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Nov 2, 1999 03:58 PM


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I'm on the Atkins diet for the foreseeable future, which somewhat constrains what I can eat. (No hate mail, please, from militant vegetarians or self-appointed health patrollers, and apologies in advance to any innocents who might inadvertently take offense.)

Try not to laugh, but I've been very pleasantly surprised by the Water Street branch of Yip's, a downtain mini-chain of Chinese fast-food places. I can't vouch for the cold buffet or most of the hot dishes because I haven't sampled them, but excellent roast chicken, spare ribs, and Chinese broccoli make for a perfectly delicious, dietetic meal that can't be beat at about four bucks per pound. The checkout folks are friendly and efficient to boot.

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  1. j
    Jessica Shatan

    Wait a sec, how are these things on the diet? Aren't they prepared with oil (added fat) and aren't spare ribs pretty high in fat to begin with??? Maybe I don't understand the diet--do enlighten me.
    When I was on my own diet (hi-fiber/lo-fat; lost 25lbs and have kept it off) the only chinese I could eat was moo shu and steamed dumplings. Turns out moo shu is braised or something, not sauteed, and not nearly as greasy as everything else. And it got me off of fried dumlings and on to steamed which I hear is the asian preference, for what it's worth.
    RE: Yip's. I remember loving Yip's when I worked in midtown. I would get the sesame chicken with white rice and sit in the little corporate park across the way. It was good for fast food/comfort food, very consistent, organized, reliable, but not on any diet I know of!!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Jessica Shatan

      Dr. Robert Atkins was and remains one of the early (since the '70s) proponents of low-carbohydrate, no-sugar dieting for both weight loss and general health. Hence, such items as roast chicken (low-carb, low-fat, high-protein), Chinese-style spare ribs minus any sauce (low-carb, medium-fat, high-protein), and broccoli (low-all-of-the-above, but high in vitamins and minerals) are not only permitted, but encouraged.

      I will deliberately avoid diet advocacy here, since the subject of nutrition seems to bring the I-know-what's-best-for-you crowd out of the woodwork every time (though I hope that Chowhound has none of that sort), but if you're interested, his books are perennial best-sellers; click Jim's Amazon link and search by author.

      The purpose of my posting was to praise dear Yip's, but any other Atkins-friendly restaurant tips are always appreciated.

      (Repetition of disclaimer: No hate mail, please, from militant vegetarians or self-appointed health patrollers, and apologies in advance to any innocents who might inadvertently take offense.)

      1. re: AHR
        Jessica Shatan

        I agree with the food choices but wonder about the preparation. Do they make the brocolli with a minimum or no oil????????? That just personally hasn't been my experience with chinese food esp. of the Yip's variety.
        P.S. I have no problem with the diet....... just wouldn't have thought of Yip's and Atkins in the same breath.

        1. re: Jessica Shatan
          Rachel Perlow

          I don't know how they prepare it at Yips, but chinese broccoli, aka gailon, is usually blanched (briefly boiled) and served with oyster sauce. Or, blanched, then briefly stir-fried with garlic. It is usually served on its own, but some restaurants serve "Beef with Chinese Broccoli", usually with oyster sauce. We make it at home when we are able to get some - even very few asian stores carry it.

          Unlike "regular" broccoli, the florets of which, when stirfried, absorb oil like a sponge (ever squeeze the florets served with your General Tso's Chicken?), gailon has very few florets.

          It is mostly leafy greens attached to stalk. It looks very similar to broccoli rabe, but doesn't taste the same. And, although slightly bitter in its own right, it is not nearly as bitter as broccoli rabe. It kind of tastes like a cross between asparagus and broccoli, and is one of my favorite veggies.

          Oh yeah, beware, some places will serve yu choy in place of gailon. This is not the same, it tastes more like a cross between celery, bok choy and broccoli. It's OK, but not as good as gailon IMHO, and its fibers are more likely to get stuck in your teeth.

          1. re: Jessica Shatan

            They generally have steamed American and sauteed Chinese broccoli, but the oil in the sautee is not an issue: Oil has no carbohydrates. I've so far avoided most of the other dishes, however, since Chinese sauces are most often thickened with corn starch (lotsa carbs). Ditto for the rice, noodles, breaded items, and the like.

            See you at Yip's!

            1. re: AHR
              Jessica Shatan

              Ok, gotcha. I guess whenever I think diet I think low or no fat. But I reread your post and it's low-carb/sugar. So, enjoy Yip's. (I'll be the one having the brown rice and the steamed broccoli for my high fiber/low fat regime--viva la difference!)

        2. re: Jessica Shatan

          BTW, congrats on the "kept it off" part!