenson Hwy.,
Troy, has changed is putting it very mildly
... From an acceptable Cantonese res-
taurant in a remote traffic area, the 40th
anniversary is celebrated with growth
into a world-class upscale Nu-Asian din-
ing emporium that continually receives
award-winning accolades ... Dishes
from almost all corners of the Eastern
Hemisphere are desired standards.
Of course, the traditional Chinese dishes
are still available, but in many ways served
with daring innovations that transfer the
usual into awe-inspiring elegance ... This
diversification along with items seldom,
if ever, seen on menus of other such res-
taurants either locally or in other regions,
widely separates Mon Jin Lau from the
reaches of would-be competitors.
When Mon Jin Lau was initially opened
by Joe Chin, one of the original founders
of Chinatown on Third Avenue, Detroit,
and wife Monica, its inner decor included
vinyl table cloths, Asian wallpaper, Chinese
lanterns, a wood bar and no windows ...
Visits in 2009 now reveal nine French win-
dows along with an interior fairly oozing
with an informal grace that encompasses
a distinct air of comforting softness.
There is little doubt that Joe and Monica
could ever have dreamed 40 years ago of
their restaurant in the present day being
operated by their son Marshall Chin and
their grandsons Bryan and Brandon Chin

... And that the present Mon
Jin Lau, at the same location,
but now in a well-traveled
area, would be classed among
America's finest restaurants
of its kind ... Many nation-
ally-known celebrities are told
of Mon Jin Lau and about it
being a Nu-Asian restaurant
not to be missed when in the
Detroit area ... Mohammed
Ali, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rod
Stewart, Wayne Gretsky, Donna
Sommers, etc. ... Kim Catrall calls it her
"Dining Sex in the City"
Since the additions of youthful think-
ing and further dining ideas by Marshall
Chin's sons, Bryan and Brandon, together
with Dad, they make a most formidable
force in Nu-Asian dining ... Continual
upbeats in this favored style of dining-out
cuisine are even more prevalent at Mon Jin
Lau than before.
New items include Pho, the popular
Vietnamese spiced beef broth and rice
noodles topped with tender beef short
rib and accompanied by traditional bean
sprouts, lime and basil; Avocado Beef,
marinated rib-eye wok-stirred with fresh
avocado, tomatoes and black pepper sauce,
topped by roasted cashews; the big Thai
favorite Short Rib Hot Pot, spiced braised
beef, baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms
and rice noodle, served simmering in a
clay hot pot, etc.
All have been injected into an already
sumptuous list of tasty delights ...
Youthful exuberance and fresh thoughts
by Bryan and Brandon, coupled with
Marshall's vast knowledge present a huge
Nu-Asian dining strength.
Estimated numbers counts in the 40

years include the serving
of almost 3 million entrees,
well over a million pounds
of chicken, almost a million
pounds of rice, etc ...
What started out 40 years
ago by Joe and Monica Chin
today is a most formidable
force in local dining ... thanks,
in no small way, to their son
Marshall and grandsons Bryan
and Brandon.
ing indoctrination helping his dad in
the 1970s when the late Fred Baum was
kosher caterer at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek, Southfield ... Although not a full-
fledged caterer himself, he still puts out
food for weddings, bar mitzvahs and other
events ... As owner of five Famous Dave
restaurants in Metro Detroit and one in
Cleveland, Elliot Baum, has made mom
Leah Baum smilingly proud to know that
he has followed in some of his dad's steps
insofar as food furnishing is concerned
and become one of the best-liked gents in
the dining business.
At the Novi location on Crescent Blvd.,
Famous Dave's, primarily a good barbe-
cued ribs operation, also has items like
grilled salmon filet basted with pineapple
glaze and Dave Anderson's noted barbe-
cue sauce on a bed of fried onions unless
requested otherwise, ... Elliot's managing
partner in Novi, Tom Brady Jr., is the son
of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro Executive
Chef/Owner Mary and the late Tom Brady
... Many will remember Elliot's manager
in Novi, Joe Crowell, who was assistant
manager at Joe Muer's Seafood on Gratiot
in Detroit and manager at Joe Muer's in

in through November ... Hong Kong
Chicken, prepared same as Hong Kong
Steak, with peapods, water chestnuts and
mushrooms ... Also includes soup, egg
roll, ice cream and hot tea ... $12.95 at
Golden Phoenix, Sugar Tree, Orchard Lake
Road north of 15 Mile, West Bloomfield.
MAKING ROUNDS ... To Cuisine,
Lothrop, Detroit, for lobster ravioli ... To
Jeremy, Cass Lake Road, Keego Harbor, for
a hamburger.
WHEN IN THIS area, one of illusionist
supreme David Copperfield's major visits
is to friend Marvin Yagoda's Marvelous
Mechanical Museum, Orchard Lake Road,
Farmington Hills ... This time, while appear-
ing recently at the Fox Theatre, Detroit, it
was to see things he had never seen before,
Marvin's animated wooden characters
imported from England ... Like Marvin, plus
being a magician, Copperfield is also an avid
collector of coin-operated machines.
RECENT LIGHTS, Camera, Action by
Variety, the Children's Charity, at Novi's
Emagine Theatre, was a record-breaking
attendance success ... Turnout was almost
500, with net proceeds, including the silent
auction, totaling $30,000.
CONGRATS ... To Melanee Radner
on her birthday ... To David Radner on
his 49th birthday ... To Denise Dunn on
her birthday ... To Rosemary Berger on
her birthday ... To Jay Parr on his 46th
birthday ... To Sandi Cameron on her
birthday ... To William Oleshansky on his
70th birthday ... To Dennis Green on his
66th birthday ... To Rose Light on her 79th
birthday. I !

Danny's e-mail address is


201 S Old Woodward Avenue • Birmingham MI 48009
248.594.7300 • www.forterestaurant.com

November 5 • 2009


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