Ho Yuen Ting, Yan's Best Place, and the New Shanghai
I thought I should know this stuff, but when the SO wanted an upscale rest. in Chinatown, I thought of New Shanghai, which I had heard was Julia Child's favorite. We went, and it DID have white tablecloths, but after looking at the menu, I couldn't bring myself to order, the menu looked SO ordinary, suburban, even! I had to leave, it was my birthday, and I wanted CHOW!!! We went past Ho Yuen Ting, which looked quite chowish, but not quite celebratory..It did make me wannah go back and check it out--anyone have any opinions? Also went past Yan's Best Place, the new one where the oldest Chau Chow was, and I recalled seeing one post about it...Anyone else been? By the way, I finally gave in to the craving for one of my alltime favorite, the oysters with Black Bean sauce at Peach Farm, so we went there, had those, scallops on the shell with ginger and scallion, watercress, and the twin lobsters with ginger and scallion, washed down with a couple of glasses of cheap chardonnay..It was heaven!
Ho Yuen Ting is probably my favorite chinese seafood joint in the city. Their twin lobster specials (usually for about $18) are ridiculous! It sure isnt fancy, the service is bad, and there is often a wait, but the food is just great. If you're looking for good chinese seafood and don't want to go to Chinatown, the relatively new Chinatown Seafood in Brookline is suprisingly good and authentic.
Ho Yuen Ting is by far the most under-rated gem of Chinatown. Even my culinarily jaded NYC friends thought it was excellent. I can not count the great meals we've had there, esp. since New House of Toy became Ginza. Peach Farm may be awfully good but man those prices!!! HYT does it all good. The HYT 'fried clams' are really clams in blackbean sauce and quite outstanding. Their egg rolls seem to be made on site. The H&S soup totally rocks. SO do their potstickers. The ginger scallion crab legs are A+. The hot pot menu is outstanding. HYT Chow Foon - Three delights - that's the real deal. Price is right - we had a table of 8 and the tab for dinner was $150.00 w/tip. Did I mention I really like the place?
It's too bad many places in Chinatown seems to keep 2 menus- one for the "Americans" and one for the ethnic group they catered to. I have been to New Shanghai many times with my Chinese friends from Shanghai and we LOVE that place! The food we get there is always great, they've gone often enough to know the chef so we always get special service and special dishes cooked for us that's not on the menu. We were just there on Saturday and we had a appetizer sampler dish consisting of marinated beef, spicy squid, jellyfish, kau foo (a Shanghai tofu) and sour and spicy cabbage. For the entrees we had crispy eel; "Lion's head" which is really giant pork meatballs with nappa cabbbage and clear noodle; a shrimpball covered with dried scallops steamed and served over peashoots with a semi-clear/white sauce; a special soup cooked in a claypot with chinese ham, tofu skin, fresh bamboo shoot and mushrooms; stir-fried shrimps and panfried red bean pancake for dessert. Everything was delicious and according to my friends, the food was very "authentic" shanghai style.