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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LAM FAMILY

The winning combination of quality food, warm hospitality and giving back to their community is what keeps customers coming back to Leong’s 21 in Chesterfield Township.

Leong’s 21 committed to quality food,
strong sense of community for 20 years
By Jane Peterson
For MediaNews Group

A

restaurant doesn’t
mark its 20th anniversary without
doing something right.
For the Lam family and their
popular Chinese eatery, that
“something” is a successful combination of quality food, warm
hospitality and giving back to
the community it serves.
“We’re very proud of what
we’ve built here,” said Ling Ling
Lam, matriarch of the family
who continues to visit the restaurant frequently during her
retirement. “We’ve been able to
watch families grow and then
bring their little children back
to visit and eat.”
Lam loves to provide guests

with an excellent dining experience. She is grateful for the
support the restaurant has received during the pandemic, acknowledging that while it has
been a challenging year filled
with many changes for the restaurant industry in general, being a regional destination with
many loyal, longtime customers
helped Leong’s 21 weather the
challenges.
“We thank everyone for their
kind words and support,” she said.
Longtime customers know that
they can count on Leong’s 21 for
delicious combination platters
with authentic flavors as well as
fast, friendly service. Most can’t
get enough of their favorite Chinese food and throughout the
COVID-19 health crisis have continued to order using the restaurant’s convenient carryout option
featuring fresh, hot food made to
order.
They aren’t alone, and as a result, the Chesterfield Township

restaurant has earned a number of accolades and awards
over the years. Lam points to being recognized for “Best Chinese
Food” in Macomb County in the
Macomb Daily and Voice Newspapers’ Best of the Best contest
and several first place honors
in the Best Chinese category in
Channel 4’s ClickOnDetroit annual contest. Leong’s 21 was also
named one of the top 100 Chinese
restaurants in the United States
and Canada by Asian Restaurant
News.
Clearly, its customers love Leong’s 21 and the Lams return that
affection by giving back to Macomb County communities. For
many years, the restaurant has
provided scholarships for high
school students and donated food
for Taste Fests at L’Anse Creuse
and Anchor Bay high schools.
When the COVID-19 pandemic
first broke out in the spring of
2020 and medical departments
were short on personal protec-

tion equipment (PPE), Leong’s 21
donated masks to help.
As the Lam family has helped
students pursue their future goals,
they continue to preserve their
family’s traditions. Their Cantonese, Szechuan and Thai recipes have been passed down from
one generation to the next and for
good reason. Her husband’s family
recipe for almond chicken, for example, is a popular choice because
the special type of flour used
makes the batter on the boneless
chicken extra light and crispy and
never oily. It is served with just
the right amount of brown gravy,
topped with a layer of slivered almonds and garnished with green
onions.
Fresh ingredients are a given.
Nothing, she said, is prepared in
bulk and frozen just to be reheated
later. Nothing gets cooked or fried
until it is ready to be served to a
customer.
Many staff members have been
with Leong’s 21 for many years

and Lam said they are like family. Cooks prepare each meal with
care while servers are familiar
with all aspects of the menu and
are always happy to make recommendations if guests aren’t sure
what to choose.
Customers can choose from
more than 20 combination dinners, including favorites like
chicken subgum, spicy Szechuan
shrimp, pepper steak and spicy cashew pork. Many crave the General Tao Chicken in a pleasant,
spicy Szechuan sauce and the
juicy Sweet and Sour Chicken,
said Lam, adding that Leong’s 21
is also known for its hot and sour
soup, wonton soup and fried rice
as well as its generous portions
and affordable pricing.
Leong’s 21 Original Chinese
Restaurant is located at 46590
Gratiot Avenue in Chesterfield.
Hours are 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. daily.
For more information, visit Leong21.com or call (586) 949-3060
to place a take-out order.