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Jan 6, 2002 04:59 PM

Canton Restaurant

  • m

I've always thought the food at Canton was just so-so...But inevitably someone I have plans with insists on going there. So my question is, beyond the usual lineup (lettuce wraps / salt and pepper scallops /peking duck / ginger scallion noodles) is there anything I should try ordering? I don't think much of their lobster dish. Any other ideas?

Thank you!

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  1. Get the steak. It's great.

    1. I haven't been in about 2 years but I always loved their whole fish. Sea Bass or flounder. Wile on the whole it's not mod/trad Cantonese their fish can not be beat. Also, buns as an appetizer, steamed bread w/ 3 different types of pork.

      1. I always like the crab w/ black bean sauce. Very different preparation than most on the other Cantonese restaurants that i've frequented...... I belive there is some sore of chinese sausage added in.

        1. I am surprised that anyone has a good word for Canton.
          Last summer we were invited by some friends who had just returned from a trip to China where they had eaten a number of spectacular banquets and as soon as we entered,I knew it would not be good! I once took a year of cantonese cooking lessons with a marvelous chef, Henry Hugh, so I have some rudiments of chinese cooking to fall back on. The meal at Canton was a set meal of about eight courses and one was worse than the next. Mostly indistinguishable glop! Afterwards, my friends sheepishly agreed. I would never recommend it and am astonished that it is so highly rated in Zagat.

          1. Canton is an absolutely wretched restaurant. I can't understand why anybody would ever eat there.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Patrick A.

              Ok I have not been to Canton for 20+ years and then only once. So discount totally what I have to say. Canton opened at a time when there were few "nice" restaurants in Chinatown. It was mostly formica, tea in glasses and very brusque service. Canton filled a niche especially for non-Chinese people. The staff spoke english and made the food accessible to westerners. At that time they were doing rather upscale cantonese dishes that nobody else was, like those lettuce wraps, and the food quality was quite high, though not the most delicious food to be had down there. The food was also about twice as expensive as anywhere else (the reason we never went back was price resistance). Remember Cantonese in those days (late 70s-say 81) was in a down cycle of popularity - those in the know wanted shanghai or peking style and later szechuan or hunan cooking.) Dim sum was just starting as a trend, with HSF a really big deal.

              SO_O I think Canton has kept its place as a reliable spot for westerners - but with the exponential growth of our Chinese population and other restaurants with tablecloths and interesting food catering to a primarily Chinese clientele, it has become increasingly irrelevant.

              Its good to see a spirited dialog on this topic even as I sit on the sidelines - with Fuleen right down the block, I feel little inclination to make my way down to Canton.