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Cantonese in Chinatown, had to let you know

  • j

We've been searching for a while, think we got lucky last night. Had:
Cantonese Dungeness Crab, Young Chow fried rice, sauted eggplant, crispy chilian sea bass, peking pork chops,shrimp in lobster sauce (the 88 year old's request)clams in black bean sauce and a combo dim sum app (spring roll was a bit greasy, but har chow and shu mai were great. As was everything else, in addition service was attentive and bathrooms were CLEAN! Am I dreaming??? Has anyone else been? Saw fried spring chicken, pea shoots and lobster on other tables that looked great.

Let me know.

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  1. Dying to know where we were, right??

    Sorry about that.

    Chatham Sq Restaurant
    6 Chatham Square

    3 Replies
    1. re: jbh

      My not-so-secret dim sum find at this place is their deep fried taro puff/balls (or whatever that's called). Best I've found in Chtown, it looks like the picture below--


      1. re: bokkyo

        If you like those taro balls (the woo gok) try the flattened version too. It's sorta like a taro pancake. It's crispier than the balls and the outside is made of shredded strips of taro. Also great are the fried dumplings.

        The tripe there is great as well. Most places make you take the tripe with daikon but here you can just get the tripe by itself and its a HUGE portion.

        My standard solo meal is the taro ball + plus the taro pancake + an order of tripe + fried dumplings + spare ribs + shrimp or beef in the white noodles. I'm so full and it's almost under 10 bucks since the normal dimsum is only 1.70 a pop.

      2. re: jbh

        I'll agree that the food is excellent but a clean bathroom is something that I've never seen there and I'm in there once or twice a week.

        Other things to try include the fried oyster casserole, the salt baked squid/pork chops, Cantonese style blue crabs( the standard ginger and scallions version is good too but it deprives you of the bits of egg + sauteed meat), the steamed carp...blah I'm hungry now...off to get some food

      3. I've heard good stuff about the dim sum there. Thanks for the report.

        1. Didn't want to post or make a judgment based on just one visit, but I found Chatham Sq to be quite good.

          1. I'm pretty sure those taro dumplings are called woo gok. They're one of my favorite dim sum items, though you can't eat too many because they're so heavy. I'll have to make a visit to Chatham Sq.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Krista G

              Thanks for the name of that dish! If I'm not mistaken, Chatham adds flavor with a little mushroom alongside the ground taro/pork.

              1. re: Krista G

                Yep they are called woo gok in Cantonese.

              2. Did they expand? Or is the new place next door totally separate? I drove by last weekend and saw New Chatham Sq Restaurant in the window. which is the same name as the one in the old Hop Shing location, isn't it?

                3 Replies
                1. re: rolypoly

                  It didn't expand. They changed their name and got the new sign several years ago.

                  1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                    i was asking about the place next door to New Chatham. It looks new and has the same name or very similar name. I drove by pretty fast so I couldn't get a good look. Which is why I ask if New Chatham has expanded or if the new place next door is totally separate and unrelated. or was i just hallucinating..

                    1. re: rolypoly

                      Oh that place with the unreadable name/ugly sign that took that Pho Bang spot. It's new.

                2. Just trying to do a little price comparison, how much was the dungenese crab at Chatham Sq? was it fried or steamed?
                  I am glad you had a good experience especially at the bathroom.

                  1. Seems like there is a bit of confusion, after 20 years of going to Hop Shing, and at least 5 employee/owner changes we had to give up. They just about threw out our table a couple of months ago, after spending a couple of hundred(alot of Chinese beer),at 9:00pm.

                    I was actually writing about the new place. Was anyone else?

                    4 Replies
                      1. re: jbh

                        You post is a little confusing...Chatham hasn't been called Hop Shing in over 2-3 years...which restaurant are you talking about? Chatham (the old Hop Shing) or somewhere else?

                        1. re: Lau

                          2 doors down, at 6 Chatham Square is a new restaurant called Chatham Sq Restaurant. That new one, not the old Hop Shing is the one I am referring to.

                          1. re: jbh

                            i had dim sum there this weekend... was running errands near by and thought i'd give it a shot. walked in about 2pm.. starving. best thing about it was no wait and the cart ladies swarmed the table once we sat down. food was okay. nothing special. wasn't hot. and it was the same 4 carts going by the whole time with the same old stuff. service was good though.

                      2. We had it Chinese style, with the pieces of pork, one of the best I ever had. They prepared it a number of ways. The crab was really fresh and really sweet. I'm afraid I don't know what it cost. I think the restaurant was a little more pricy, usually we pay $23/person, here we paid $30.

                        1. I read this post a few days ago and it confused me, so I walked there yesterday afternoon. There are TWO restaurants, totally different, totally unrelated, with the same name in English, next to each other. I want to try them both!

                          Chatham Sq restaurant, at 6 Chatham Sq is a spiffy new banquet hall. Its sleek interior features walls with translucent sculptures backlit with concealed lighting. It's English takeout menu has stuff I've never seen, such as Dungeness crab steamed over rice (so the rice absorbs the flavor), braised duck with pork and seafood, or with dried scallops and mushrooms, sea empress double clams with prince mushrooms (whatever that is), steamed fish head with wine sauce. Expensive. I can only imagine the goodies the Chinese menu has!

                          Chatham Square Restaurant at 9 Chatham Sq. looks like a dump that's been there forever, looks like the kind of place where a tourist could chow down on egg foo young. And it is. But their menu also offers ten different casseroles, a lot of other stuff. I'll have to try it. I just dont know which place to try first!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Brian S

                            If Chatham Square Restaurant is the place that sells dim sum when you walk in, they got some good Pork Buns there. They used to have onions in it but haven't been there for a while.

                            The Dungeness crab with sticky rice is also at Imperial Palace in Flushing. I think they had it there first.

                            1. re: Brian S

                              Thanks -- this seems perfect. Now the fun part- negotiating a banquet for 50 that isn't dumbed down for the waiguo ren.

                            2. For the shrimp in lobster sauce, why did you have to say "the 88 year old's request"? There's nothing wrong with shrimp in lobster sauce (eaten in a rice bowl) if it's done right. Just curious.

                              1. Having read about the Chatham Restaurant on this board, I went for dim sum to the restaurant (6 Chatham Sq - the clean one!) this weekend.

                                Seeing that there was one white guy in our group, they immediately sent us to the
                                lower floor, but there was only one other group (white people) eating, so we complained and
                                waited for a table for the 1st floor area - my fiend was the only non-Asian guy
                                on the entire floor at teh time we're dining.

                                It was worth it. Everything we ordered was very fresh and good.
                                And since it's not a huge place like some other places, I liked the scale of it.
                                My friend from Hong Kong was equally impressed as well.
                                And as someone else mentioned, their bathrooms are the cleanest I've seen
                                in Chinatown!!

                                I want to thank my fellow chowhounds for recommending this place.
                                I would definitely go back.

                                1 Reply
                                1. I went there tonight (the new elegant one at 6 Chatham Sq)and I'm glad I did. I was seated in the spiffy main dining room (big TV screens showed Hong Kong movies like "Curse of Death!") and service was friendly. They do indeed have two menus, one with all the good stuff on it, but both are in English as well as Chinese. The good stuff menu had hundreds of dishes, many of which I've never seen before. (And the other menu, now that I think of it, looked pretty good too.) They had fish head prepared three different ways, and I ordered one, but they were out of fish head. So I had a stewed chicken casserole. I've had this dish many times before, and this wasn't the best version I've had, but it was one of the best. (The white rice, by the way, was the best I've had in a Chinese restaurant.) It was good enough that I wouldnt be surprised if some of the dishes would be the best I've ever had, and I plan to go back, soon and often. After all, at most Cantonese restaurants I've seen every item on the menu before. So how can I resist a place with a hundred new dishes? Thank you for recommending this.

                                  1. I wanted to go back tonight but the elegant banquet hall was closed for a wedding reception - I could see the bride posing for photos through the door -- so I went next door to the other Chatham Restaurant, the dump. And it is a dump, but a REALLY NICE dump, the kind a Hollywood set designer would come up with if the director said, I want a place that looks like the REAL Chinatown. It's clean too. It was filled with happy families laughing, joking with the waiters, a table of equally happy guys with a sixpack of Guinness. I ordered a fishhead casserole and when it came I saw why all those families were happy. The portion was much larger than at most places, the price was much lower ($7) and the food was much better prepared than at most places. A winning combination.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Brian S

                                      I love that place! Hard to go wrong in a place run by Toisanese.

                                      1. re: csw

                                        I thought the food might be from Tai Shan, but I couldn't find the Chinese characters for Tai Shan on the menu. They did have the "tai" character in the name of the restaurant though.


                                        1. re: Brian S

                                          In Mandarin its pronounced Tai Shan and in Cantonese its pronounced Toisan which means the same thing

                                          from your link: "Taishan (台山; Mandarin: Táishān; Cantonese: Toisan; Hoisanese: Hoisan )

                                    2. Its in Canton Province so it will be cantonese.