I'll admit that I was a little skeptical about Green Leaf, which touts itself as having "Chinese & Japanese & Thai Cuisine" on its menu. I was concerned that by trying to be everything, the restaurant might fail at its primary goal — to be a good Chinese restaurant. But I needn't have worried. In all fairness, I only tried the Chinese food at Green Leaf, so I can't vouch for the Japanese or Thai, which will have to be fodder for a future review (or two).
The restaurant, located on Port Washington Boulevard, has plenty of parking in the back (by Uncle Guiseppe's). It is surprisingly large and plush inside — filled with seemingly endless tables and booths. In the middle of the dining room is a little oasis of ferns and palms, and of course, as in most Chinese restaurants, there is a fish tank filled with obese goldfish. The place was surprisingly empty on our recent trip. Surprising for two reasons: 1) the food is very good and 2) the prices are quite reasonable.
The lunch menu is broken down into two categories: Chinese and Japanese (with a nod to Thai thrown in as Pad Thai is also offered). There are 27 Chinese choices — all (except noodle dishes) are served with rice (white, brown or fried) and a choice of either an egg roll or soup (Wonton, Egg Drop, Hot & Sour). Prices for the 27 choices are primarily either $5.95 or $6.95. Only two choices: Rainbow Fish Filet and Sweet & Sour Shrimp are $7.95. Choices include chicken, pork, beef and shrimp dishes, as well as noodle dishes (Lo Mein, Chow Fun, Pad Thai) and a vegetarian dish (Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce). Any of the noodle dishes can also be ordered vegetarian.
The second part of the lunch menu is devoted to Japanese food (which I will review another time). Choices included Udon (noodles), Sushi, and Sashimi with prices ranging from $7 for Seafood Udon Soup to $10.95 for the Sushi and Sashimi Combo. There were also eight choices of Japanese Bento Boxes ranging from Vegetable Tempura to Duck at a cost of between $7.95 and $8.95. The choices were interesting, and I look forward to trying them, but we were there for the Chinese food.
The waiter brought tea and noodles with duck sauce for dipping. Interestingly, the tea did not taste like Chinese tea to me — it tasted like regular black tea — and it was served in coffee cups, rather than the tiny tea cups usually found in Chinese restaurants. My dining companion ordered the Vegetable Lo Mein, and I ordered the Chicken with Walnuts. We both started with the Wonton soup. Here was another small glitch — the soup was good, the wontons themselves were soft and flavorful, but there was a piece or two of onion skin floating on the top of my soup. I removed it, and it was not a problem, but showed a slight lack of care in the kitchen.
There was no lack of care with the main dish, however. My Chicken with Walnuts was absolutely superb — thinly sliced white meat with snow peas, baby corn and carrots cooked in a rich brown sauce and topped with a very generous helping of huge honey walnut halves. The sweet and crunchy nuts were the perfect counterpoint to the tender chicken and nicely cooked vegetables. The portion size was perfect. My dining companion had the Vegetable Lo Mein — soft, stir fried noodles laced with bits of chopped vegetables including scallions, snow peas, carrots and bits of lettuce. The noodles were moist, but my companion would have liked to add an extra shake of soy sauce, which unfortunately wasn't provided on any of the tables. Nevertheless, we both were quite pleased with our meal, and the tea was replenished as soon as it ran out.
We were in and out in under an hour, and the place is certainly nice enough for a business lunch. The availability of parking is a plus, as is the reasonable price and nice décor. Lunch for two, including tax and tip, was $15. It's perfectly suitable for a business lunch, but would also be good for large groups. It's worth noting that lunch is served seven days a week (excluding holidays) until 4 p.m., so this will work for a weekend outing as well. While I can't (yet) vouch for the Japanese and Thai choices, the Chinese was extremely good and the Chicken with Walnuts is highly recommended.