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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 22 years
By Jane Peterson
For MediaNews Group

A

restaurant doesn’t mark
its 22nd 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 protection 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.