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Dec 2, 2005 08:35 AM

Central Seafood in Hartsdale?

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We may be going to this Chinese restaurant for dinner this weekend. (It's where Hartsdale Garden used to be.) I've had dim sum there once, which was okay, but not outstanding. Anyone have any experience with dinner there? Any recommendations? Or should we be going to Aberdeen instead?

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  1. In my experience, both Central Seafood and Aberdeen have their plusses and minuses. When it first opened, the food at Central was clearly better when you ordered through Jackson, the manager. Lately, we don't have to order through him only, as the other senior people know us and, probably more important, know we are open to new things. It's always a good idea to pay attention to their daily specials. I also like Aberdeen, but I think they are far from perfect. For instance, their dumplings are usually leaden. At both places, the least successful items are usually those that have been available for years in "old-fashioned" Chinese restaurants.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Janie
      Josh Mittleman

      Janie, you wrote:

      > At both places, the least successful items are usually
      > those that have been available for years in
      > "old-fashioned" Chinese restaurants.

      Do you mean the standards of American Chinese restaurants? If so, that doesn't surprise me: Both places specialize in Shanghai/Hong Kong cuisine. They offer the standbys because so many Americans expect to find General Tso's gloppy chicken and suchlike on the menu. I wouldn't expect them to put much effort into perfecting those dishes.

      1. re: Josh Mittleman

        You're right, but even fairly simple things like chicken or beef with broccoli, which I sometimes consider comfort foods. I grant you that both places have plenty of things they do well. It just takes knowing which things to order in which restaurant. At Central Seafood, I never quite understood why ordering through Jackson made such a difference, other than he would suggest things not on the menu, which were always better. If you're careful there, you can have some great dishes not available at Aberdeen.

        1. re: Janie

          Having been to both restaurants, I don't think it is that close. For me Central Seafood is far the better of the two. Their dishes are more complex, the vegetables fresher and the some of the fish dishes are spectacular.
          The stand outs for me: Salt and Pepper Shrimp (the large shrimp not the dim sum smaller ones) flounder, which is actually gray sole, with ginger and scallion, the sliced duck, clams with black bean sauce, the clams so fresh and perfectly cooked that they bring a mineral complexity to the dish and finally for masochists with a taste for the spicy, the hot pepper shrimp. This is a little of a crap shoot, sometimes the peppers are mild and easy going, at other times they are serious mouth burners.
          Dim sum is good but not as good as the main dishes. The shark fin and Shiu Mai are adequate at best (on a par with Aberdeen) the shrimp Shiu Mai a little better. But as with most Dim Sum there is a tendency to gumminess if the food stays in the cart too long. Go with the baby spinach, bok choy, turnip cakes etc as long as you get them as they come from the kitchen.

      2. re: Janie

        We have eaten only dim sum at Central Seafood, and have never ordered from the menu. We think it's great. Favorites are the little fried fish that look like french fries, and the scallion dumplings.

        1. re: Janie

          do u kno if central seafood is in a plaza with best buy

        2. j
          Josh Mittleman

          Please report back. Since we discovered Aberdeen, we haven't been going anywhere else.

          1. I am Chinese and I have been to both places. In my opinion, if you are willing to spend more money on food, then I would recommend Aberdeen, although, Central Seafood's food isn't too bad at all. I have ordered the Beef Pan Fried Noodle (HK Style Chow Mein with the crispy noodle) and it's pretty good. Also, Filet Steak with Chinese Broccoli with Brown Sauce is good too. I think the Crispy Chicken with Dried Garlic is pretty good too. You may want to ask the waitstaff.. sometimes they have interesting Daily Specials.. I think their menu is sort of similar to David's Jade Palace, if you remember when that place was still open. I believe the manager at Central Seafood came from that restaurant but I am not 100% sure.

            Aberdeen's menu seems to have more updated, contemporary Cantonese food so it's a little more sophisticated I think. My Chinese friends only go to Aberdeen now that it's opened. I heard their Dim Sum lunch can vary in quality (sometimes good other times not so good). One of my friends mentioned that when there are more guests at lunch time ordering dim sum they tend ot offer more variety. On a slow day (probably one of the weekdays), the variety of dimsum is less.

            I actually tend to go to Central Seafood more often because the price is more reasonable and food quality is descent. I know the food is not as fancy as that at Aberdeen but it's more value at Central Seafood. If I want really authentic food, I will just go to Manhattan Chinatown to eat and order the same stuff as Aberdeen for 20% less.. then while I am there, I wll get other Chinatown grocery/fruits/veggies, etc. so I won't waste all that parking and toll dollars. Some of you guys may want to stay closer to home so this may not work for everyone.. just my thoughts.

            Hope this helps. Let us know what you think of the food at Central Seafood if you go. Enjoy!

            1. I would like to make one exception to the "Central seafood no good at tradional" point. I have eaten at Central Seafood many, many times and in my opinion thier Scallion Beef is one of the better examples avalible in Westcester; light gingery and deviod of the cloying sweetness and stew meat like flavors that mar so many. I also am much enamored of the Giger scallion lo mein (even if the noodles are far more like mai fun than typical lo mein). I do think that Aberdeen does a better dim sum job (particualry if you like chinese chive cakes central's are so undercooked that the raw onion taste will burn your throat.)but on the whole I much prefer central if I'm actually looking for an actual full meal. (One caveat though skip the royal mixed seafood noodles unless you are really enamored of the taste of dried squid.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jumpingmonk

                Try Bao's in the White Plains mall. Better than Central Seafood by far.

                1. re: onethinmint

                  I've been to Bao's and while I agree it is a fine resturaunt, It's really in a diffent category than central seafood. I like Central becuse its is not only good but is closer to the Fujianese and Fuzhou resturaunts I prefer when I am in Chinatown (the onese that cluster on East bradway and Division street's) Bao's menu is more like that of a "general" chinese resturaunt. Ity also doesnt hurt that Cental is the only place I know of to get something like Hong Kong style Lo-mein outside of Chinatown. Still Bao's is indeed good for many things and I often eat there when I pop ito the mall for supplies at Kam Sen.

              2. We like this place a lot, actually more than aberdeen. The crisy garlic chicken is amazing. Rivals anything I've had in china town (back when it was good). While they charge a lot for the fresh fish steamed in ginger scallion sauce, it is outstanding. Their daily specials are nice often as well.

                5 Replies
                1. re: gordoma

                  Central seafood is a fantastic place with a front house manager with great presence, charisma and the ability to help guide your dining experience. Ask for "Jackson" and he will take very good care of you...Highly reccomend this place a great for dim sum also

                  1. re: chefscorp

                    I truly can't decide between these two. I alternate because each has some great dishes and also some misses. At Aberdeen my Cantonese family often has to order the dishes with no sugar added as their sauces tend to be too sweet. Dim Sum is more spacious at Central Seafood but they don't always have as many varieties as Aberdeen. I guess I'll just have to continue going to both!

                    1. re: chefscorp

                      I recently tried the dim sum at Central Seafood and have to say I was quite disappointed. While the selection was good and the overall atmosphere seemed very busy and energetic, I was not happy overall with the quality and execution of the food. The shrimp dumplings tasted off to me, and the other dumplings I had were just ordinary and kind of sloppily rendered. The only nice item was the baby bok choy which had well-executed garlic flavor. The service was also sloppy and rough. I just got the impression that they didn't really go the extra mile to care about the food quality or the customers. Yes the place is authentic, but that's about it. I personally much prefer Aberdeen. Even if it is somewhat overpriced there, and the dim sum is somewhat limited and not always great either, at least you feel like the quality and freshness are more reliable and the service is more personal.

                      For dinner, I had a decent meal once at Central Seafood, but again, there is something missing to the food overall, and on the other hand I've had some amazing dinners at Aberdeen.

                      For me, it's no contest, Aberdeen is definitely the better of the two.

                      1. re: jeanki

                        Aberdeen for dim sum for sure! Central Seafood has a wider selection but everything is poorly executed. I've never had passable chicken feet or salt-water dumpling at Central where as every time Aberdeen offers delicious ones. In fact I've gotta say Aberdeen's dim sum is better than anything in Chinatown. For best NYC dim sum , Flushing and Sunset Park are where it's at.

                        As for dinner, it's a toss up. It all depends on what you order. Central is a little cheaper and offers larger portions. Their crispy skin chicken with garlic is awesome. The salt-baked pork chops at Aberdeen is well executed.

                        1. re: jeanki

                          We love both Aberdeen and Central Seafood. The first time we happened upon Central Seafood on a Saturday afternoon and I was sold by the delicious baby bok choy. I've finally figured out how to make it at home, it was a revelation.