1.) Our entrees, with the Sagar Chicken Vegetable dish in the silver bowl at the top, chilly shrimp in the silver bowl at the left, and the veggie jasmine fried rice in the white bowl at the right;
2.) a bowl of the hot and sour soup, which came as part of their insanely cheap $6.45 lunch special;
3.) the lollipop chicken appetizer, and
4.) the masala fish finger, and
5.) a picture of the outside of the restaurant. You can't eat that, silly!
What led us to choose this particular restaurant and these items? - Well, I don't think I've ever been to Bellerose / Floral Park before, and we had planned to go to a local kebab place, but pulled an audible at the last minute. As for the specific items, well, we were hungry as hell, and I'm always a sucker for a lunch special.
The minute I looked at the menu I immediately realized that Sagar Chinese Restaurant is tragically misnamed. This isn't your typical generic Chinese place, not by a long shot - it's Indian fusion with a Chinese twist. The menu itself was very similar to one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Masala Wok in Hicksville, except with fewer Thai options (notably, no curries, although some of the Thai soups seemed promising).
As far as each of the individual items we chose, three factors were at play: 1.) I'm always a sucker for a cheap lunch special; 2.) the similarities between Sagar Chinese's menu and Masala Wok's made me feel a certain familiarity with some items, rightly or wrongly, and 3.) we were hungry as hell.
How was it? - Overall, everything was at least "good" flavorwise. Starting from the appetizers, the hot and sour soup was certainly above average when you compare it to some of the crap that accompanies a typical lunch special. While we weren't expecting the lollipop chicken and the fish appetizers to be this heavily breaded and fried, they were quite tasty. And although I was disappointed that the entrees came in such heavy sauces (I've never had chilly shrimp with such a thick, viscous sauce), they were both enjoyable. The Sagar Chicken Vegetable dish had a disinct buttery flavor, and the chilly shrimp tasted great in spite of both a.) not being spicy enough and b.) the massive amount of cornstarch they obviously chucked in there at some point.
Honestly, by the end of the meal, I was unfortunately starting to see how the "Chinese" influence manifested itself, what with all of the deep frying and cornstarch.
My main problem here was largely my own mistake. Our menu choices were based largely on what I enjoy at Masala Wok, since I've had each of the items we ordered there many, many times. Indian fusion ain't easy, and expecting a restaurant I've never been to before to match up (not to mention one with a mediocre Yelp review) was probably unrealistic.
Ultimately, the meal was pretty good, and based on flavor alone, we'd probably be looking at something in the B / B+ range. However, without getting into too much detail, I really can't stress enough the havoc that was wreaked on my digestive system in the hours following the meal. Things, uh, got ugly.