Last month I had an enjoyable dinner at China Blossom, which I wrote about here. After the tasty multi-course meal, I was interested to learn more about this restaurant that has quite a lengthy history. Recently, I was able to speak with David Yee, who is operations manager at China Blossom.
TT: Your restaurant has been open for 52 years, which is quite an accomplishment. To what do you attribute your success?
DY: My family has always believed that a restaurant is about the day-to-day. Making the right decisions everyday with your customers and keeping your food simple, honest and using the best ingredients. Being part of a profitable restaurant for over 50 years I think speaks to this.
TT: Nearly all of your menu items are made from scratch. What item is made from scratch that might surprise your patrons?
DY: Our kitchen teams spend hours every day prepping meats and vegetables for our egg rolls and spring rolls. It’s like an army of cooks prepping and producing daily!
TT: Are there menu items that have been popular for decades and that you would never remove from the menu? Conversely, do you add new items occasionally?
DY: Many of our most popular items were introduced early on in China Blossom’s history. Some of these items include egg rolls, spare ribs, egg drop soup, chow mein, our fried rice, China Blossom Steak, and many others. We’ve also introduced new items and new flavors following the shifting taste preference over time. One example is the Thai Spare Rib which has proved to be successful.
TT: Your Thai Style Spare Ribs were fabulous. Can you tell me what ingredients are used to make the sauce?
DY: Our sauce, which we use to quickly wok-stir the Thai Ribs, uses Thai chili peppers, minced garlic, vinegar, sugar, and a hint of lemongrass. And that’s all you’ll get out of me.
TT: Do you see any changes in the future for China Blossom?
DY: We’ll be adding new menu items, and there are actually a ton of new things coming down the pipeline. We actually will be starting a cultural lecture series this Spring speaking to different elements of Chinese American culture, including lectures on Chinese food in America, the Chinese Zodiac and Feng Shui. We also are closing on details of hosting chefs from different restaurants in our kitchen for an evening. I think a chef getting to work on a Chinese line and vet their cooking through that filter is a really fun idea. I’m working on closing some of those deals now.
TT: What is the best part of running a family restaurant that has been around for this long?
DY: Working with wonderful people 364 days a year and serving generations of customers who have become like family. It’s pretty amazing to see families that call this restaurant home.