Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: toddg on July 22, 2014, 12:39:18 AM

Title: Saw Shack
Post by: toddg on July 22, 2014, 12:39:18 AM
A tired-looking Chinese takeout place at 84-22 37th Avenue has been reborn as Saw Shack (https://www.facebook.com/SawShack8422).   The name isn't the only unusual thing about it -- the menu doesn't look like other Chinese takeout menus, and the restaurant itself looks fresh and inviting.  The menu seems dominated by Chinese-American dishes, but it's getting good writeups on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/sawshack-jackson-heights-2) and JH Families.   It looks like they've got good vegetarian options. 

(https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xpa1/t1.0-1/c35.0.160.160/p160x160/1234735_650478611709226_4253211554877071517_n.jpg)

Here's a statement by the business that appears on its Yelp page:

Quote
Specialties

Authentic Chinese and Malaysian cuisines
Vegetable and vegan dishes
Fiery saw style wings
Secret off menu items when you're feeling lucky
Complimentary fruit infused water
Amazing customer service!

History

Established in 2014.

A hardworking family of five immigrated from Malaysia 21 years ago. The youngest member, Chee Yang, always dreamt big and 21 years later, thanks to the family's dedication and perseverance and Chee Yang's big dream, Sawshack was born. Nothing can stand in the way of the success of this new family run business who can boast of a Chef 'Daddy' Saw with over 30 years of cooking experience in amazing places such as Zen Palate and Gobu and Chef 'Mommy' Saw with over 40 years of cooking authentic Chinese and Malaysian cuisine. In addition to the master chef duo, there are the three children, Jackal, Stephanie and Chee Yang, who are the true masterminds behind the business' modern day retro look and delicious Chinese take out menu with a twist.

Meet the Manager

Chee Yang S.
Manager
Chee Yang is an unassuming young and hardworking entrepreneur. After dedicating five grueling and hard years in the navy, he decided to capitalize on what he loves most - food and happiness - by opening up a modern day Chinese takeout joint with his family. You can find him at the counter slaving away taking orders or happily socializing with his customers. Or he could burning his eyebrows off by trying his hand at his secret family recipes in the kitchen.

Has anyone tried it?
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: wooden_soldier on July 22, 2014, 01:10:36 AM
Walked past several weeks ago and wanted to try it. Knowing the kitchens Papa Saw Shack had cooked in makes me even more excited.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: ptbass75 on July 23, 2014, 11:54:03 AM
Went here a couple days ago.  For sure the place is a hip, modern looking departure from your typical JH chinese joint.  Almost along the lines of UFC in decor.  Tried their chicken fried rice and chicken in garlic sauce.  Both were fresh, with the garlic sauce on the spicy rather than sweet side.  Regarding the menu for the most part the dishes didn't seem too revolutionary or cutesy, a lot of the usual fare can be found.  The menu is smaller than most chinese joints.  I will go back to try out more!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on July 23, 2014, 12:39:19 PM
looked at the menu in the window the other day and didn't take further note, since it seemed like nothing but the usual carryout basics. perhaps worth a shot, judging by wooden_soldier's excitement.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: hfm on July 24, 2014, 11:04:16 PM
Went here a couple days ago.  For sure the place is a hip, modern looking departure from your typical JH chinese joint.  Almost along the lines of UFC in decor.  Tried their chicken fried rice and chicken in garlic sauce.  Both were fresh, with the garlic sauce on the spicy rather than sweet side.  Regarding the menu for the most part the dishes didn't seem too revolutionary or cutesy, a lot of the usual fare can be found.  The menu is smaller than most chinese joints.  I will go back to try out more!

The smaller menu is a good sign in my eyes. Do fewer things and do them well and I'll try it! :)
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: toddg on July 24, 2014, 11:25:31 PM
I tried Shrimp Chow Fun and Beef in Garlic Sauce last night.  The food was delicious, and the quality of ingredients a big step up from the usual takeout.  I love the effort they're making to differentiate themselves from the pack.  But I must admit, I'm not thrilled with the menu.   This is great American Chinese comfort food, but I'm usually looking for a bit more adventure than that. 

Katie Honan has the first media coverage on this place (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140724/jackson-heights/navy-vet-brings-chinese-takeout-with-twist-jackson-heights).  The article states that there will be a rotating menu of specials posted inside the restaurant.  If this is true, and they do plan to offer some Malaysian or regional Chinese options, I would encourage the proprietors put up a website where they can list these daily specials.  That would keep me coming back!

Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: pipman on July 26, 2014, 08:02:41 AM
I usually avoid the small Chinese joints in the neighborhood, but the fresh/clean look of Saw Shack and reviews made me try it for lunch yesterday.  It was probably the best Chinese food I had in the neighborhood.  Tried both the Hot and Sour soup and Wonton soups.  The Hot and Sour was made fresh in front of me and had great flavor.  Wonton soup was also good--simple, and not too salty as some other places.  Will definitely want to try some other staples as well and would be great to see some more Malaysian specials...
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: hfm on July 26, 2014, 02:49:18 PM
I tried Shrimp Chow Fun and Beef in Garlic Sauce last night.  The food was delicious, and the quality of ingredients a big step up from the usual takeout.  I love the effort they're making to differentiate themselves from the pack.  But I must admit, I'm not thrilled with the menu.   This is great American Chinese comfort food, but I'm usually looking for a bit more adventure than that. 

Katie Honan has the first media coverage on this place (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140724/jackson-heights/navy-vet-brings-chinese-takeout-with-twist-jackson-heights).  The article states that there will be a rotating menu of specials posted inside the restaurant.  If this is true, and they do plan to offer some Malaysian or regional Chinese options, I would encourage the proprietors put up a website where they can list these daily specials.  That would keep me coming back!

If they tweeted the specials every day I'd give a follow. :)
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: wooden_soldier on July 26, 2014, 03:10:50 PM
Tried the Sesame "Chicken." Clean, friendly, a bargain compared to eating at other Asian-inspired veggie joints in the city.   :D
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: toddg on July 30, 2014, 10:03:04 PM
Jackpot!

I asked tonight whether they had any Malaysian specials.  They said they had "authentic Malaysian curry chicken," which sounded good so I tried it.   It was a generous portion, and absolutely delicious.   It was an extremely tender, slow-cooked chicken stew (cooked bone-in), definitely not fast food with curry sauce thrown on top.  I highly recommend it.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Palermo on August 01, 2014, 10:35:44 PM
For four years I've walked by the older Chinese take out shop.  Never saw more than a handful of folks in there, waiting to get their take out and go.  Passed by this evening and it was filled, as in every seat taken, standing room only, people milling about outside.  I'm happy for them and its a great announcement to other retailers:  Make your place look nice and the business will come.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Shelby2 on August 01, 2014, 11:41:59 PM
For four years I've walked by the older Chinese take out shop.  Never saw more than a handful of folks in there, waiting to get their take out and go.  Passed by this evening and it was filled, as in every seat taken, standing room only, people milling about outside.  I'm happy for them and its a great announcement to other retailers:  Make your place look nice and the business will come.

I passed by tonight as well and also noticed the packed house!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on August 01, 2014, 11:44:51 PM
Or perhaps, serve tasty food and they will come.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: ptbass75 on August 05, 2014, 06:09:48 PM
i'm with DSSJH.  Do things right and they will come.

For those wanting greater adventure in their food, I highly recommend Saw Shack's Malaysian Curry chicken.  This specialty dish is far more authentic tasting than the regular Chinese American fare that dominates their menu.

Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: I live here too on August 06, 2014, 10:12:06 AM
We ordered delivery from them the other night.  Nothing particularly exotic, General Tso Chicken and Happy Family, Plain Lo Mein and Plain Fried Rice.  I thought the vegetables were a little undercooked and needed a little more seasoning. On the plus side, the food did NOT taste like they had reused oil, it was much lighter and fresher (even the G. Tso, my husband's fav) and most importantly, I did NOT get a migraine headache, which is the usual result when I chance Chinese Food, which I love and enjoy.  And we enjoyed this food very much and will order again.

We're friends with one of the dry cleaners in the nieghborhood, who is Chinese.  He has noted the Chivoto d'Oro uses a lot of MSG in their food and he can't eat it. (even though he's used to eating food with MSG in it) Sazon and other spanish commercial seasoning have msg in them. It would be good if the Spanish restaurants in the the nieghborhood freshened up their menus a bit, and maybe used seasonings without msg which are available.  It would be great to have sonme resturants around here that are not just good, but very good and even great.  If a little chinese takeout joint can attempt it, it's clearly possible.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: I live here too on August 06, 2014, 10:17:40 AM
My comment re freshening does not mean that there are no restaurants in the neighborhood that aren't very good, with very good menus. Just means I think SOME restaurants could try more.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: 718mom on August 06, 2014, 05:26:05 PM
Dying to try this place out, love reading about everyones orders!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: European on August 07, 2014, 01:07:19 AM
We tried 3 meals, Orange chicken, Malasyan Curry chicken and Mango chicken. Mango is my favorite by far.
Fried veggie dumplings, yummieee, can't wait to get more. Spring rolls also great. My recommendations!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: theplanesland on August 07, 2014, 08:49:05 AM
Nobody except me cares, but I went in there and asked them what they could make gluten-free. After consulting with three different ladies of different ages (one about 11, one about 21, and one in her mid-30s) they concluded that the Malaysian curry chicken and the flavorless steamed "diet" dishes were the only things on their entire menu that could be gluten-free. Le sigh.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on August 07, 2014, 11:36:58 AM
bummer.
is corn starch the problem? or wheat in the soy based sauces?
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: I live here too on August 07, 2014, 12:56:05 PM
there is wheat in most soy sauces.

If you dropped it off when ordering, you could bring in a bottle of gluten free soy sauce and ask them to use it instead of their own for your meal.  This is only if you are not a celiac sufferer in which case you could not tolerate cross contamination. Some people do all right if they take "gluten ease" type digestive enzymes, to mitigate any hidden gluten.  I'm gluten intolerant but I just knocked back a few gluten digestive enzymes capsules and I was fine.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Liz on August 13, 2014, 01:46:01 AM
Finally made it here!  Hooray!  What a wonderful addition to the neighborhood - the food is vastly superior to the usual takeout - very fresh, not greasey.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: chrisj on August 19, 2014, 05:20:01 AM
Want to share my enthusiasm for Saw Shack. My wife and I went there for lunch this weekend. I ordered general tso's chicken and fried pork dumplings. The general tso's chicken was nice and crispy with a great flavor. Not too greasy or over breaded either! The pork dumplings looked home made and had nice light wrappers and were pan fried. Much better than the normal dumplings that come pre-made and have too much dough. I can honestly say that this is now my go to Chinese take-out in Jackson Heights.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: NicAmbro on August 20, 2014, 10:34:13 AM
Nobody except me cares, but I went in there and asked them what they could make gluten-free. After consulting with three different ladies of different ages (one about 11, one about 21, and one in her mid-30s) they concluded that the Malaysian curry chicken and the flavorless steamed "diet" dishes were the only things on their entire menu that could be gluten-free. Le sigh.

I've ordered from there and I'm gluten-free. I've gotten the diet chicken w/broccoli. It's made plain and steamed with sauce on the side. I didn't use the sauce. I keep Tamari at home to use.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: itsit on September 10, 2014, 08:05:20 PM
 This was our night to try Saw Shack and it did not disappoint. Vegetarian and meat dishes were both spiced really well
and there was a surprising freshness to it all that made me wonder what else is in the other Chinese restaurant's food
that we've been eating? Something gummy I fear.
 Anyhow, Saw Shack is our new choice for healthy, tasty Chinese takeout.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Superclam on September 19, 2014, 08:21:53 PM
I tried it for the first time tonight. I ordered through Eat24. The food came quickly. Everything was very good & fresh. Here's the weird thing: I am so used to the heavy-handed salt and/or MSG that comes with most Chinese food around here that everything tasted a bit bland. This makes me realize I can really cut down on how much sodium I'm sure I'm eating. It's kind of strange to eat Chinese without my fingers swelling.
I will definitely order from them again.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on September 20, 2014, 09:40:51 AM
we tried it for the first time last week, and the experience was a lot like what Superclam described. very high quality ingredients (the shrimp in the spicy shrimp dish were large and lightly fried in an eggy batter) and n aone of the pooled oil one usually finds at the bottom of a delivery container. the dumplings were just as good, and clearly house made, with thin, yielding wrappers. the spicing could have been a bit more aggressive - 'spicy' wasn't really anything near that - but it's definitely a cut above the standard delivery option.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Superclam on September 20, 2014, 11:07:59 AM
Yes, I ordered my Garlic Chicken "medium." I don't really like to be in pain when I eat, but I will bump it up to spicy next time.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: francis on September 20, 2014, 07:43:38 PM
I really enjoyed this place and felt everything was pretty  fresh. I did, however think that the menu was somewhat basic and would like to see some adventurous specials.... Overall it will be a good option for take out. I also like Ri Yu for take out.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Stew on May 19, 2015, 11:49:43 AM
Today's review in the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/shack-review-follow-chef-moves-queens-article-1.2224050
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on May 19, 2015, 12:56:55 PM
Today's review in the New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/shack-review-follow-chef-moves-queens-article-1.2224050

that sounds about right. we've had some great dishes and some head-scratchingly bad ones. more lightly sauced ones fare better for me, and the fried things are always clean. sauces tend to be gloppy too often. still a nice, healthy option as far as delivery Chinese in our area.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Ms. Jackson on May 19, 2015, 06:53:44 PM
I had no idea that Saw was the chef from Zen Palate! I had some fav dishes there. I'll have to give it a try.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Superclam on May 19, 2015, 07:16:45 PM
The sesame medallions at Zen Palate were really good; I should try them again at Saw Shack.
Title: Saw Shack
Post by: ljr on April 30, 2016, 03:43:39 PM
Just wanted to note that we ordered Chinese food from Saw Shack for the first time last night and it was great! Very fresh tasting and just really delicious. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: wlirfan on August 22, 2016, 10:23:12 AM
After a weekend of running around, neither of us wanted to make dinner so we went to Saw Shack for the first time.  I like Chinese, but I also think that there's so much bad Chinese food out there that I just stopped even trying to find a decent place. 

I liked it quite a bit.  After I ordered, I saw a bunch of specials listed on the blackboard off to the side that looked great.  I think I'll try one of them today. 

Everything tasted fresh, the place was spotless and the service was friendly.  Good to have a decent Chinese option.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: rosie on August 25, 2016, 05:09:37 PM
They also have a wide variety of vegetarian options (lots of fake meat, more than just tofu), which I appreciate. Agree that it tastes incredibly fresh and not greasy!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Lilybell on August 29, 2016, 09:52:39 AM
I'm so glad this thread was resurrected because it caused me to try Saw Shack for the first time this weekend and I really liked it.  I find most restaurant food to be too salty for my tastes so it was such a nice change.  Everything I ordered was good but I think my favorite was the sesame chicken.

It arrived within a half hour (so don't be turned off if you order online and see a 60-90 minute estimate).
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: wlirfan on August 29, 2016, 01:50:40 PM
I agree with Rosie -- tried two of their veggie-meat special dishes listed on the bulletin boards.  Both were excellent.  Nice to have them here.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: JackM on August 29, 2016, 02:28:41 PM
Saw Shack has the best Chinese food in our neighborhood.  If you like Chinese food then you have to try it.  That simple. 
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Shelby2 on December 26, 2018, 08:35:16 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/5IiWB1U.png)
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: ljr on December 26, 2018, 10:39:52 PM
Oh, too bad! We did not order from them often--we just don't eat Chinese food very often-- but their food was really good and we are sorry to see them go.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Liz on December 27, 2018, 12:12:20 PM
I'm really sad about this.  I did order from here as often as I could justify Chinese food eating (not as often as I would like).  I hope another Chinese restaurant opens there.  The food was good.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: nscroll on December 27, 2018, 09:08:33 PM
One of the few quality Chinese restaurants around, and the only one for real vegetarian options.
This is a loss for the neighborhood. Ordered from here at least once every 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: JHALUM on December 27, 2018, 10:07:12 PM
I am curious to see if we will ever find out why they closed.  Sometimes it is something personal if there are multiple owners or it is possible the profit didn't equal the time commitment.  I remember a number of years ago reading if you wanted to make $40,000 a year and work a hundred hours a week you should open a Subway Franchise.  Did the place seem busy?
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: Lilybell on December 28, 2018, 07:27:37 AM
I'm speculating and have no idea why they are closing - but the timing makes me think it might be due to a rent hike.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on December 28, 2018, 09:46:58 AM
they'll definitely be missed. not my favorite in the neighborhood -- that's still JJ Garden -- but solid standards, not greasy or heavy tasting. and yeah, by far the best for vegetarian options.

it's difficult to gauge how busy a mostly carry-out restaurant is, but i did see their menus dropped off here on a regular basis, which is an indicator that they got their share of business from our building.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: fivestarbkg on December 28, 2018, 05:33:41 PM
Wow what a bummer they have solid steamed chicken and broccoli. I really liked that place.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: rosie on January 08, 2019, 04:18:57 PM
aww, I'm so sad to hear this. They were the best for veggie options!
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: ChesterKallman on January 25, 2019, 11:52:20 AM
Heartbroken over this. One of my go-to spots. Can anyone recommend an alternative, with good (or some) vegetarian options?
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: dssjh on January 25, 2019, 12:26:37 PM
JJ Garden has a "spa menu" of about eight vegetarian dishes that's good, but not as extensive as saw shack's. these are vegetable-only, sauces on side, not "meat substitute" dishes like Saw Shack offered.
Title: Re: Saw Shack
Post by: SimoneB on January 25, 2019, 09:12:05 PM
We loved Saw Shack, now loving New Lin’s Kitchen. Delicious and fast delivery.