ULTSHOPPER-ShopTalk 10-2-07 Gold Standard By Lauren LaBorde Photo by Lauren LaBorde Jung Tan offers flavors of the East to her customers at Jung's Golden Dragon. Hurricane Katrina had a hand in downsizing all aspects of local restaurants " from menus, to staff, to clientele. But even in the time of sparse crowds and limited choices, Jung's Golden Dragon (4417 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 887-6081) kept going strong.
The Metairie eatery was among the many that suffered a physical and economical blow from Katrina. Now, however, Jung's Golden Dragon is serving up even more Asian-inspired entrees than before the storm and is widening the breadth of its fusion food offerings.
Like other restaurateurs, Golden Dragon owner Jung Tan felt the impact of the initial slump in business after the storm.
'So many restaurants opened up after Katrina " a lot of restaurants, but less people going to them," she says. 'Business was not as good as it used to be."
Despite the difficulty, she kept her customers in mind and was determined for Golden Dragon to stay open.
'This has been our family restaurant for 30 years," Tan says. 'After Katrina, the building was damaged, but I was thinking of our regular, good customers.
'We still do a lot of homemade food. After the storm, many restaurants ordered a lot from outside the state, but we still make everything."
Tan also has ensured that the high quality of Golden Dragon's dishes remains.
'We always have had healthy, home-cooked food," she says. 'We always watch the quality of our food, so customers will come forever."
Golden Dragon kept delivering its beloved homemade dumplings, Peking duck and Moo Shoo pork, and it continued to serve its Beijing-style breakfast on the weekends with a smorgasbord of Chinese traditions, like onion pancakes and leek pockets. Tan also started to infuse more international elements into her dishes, creating a menu that boasts more than 30 entrees. Inspiration for the diverse menu comes from her travels to Thailand, Korea, Singapore and other Asian countries.
Tan now is organizing yearly trips to Asia to bring her customers to the food. 'Customers wanted to follow me to these Asian countries," she says. 'It's a gourmet and culture tour."
Back in Metairie, Jung's Golden Dragon caters to 'people from China who really miss home," or anyone who loves home-cooked food with an international flair. Even with the changes after the storm, Tan kept some things the same.
'People still think our hot and sour soup is the best in the city."
- Lauren LaBorde