For three generations, this family-owned and operated restaurant has been serving dishes based on early 20th century recipes from the Canton Province of southeastern China and blended with American flavors.
In 1922, my Uncle George Eng, one of Lewiston’s early Chinese pioneers, emigrated from China. He was only 14 years old, but that year he began his restaurant career as a dishwasher at the Majestic Café, Lewiston’s first Chinese-owned restaurant. Eventually, he became one of the co-owners of the Majestic.
In 1952, George and his wife Mei opened up George’s Restaurant on this very site. Mei’s smile welcomed all customers. George had years of experience cooking at the Majestic and organizational skills gained from his World War II service as a U.S. Army mess sergeant. Together they created a popular restaurant that is now part of Lewiston’s restaurant lore.
In the 1970s, they helped Helen Mok (Mei’s niece) and Dick Tsang (a refugee) immigrate to the United States from China. George and Mei trained the two recent arrivals to cook the recipes they had created specifically for diners in the Inland Northwest—dishes like chop suey, crispy chow mein, foo yung, egg roll, fried rice, almond fried chicken, egg flower soup, and other dishes that usually call for equal portions of meat and vegetables, and mild flavors rather than spicy and bold.
Helen and Dick married in 1975, and in 1977 they established their own restaurant—the Golden Dragon—across Highway 12. As their son, I was destined to become a third-generation cook, and in 2006, I took over the family business and rebuilt my restaurant on this site where George’s Restaurant stood.
Today I am continuing an almost century-long tradition of serving Inland Northwest American-Chinese dishes recipes pioneered by Uncle George and Aunt Mei Eng. My menu has the American-Chinese flavor with fresh vegetables and tasty chicken, tender beef, or delicious shrimp paired with more traditional Cantonese seasonings--sesame and soybean oil, premium soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, onion, white pepper, rice wine, bean sauce, star anise, and five spice powder.
On the posts on either side of the front door are these words: “Full house of friends at the Golden Dragon” and “We welcome the company through our front door.”
Thank you, friends, for dining with us at the Golden Dragon Restaurant.