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Best Chinatown not dim sum, not noodles, not viet

It seems lately I only go to Chinatown for dim sum, but I'm going with friends after a Saturday matinee. We'll be there too late for dim sum -- about 5 pm -- and my friends don't want a noodle shop or Vietnamese, which are two of my other faves. Any suggestions for any regional Chinese, or do you know any Chinatown dim sum places that serve this late? I love Jing Fong for dim sum -- but don't know how their "other" food is. Thanks!

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  1. What about Thai [Pongsri] or Malaysian [Nyonya]? How about congee [Yummy Noodles, 48 Bowery - ignore the "Noodles" in the name, it's a congee shop]? The Jing Fong menu is not bad, or 9 Chatham Square also is a good choice.

    7 Replies
    1. re: devil

      I love Yummy Noodles, but it's not just a congee shop. They have plenty of noodle dishes on the menu, just as many as NY Noodletown. They also have all the Cantonese favorites like roast duck, roast pork, etc. They're well known for their rice casseroles.
      A great place is Cantoon Garden at 22 Elizabeth. They're known for their soft shell crabs and other seafood dishes, although most of my meals there have consisted of rice casseroles, their excellent soups with very flavorful broth, the garlic fried chicken that Congee Village does well but this place does much better, and my favorites, the wilted lettuce with bean paste and the water spinach with bean paste. Great stuff. If you go on a weekend night there will often be an hour wait and the place is usually packed even on a weekday. I'm not the only person that likes this restaurant.
      Congee on Bowery just above Canal is as good as Congee Village in some respects and better in others. That chicken dish I mentioned above is better at Congee although still not as good as the Cantoon Garden version.
      New Green Bo is almost never bad. I still love the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai on Pell. Penang on Elizabeth just about Canal is pretty good for some stuff. I like Nyonya on Grand.
      Double Crispy, a newish bakery on Grand close to Bowery has a good durian egg tart.

      1. re: Peter Cuce

        I ate a sad dinner at the Penang location you refer to this past winter. Poh piah and asam laksa, I think. Skyway on Allen between Division and Canal is so much better!

        1. re: Pan

          I like some of their stuff. The Bah Ku Teh, not sure about the spelling. It's been a while, can't remember what I liked :)

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            I truly worship they double duck thigh soup with medicinal herbs, or whatever it's called. My god, what broth! Also has cantonese noodles in it, and a large duck thigh. However, I have not had it for years. Why I don't know!

        2. re: Peter Cuce

          I second the garlic fried chicken at Cantoon. They also make a fantastic crispy prawn dish. Also like Congee Village, but not as much as Cantoon. My favorite dish, hands down, are the crab dumplings at New Green Bo, the juices that pour out of them are tastier than any consumee I've had at any four star French restaurant...
          I also like to splurge on the crispy duck at Peking Duck, although the line can be ridiculous at times. Been to Joe's Ginger a few times, great food, but not as good as the original Joe's. There's also this great joint that makes the best scallion pancakes ever -- they are on east side of Mott between Hester and Houston -- forgot the name, but they have neon lights in it and its relatively "modern" -- by Chinatown standards at least...

          1. re: RawTunaFan

            "east side of Mott between Hester and Houston"

            Do you mean Hester and Canal?

      2. Sorry but Dim Sum is best during brunch hours. It's not true dim sum if you plan on eating that late.

        1. Current favorites of mine are Fuleen (Division St), Congee Inc (Bowery), Congee Village (Allen St), and 218 Grand (for fantastic roast meats).

          1. Vegetarian Dum Sum on Pell St. is great -- although no meat dishes here. Super affordable, tasty, and serves dim sum at all hours.

            1. My favorite restaurants in Chinatown:

              Cantonese: Congee Village, but that's perhaps a bit north of Chinatown. Otherwise, New York Noodle Town.

              Shanghainese: Yeah Shanghai Deluxe on Bayard St.

              Malaysian: Skyway on Allen St. between Canal and Division

              I haven't been to Oriental Garden for some time but have read very good reports lately on eGullet by people whose views I respect. The best bet seems to be to point to the types of fish and seafood you want and tell the manager how you'd like them to cook it. It won't be cheap.

              1. Another vote for Congee Village.

                1. My vote is for Big Wong: Traditional Cantonese food. The roast duck is really good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 2greenalligators

                    Cantonese: Big Wong (on Mott, south of Canal just before Bayard) has some of the best Chinese BBQ meats in Chinatown. I rarely leave Chinatown without a container full of their char siu. I really love their pork & 10,000 year egg congee. They also make really nice fluffy rice crepes and one of my favorites there, is the shrimp with sour cabbage (really tastes sweet more than sour to me) over rice.
                    Shanghainese: I highly recommend Shanghai Cafe(used to be Shanghai Garden, south of Canal on Mott, but they moved and changed their name and now they're on Mott, just north of Canal)... absolutely, hands down the BEST juicy crab meat/pork dumplings in New York! I'm a big fan of their poached, wine chicken (in the "cold appetizers" section of the menu). And any of their spice salt dishes are phenomenal (my personal fave is the salt/pepper squid).
                    Yummy Noodles has incredible rice casseroles (and yes, you get to keep the clay pots they cook them in if you order your dish "to-go").
                    Oh, and I haven't been there in a while (I know the location closer to Mott closed down and is now the Custard Shop- don't know if the other location is still open), but I used to love Sweet n' Tart's wonton soup and their dessert, black sesame soup.

                  2. We go to Congee Village but I'd agree with Big Wong, which is on Elizabeth & Bayard. Have the double lobsters, either with black bean sauce or ginger/garlic, if they have lamb shops, do that. Everything is terrific.

                    1. Go to Wo Hop on Mott St. It's an old time restaurant but they serve up good down home chinese cooking and be forewarned that the attitude from the waiters come along with the great food :o)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sago

                        Don't you mean very old-style American-Chinese cooking?

                      2. i agree - congee village is great. i also like penang (malaysian), and sweet n tart. jing fong (on elizabeth, correct?) was just shut down by the board of health. don't know if they're going to re-open.

                          1. re: N_bodie

                            Yes. Thank you. New Green Bo.
                            I have yet to have something at this place that I didn't like.

                            As much as I love the wild menu, and even wilder design scheme (check out the smaller rooms downstairs; no two are exactly alike) of Congee Village, does it actually count as Dim Sum?
                            (Then again...does it matter? I mean, these guys serve up over-rice dishes inside of bamboo logs and frog casseroles, so who cares, right?)

                            Need I remind y'all that Mei Lei Wah Coffee Shop - where tens of thousands of hot and chewy buns are carried on metal trays out of a crawlspace kitchen that might just be harboring a secret portal to another, better, universe - serves up classic DS staples all day. Dig the Coconut Bun, topped with enough pure sugar to make your teeth hurt, or, of course, the Big Special Combination Bun.

                            And - hey - what about the ancient yet venerable Chatham? Don't they serve Dim Sum items from behind the counter all day? Okay, I'll admit, this is a hit or miss joint, and kind of greasy, but the hits, plus the atmosphere, make it well worth it.

                            This may be worthy of yet a whole other topic, but has anyone out there ever been to the Nam Wah Tea Parlour, the ancient place on Doyers, right next to a Vietnamese place? They sell almond cookies and, i believe, Dim Sum, all day. I've been there once, with my wife, and feel that-despite the greasy fare - this place was well worth it for the near-surreal atmosphere and vibe. Have not eaten there since, but I make a point of walking by there a lot, and, here's the thing: NO ONE IS EVER IN THERE! I kid you not. So...I was just wondering if anyone out there has ever tried this place besides me.

                            1. re: Polecat

                              Congee Village does not serve dim sum. There are some dumplings on the menu, but they're not the house's specialty and not worth ordering, with all the other good food on the menu.

                              I haven't been to Nam Wah in 3 decades, probably. But this is not a thread about dim sum.

                              1. re: Pan

                                I like their fried bread served w/ condensed milk.

                                1. re: Peter Cuce

                                  I'll take your word for it that that's good; I've never tried it.

                          2. what about new york noodle town on bowery. the name says noodles but that's not what i get when i go there - when they're in season they make melt in your mouth salt baked soft shell crab - and they also make a slamming roast duck with flowering chives.

                            1. My vote is for the new Prosperity Dumpling. We just wrote about it today and can't say enough good things about it or its proprietors. I've been back three times in the past week (total cost= $9.50). Amazing.


                              NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Nosher

                                Looks great, Nosher! I hope you don't mind if I cut and paste the location from your blog:

                                46 Eldridge Street (between Canal and Hester Streets)

                                1. NY Noodletown. It is the best. We always want to try other places but seem to get magnetically drawn back to Noodletown. And we rarely order noodles (which are also very good). The roast duck is sublime. The salt-baked shrimp is moist and juicy. The pork and oyster casserole is unusual and delicious. The sea bass is always very fresh. Squid and asparagus, lobster with garlic and scallion, softshell crabs -- it's all great. And their vegetables are superb -- flowering chives, baby bok choy, pea shoots, Chinese broccoli -- it's always brilliantly fresh and tasty. never oversauced. We've been going there for years and the waiters are always extremely nice to us, although I think for newcomers it's probably brisk but polite service. We've just never had a meal there we didn't love, and the prices are so low! Our family of four often has a bill of around $60, and never over $80. If you're in the mood for a big bowl of noodle soup with duck, you can eat dinner for under $5.

                                  1. Shanghai Cafe for soup dumplings and Shanghai stir fried rice cakes!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: designerboy01

                                      Man, I LOVE ricecakes! With pork and preserved cabbage...mmmm

                                      1. re: designerboy01

                                        Oh Yummy Noodles are also known for thier rice pots. I did take out once and they gave me the pot to my surprise. People who like it like the preserved meats.

                                        Other options are Congee at Big Wong and go for their noodles wrapped in shrimp, beef or roast pork.

                                        If you really want to be adventerous you can go to Yuen Yuen and get the medicinal soups. The menu is all in chinese. But they got some slow cooked Cantonese soups- water duck soup, turtle, one with some bark blah blah...hard to explain. They got an English menu there, but it doesn't have everything on it. Old school asians go here mostly.

                                      2. I'm a bit with the old school thing....and Chatam Restaurant by the OTB on Bowery would be my choice. It's a bit tougher for the non-Chinese speaking audience...but if you know what you want...and point it from the menu...it works wonders!!! Heck...I do it! lol!

                                        On a side note...they serve the best roast pork buns in Chinatown.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: chinito500

                                          ahh yes, I also did hear they got good dim sum there as well.

                                        2. Does anyone know what happened to Wong Kee. It was on Mott Street a few doors from Vincents. They had the best Roast Pork and Roast Duck I have ever had. Always packed. Just great old style Chinese food. What happened and where are the cooks now.

                                          1. Wong Kee was about my all time favorite, so I was very sorry to find out it had gone out of business about 18 months ago. No idea where its staff dispersed to.