Dear Grub Street,
I’m on a quest to find the perfect restaurant venue, so naturally I went straight to the source. A group of fifteen to twenty desperately seeks a Chinese restaurant with over-the-top hokey décor, mirrored walls, and decent food. And strong drinks. Well, the mirrored walls aren’t a requirement, but someplace that will allow semi-raucous, dressed-in-a-theme patrons and hopefully not be more than $25 a head. Does this place exist?
Yes, Andrew, there is a Santa … er, Chinese restaurant sure to fill your wildest party fantasies. King Yum is far, far away — Fresh Meadows, Queens, to be exact — but it’s one of the last big, raucous, old-time Chinese-American fun palaces, where you can drink mai tais and face down tiki idols all while filling up on psychedelically dyed pupu platters and fried rice. As for your $25 ceiling, that’s a bit low for this day and age. Still, they won’t hit you too badly, and you probably won’t mind spending the extra few bucks once you’re hammered. So go ahead: Put on your wacky costumes, jack a school bus (or wait for a new subway line to be built), and let the good people at King Yum do what they do best — put a crooked smile on your face. And, oh, about the mirrors: We seem to recall walking into one near the bar …
King Yum, 181-08 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows; 718-380-1918.