Fans Cuisine on Bowery
- Steven Stern
This one of those new-fangled Hong Kong places--like Funky Broome--that seem to be popping up. I've mentioned it in a couple of posts, based solely on appearance and chow radar. Well, I finally tried it, and I think it might be as good as I thought it might be.
Two meals so far--haven't ordered anything complicated, but I've liked just about everything. Best dish: a "green bean noodle" and crab casserole--lovely slippery bean threads soaking up the rich juices of many, -many- perfectly cooked crabs. Great fried rice, several varieties: both the duck and sausage and the bacon and preserved cabbage were winners. The prawns with black pepper showed up at the table looking like a lousy fancied-up gringo choice--shiny with cornstarch and surrounded by broccoli florets and orange slices--but was better than it had any right to be: the shrimp were sweet and tasty, and the sauce, while a little too viscous, had real depth and complexity and a nice peppery kick. Great garlicky watercress and real good Chinese broccoli. There's definitely the feeling of a single intelligence in the kitchen, one person's aesthetic running the show. All the flavors were particularly clean and focused (vague words, I know, but the best I can come up with).
Additionally: the best bubble tea I've ever tasted and a fine iced Horlick's served in a big jelly jar. Nice little extras, too: freebie peanuts and radish pickle to start, particularly fragrant tea, hot towels before and after the meal, and truly exceptional watermelon to finish.
It's at 98 Bowery between Grand and Hester. I'll definitely be back, working my way through the menu, and I'd love to get recommendations from other eaters who venture in.
Thanks for the tip! I'm going to try it ASAP and will report back. Went to Funky Broome a few days ago--liked it very much, though we only tried a few dishes. Excellent jellyfish. I could eat that all night. Wonderful water spinach with bean paste. Stir-fried fish with preserved vegetables was okay, though a bit bland. Waitstaff was very friendly and helpful. Crabs with salt and pepper at the next table looked delicious. Saturday night at 7:30, and no wait. I'll certainly go back soon, but will try Fans first.
re: Dave Feldman
Happy to oblige.
1. Phone is 212 625-0686
2. Regarding tables: I think most of the tables are conventional 4-tops (it seems to be more of a date place than a big family dinner place), but there might be some big round tables near the front. There's a cramped "party room" in the basement with two big round banquet tables and a karaoke machine.
3. The price structure seems to be average Chinatown: lunch a lot cheaper than dinner; seafood a lot more expensive than other dishes. At dinner, most of the mains are around $10-11, with fish dishes going up to $17-18. Both times for us--2 people; one fried rice, one plate of greens, one seafood entree, and a couple of beverages--the check was in the mid-40s. The menu I have is for lunch (which I haven't tried yet): appetizers in the $4-6 range, plain congee for $1.25, noodles running $3.25-$11.95 (for clam fried noodle with X.O. sauce), iced desserts for $1.75. The dinner specials menu is tragically untranslated, but I hope to try to crack it soon.
I ate there last night. I had the green bean noodle and crab casserole, and the roast duck appetizer (sadly, I forgot to order the bubble tea or the Horlick's). It was good, but going only by that one meal, I still prefer Funky Broome or Sweet 'n' Tart Cafe.