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August 19, 2010 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-08-19

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Arts & Entertainment


Rebirth Of The Phoenix

Husband-and-wife team celebrate a golden treasure at Sugar Tree.


e was the executive chef ... She
was one of the servers ... Then,
innocent smiles led to their first
date ... And where did they go? ... To
another Chinese restaurant ... Wong's
Eatery in Windsor, owned by Raymond
They worked together at the former Ah
Wok on Grand River in Novi and became
partners in life as Shaw and Helen Ng ...
Owners of Golden Phoenix Chinese res-
taurant in Sugar Tree Plaza, Orchard Lake
Road, north of 15 Mile, West Bloomfield,
they celebrate their eighth anniversary
operating one of this region's finest neigh-
borhood Chinese eatery.
It had been a mildly
successful Chinese res-
taurant when they bought
it in 2002, but with addi-
tions of seldom-seen
dishes plus ownership
hands-on food prepara-
tion and management,
Golden Phoenix sprang to
higher heights as a desti-
nation achievement.
Shaw's cooking expe-
rience is a major backbone of Golden
Phoenix ... Other than Ah Wok, he was
four years at West Bloomfield's Wing Hong
and five years at Peking House in Royal
Oak ... Helen had been a waitress at Wing
Hong in the '70s ... While at Ah Wok, she
was barmaid, hostess and server.
Restaurant ownership experience for
Shaw and Helen began when opening
their former China Express carryout on
Orchard Lake Road in Sylvan Lake ...
They knew that Wendy Yee, owner then of
Golden Phoenix, wanted to retire and was
looking for persons who wouldn't operate

the restaurant so poorly she
major hit, many Chinese res-
would have to buy it back.
taurants considered doing away
Enter Shaw and Helen ...
with the usual side accompani-
just the types Wendy was
ments ... Golden Phoenix was
looking for, conscientious,
not among them ... continuing
knowledgeable and full of
to serve soup, egg roll and ice
pride in their food prepara-
cream choice with entrees.
tion and presentation ... Two
Another prominent note
months following the Ngs'
at Golden Phoenix was the
takeover, many recipes were
immediate elimination of pork
Danny Raskin
changed after awareness of
Senior Columnist from its egg rolls and inser-
what people most desired.
tion instead of shrimp ... Also
Employees at Golden
chicken only filling the won tons
Phoenix when Wendy had it remained
people enjoyed in their soup.
after learning of the new owners' ambi-
Very little salt is used in the prepara-
tions ... Servers Yan Wong, Lola Seto
tion of all food, most made when ordered
and Sonia Yee ... All four
... On request, the dishes can be pre-
cooks stayed to work with
pared without salt ... Also, if desired, a
Shaw in preparing his
white sauce base is used instead of soy
innovations of traditional
sauce ... "It won't look pretty:' says Shaw,
Chinese dishes ... Before
"but the lighter taste brings a lot of sat-
Shaw and Helen there was
no General Tso's Chicken,
The small seating of 98 at Golden
no Lemon Chicken, etc.,
Phoenix has seen large numbers in
among other Chinese
the food preparations ... More than
restaurant standards ...
950,000 people have walked through the
These were added.
doors since its takeover, eight years ago
Excellent new dishes,
... Consumption has included around
too, like sauteed Mandarin Delight, a
335,000 pounds of chicken, 75,000
$14.95 favorite combination of chicken
pounds of beef, almost 420,000 pounds
and beef with red and green peppers,
of shrimp, more than 35,000 gallons
water chestnuts and bamboo shoots in
of soup, etc. ... Hours are Monday-
black bean sauce ... Triple Delight of
Thursday, 11-9; Friday and Saturday,
chicken, beef and scallops, sauteed with
11-10; Sunday, noon-9.
water chestnuts, mushrooms and bam-
Mom-and-pop Chinese restaurants
boo shoots, $14.95 ... Shanghai Charlie
such as this bring the all-important asset
Chow Mein with spaghetti-like noodles,
of pride in the food served ... There are
chicken, shrimp, onions and carrots in a
many neighborhood Chinese restaurants,
chili garlic sauce, $13.95 ... Probably its
but few that are considered true destina-
biggest seller became the 12- to 14-ounce tions ... Golden Phoenix is one of them,
broiled whitefish, $15.95.
taking much deserved delight in the din-
When economic conditions took a
ing honors it has achieved.

p ren c e

BACK AFTER A two-year absence, this
year's Arts du Jour will be held for the first
time in Royal Oak ... More than 1,000 are
expected to attend ADJ shindig No. at the
Farmer's Market, 11 Mile, just east of the
11/Main intersection . . . Thursday, Aug.
26, 6 - 9 p.m., and then a late-night after-
glow with music and dancing from 9 to
midnight ... It's the preview charity event
prior to Labor Day Weekend's Arts, Beats
& Eats Festival, also to be held in Royal
Oak, Sept. 3-6.
Food samplings from about 50 local res-
taurants and caterers, live entertainment,
art displays, dancing, etc., will kick off the
fun event that began back in 2001 at Troy's
Somerset Collection and after six years, a
year in Pontiac.
Arts du Jour tickets are $75 per person
with 75 percent of the proceeds going to
local charities.
THIS TIME, THE surprise by Luciano
Del Signore is having one of the locale's
favorite musical groups, Mel Ball, play-
ing for listening and dancing on the patio
of his and Monica's Bacco Ristorante,
Northwestern Highway between 12 Mile
and Inkster, Southfield ... Every Thursday
evening throughout the summer from 8 to
11:30, Mel's five-piece group includes two
vocalists, with the evening starting a bit
softer and picking up with fervor.
CONGRATS ... To Belle Rosender on
her 100th birthday ... To Dee Shapiro on
her birthday ... To Robert Krause on his
90th birthday ... To Jody Neirynck on her
50th birthday ... To Stuart Wilhelm on
his 77th birthday ... To Manfred Lehman
on his 90th birthday.

Danny's e-mail address is


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August 19 s 2010


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