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Manhattan Chinatown Report (long)

h
huzzahhuzzah Aug 23, 2006 07:45 PM

I am nearing the end of a year's employment near Manhattan's Chinatown, and wanted to post about my experiences in searching for good food. As background, my job is located a little southwest of Chinatown, so my eating primarily focuses on places closer to me rather than further away. I also try to eat cheap and fast lunches, but occasionally splurge. Anyway, I would love any tips people have about what I shouldn't miss before I leave (in about six weeks).

Great NY Noodletown - 28 1/2 Bowery (Bayard & Pell)
My Chinatown standby, where I ate dozens of times. I almost always ate the roast pork wonton noodle soup, which for $3.75 or something is one of the best bargains in the city: The savory broth, perfect shrimp dumplings, and sweetness of the pork make for a truly fantastic soup. When I was feeling a need for meat, I would get the roast baby pig, which just melts in your mouth. (Occasionally I would talk them into putting two and two together, and having the amazing roast baby pig wonton noodle soup; not on the menu but highly recommended.) I also enjoyed the salt and pepper squid, the soy sauce chicken, which is a very plainly flavored roast chicken that is nicely juicy, the BBQ squid, and the sampan congee (congee with seafood, peanuts, and scallions). However, their vegetables are pretty run of the mill, and their ma po tofu was bad. I also dislike the tea that they serve, which is too dark and kind of bitter. I have heard gripes about the service, but I think it's about average for a cheap chinatown place. The waiters are reasonably attentive and not rude; if you want better service, go to a tablecloth restaurant (where you will likely get worse food). Anyway, armed with some knowledge of what to order, this is hands down my favorite Cantonese place in NYC.

Big Wong - 67 Mott St. (Bayard & Canal)
Another Cantonese place with a very similar menu to NY Noodletown's. However, I thought the food here was not as good, and in particular I thought the roast pork wonton noodle soup was not as good: the broth was less flavorful, the pork less juicy and sweet, and the dumplings just less yummy. I also don't like the weird fast-foodish decor, and the greasy red-tile floor.

Big Wing Wong - 102 Mott St. (Canal & Hester)
Like Big Wong, I thought that Big Wing Wong's soup was not as good as that at NY Noodletown. That being said, I thought Big Wing Wong had excellent congee; less watery than Noodletown's, and really surprisingly flavorful for what is ordinarily one of the world's blandest foods.

Dim Sum Go Go (5 East Broadway @ Chatham Sq.)
By a mile, my favorite dim sum in Manhattan (yes yes, I know the best dim sum is in Flushing, but that's a hike). Unlike HSF, Golden Unicorn, and a few other places I have been but whose names I cannot remember, Dim Sum Go Go does not use carts. Instead, they make the food fresh after you order it. The result is fresher, more flavorful, and less greasy food. The regular assortment of dumplings are solid (shumai, shrimp dumplings, etc.), and they also have a vegetable one (I think the jade dumpling but maybe the pea shoot dumpling) that is surprisingly flavorful. All of the other dim sum standbys are good. The real crowd pleaser, though, is the pumpkin cakes. These are packed with deliciousness and I honestly cannot imagine anyone disliking them.

HSF - 46 Bowery (Bayard & Canal)
Greasy, lukewarm dim sum that has been sitting in carts for hours.

Golden Unicorn - 18 East Broadway (Catherine & Market)
Greasy, lukewarm dim sum that has been sitting in carts for hours.

New Green Bo - 66 Bayard (Mott & Elizabeth)
I'm not sure what to make of this place and the strong opinions it generates on this board. As everyone has said, the soup dumplings are excellent, much larger, more soupy, and more flavorful than the dumplings at Joe's Shanghai or at Grand Sichuan. But, other than the dumplings, I've had nothing memorable. Any tips would be appreciated. I should also mention that it was reasonably clean, so maybe the health code violations have hit home and now they are doing a better job on this front.

Joe's Shanghai - 9 Pell St. (Mott & Bowery)
As everybody knows, the soup dumplings are good but everything else is bad.

Grand Sichuan - 125 Canal St. (@ Chrystie)
Terribly disappointing. Such a far cry from the apparently unrelated uptown mini-chain of the same name. I was really hoping that this would pack the same explosion of flavor found at the 9th Avenue and Lexington Ave. branches (much less the food in Chengdu or Chongqing, which is far spicier and numbing than the food at Grand Sichuan uptown). Not a chance. I'm not sure I saw a single sichuan peppercorn and I sure didn't taste it. The ma po tofu was dull, the cold chicken with red oil was boring, and the kung bao chicken was Americanized and greasy. Lame.

Banh Mi Saigon Bakery (138 Mott St. b/w Hester and Grand)
Now that is one tasty sandwich. I dig on the crunch of the french bread contrasting with the savory-sweet of the roast pork and the seafood sausage, and again contrasting with the pickled cucumbers and cilantro. Since having their banh mi, I have not been back to a western deli. My only criticism is that, even though the ingredients are identical, it seems that sometimes the sandwich is more flavorful than others (perhaps they just add more ingredients). Still, it is always delicious (and cheap) and if my office were closer I would eat there twice a week.

Fuleen Seafood - 11 Division St. (Bowery & Market)
One of the many dingy but popular Fujianese seafood places on Division. I thought this was overrated and overpriced. Their king crab, which is apparently something of their speciality, was something like $40 and just not all that good. Although I have not spent much time eating Fujianese, you can find far more flavorful crab dishes at virtually any Chinese restaurant in Malaysia. Their blue crab was kind of gross; slimy and grey, making the dish appear like you were eating crabs off the bottom of the ocean. Perhaps someone can convince me otherwise, but for now I have no interest in returning.

Kam Chueh - 40 Bowery (Bayard & Canal)
Like Fuleen Seafood, Kam Chueh is far from cheap and not the kind of place to go for an ordinary lunch. I did, however, have an excellent steamed whole fish with ginger and garlic (for something like $20-25). This tasted almost exactly like the fish I have eaten in southern china, and thus I was quite impressed. Strangely, considering the quality of the fish, the place was almost entirely vacant at lunch (perhaps the dinner crowd is larger). Kam Chueh is also clean and pleasantly lit, so it is the kind of place you could bring non-chowhounders.

Peking Duck House - 28 Mott St. (Chatam Sq. & Pell St.)
Another of the more expensive tablecloth places, except specializing in duck rather than seafood. I would highly recommend this for dinner with non-chowhounders, as the atmosphere is nice and the food is consistently good, non-greasy, and non-spicy. I would also recommend this to chowhounders for their Peking Duck, which I thought was really good, with the proper crispy skin and juicy meat, and properly presented with the scallions and hoisin sauce. Probably the best Peking Duck I've had outside Peking. Other than the duck, nothing is fantastic, but also nothing is bad.

Pho Tu Do - 119 Bowery (Hester & Grand)
The best pho I have had in NYC. The pho dac biet (special pho with everything) is fantastic. The broth is far more lively and flavorful than at the other places I've been; beefy, peppery, and just a little sweet, the deliciousness really jumps off the tongue. The meats are also excellent, especially the thin-sliced raw beef. Good stuff.

Nha Trang - 148 Centre St. (Walker & Canal) and 87 Baxter St. (White & Walker)
Decent pho joints that, to me, define the norm for NYC pho. Not the best, and certainly not the worst, just totally normal and consistent. If anyone can tell the difference between the two branches they are a better man than I.

Pho Viet Huong (Nha Hang) - 73 Mulberry St. (Bayard & Canal)
Another Vietnamese place. The pho is not as good as at Nha Trang, and thus is a far cry from Pho Tu Do. But I did enjoy their Vietnamese chicken salad, a light chicken dish with cilantro, lime, and fish sauce, and the chao tom is also pretty good. For me, the one real winner here is the bo la nho, a stuffed grape leaf appetizer much like a greek or Turkish dolma, except that it is stuffed with sweet BBQ beef and then fried. Wow.

Tasty Dumpling - 54 Mulberry St. (Worth & Bayard)
Dumpling House - 118 Eldridge St. (Broome & Grand)
Very tasty. These two "restaurants" are almost identical, with similar (excellent) fried dumplings and a similarly limited menu. Aside form the fried pork & chive dumplings, I really enjoy the sesame pancake with beef, which is a thick sesame pancake cut open like a sandwich and filled with beef and pickled vegetables, not entirely unlike banh mi. Even if the food is virtually identical, I definitely prefer Dumpling House, which is laid out so that you can see them cooking the dumplings and cooking the amazing sesame pancake. I highly recommend watching them make the dumplings, then buying a pack of 50 frozen ones and cooking them at home by mimicking their technique (FYI, in a cast-iron pan, add maybe a 1/4 inch of oil and heat until quite hot but not smoking; then add as many dumplings as you are going to cook. Shortly thereafter, fill the pan most of the way with water, and then crank the stove to boil it off ASAP. All in all, it takes about 7 minutes to do this hybrid of frying and steaming).

Pongsri - 106 Bayard (@ Baxter)
Although Pongsri is a real favorite of the courthouse scene, I think it is utterly mediocre, remarkable only if you think Lemongrass is good. I have eaten there numerous times and never had anything that I thought was special or in any way different. That being said, I don't know any other Thai places in the neighborhood, and sometimes Thai is what you feel like eating. But if you want delicious, authentic Thai food, get thee to Sripraphai.

Finally, I can't forget:

Fiorlini's - 93 Baxter
Disgusting Italian food. Looks like you are taking a step back in time and tastes like you are taking a step back in quality. Also takes the dubious distinction of serving the worst cannoli I've ever had.

Anyway, I guess this got kind of long, but I hope to hear any thoughts or suggestions anybody has about places that I've missed or dishes I should try.

Thanks.

HH

  1. p
    PAULSCOHEN Jan 30, 2009 05:34 PM

    huzzahuzzah, bravo! the ultimate and consumate review of where to Chow in chinatown. what a great job. you are the man for canonese, szchuan and mandarin delights. happy year of the ox to you.

    1. k
      kathryn99 Nov 7, 2006 02:52 PM

      oh and for dessert get canoli cream with fresh strawberries

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn99
        t
        theskyflyer Jan 30, 2009 02:32 PM

        Is there an updated version of NY's CHINATOWN BEST RESTAURANTS? We have been going to DIM SUM A GO GO religiously and would like to have other suggestions for dinner.

      2. k
        kathryn99 Nov 7, 2006 02:51 PM

        for great italian, its Patsys all the way, have never been disappointed with this uptown restaurant - great caesar, fried zuchini, clams oregenato, chicken contadina on the bone (uses amish chickens), spaghetti with lobster sauce, yum.

        in little italy we like benito II but only for appetizers and desserts, entrees are not needed, get stuffed artichokes, clams oregenato, fried zuchini, mussels, zuppity clams, brocoli rabe, spedini ala romano (Mozzarella sandwiches with anchovi sauce).

        1. a
          anil Sep 16, 2006 01:36 PM

          You have tried, Chinese,vietnamese,Thai..... Try "New Malaysia" in the crosspass in the middle of the Bowery & Elizabeth - a small malaysian place - order Roti Canai, Achat - try Hainese Chicken - Spicy Crabs ...

          1. 2slices Sep 15, 2006 10:33 PM

            I'm a former New Green Bo fan and have long departed but when I went often a few years ago I also ordered their steamed vegetable dumplings and their scallion pankcakes. The best scallion pancakes I know of to this day, and the veg dumplings were just steamy and filled with greens. Otherwise not much to say.

            1. s
              sashimi Aug 30, 2006 02:34 AM

              I love the curry broth noodles at Jaya on Baxter - it's across the street from vietnamese row.

              1. s
                shmack Aug 29, 2006 05:25 PM

                Quick! Taking family out for dinner tonight. They are well seasoned chowhounds having travelled extensively in Asia.

                Kam Chueh or Fuleen?

                1 Reply
                1. re: shmack
                  j
                  jungirl Aug 30, 2006 07:28 PM

                  sorry,saw this late. i'd say for family, fuleen. where'd you end up going?

                2. a_and_w Aug 26, 2006 12:05 AM

                  Great report! I know what you mean about Dumpling House being better because you can watch them cooking...

                  1. s
                    stuartlafonda Aug 25, 2006 11:02 PM

                    1. You could not be more wrong about Forlini's. I have eaten there for twenty years and it is a good solid Italian American/red sauce joint. The parm hero sandwiches to go are excellent. Huge, tasty and reasonably priced. Forlini's is better then any of the places on Mulberry (not that says a whole lot) and I often reccomend it to people who insist upon eating in Little Italy. All the food is fresh and the brothers that run the place really care that you enjoy your meal. I have never heard anyone rip it as you have. I also never seen anyone order the cannoli.
                    2. Bahn Mi from 138 Mott, the roast pork, is indeed one of the best sandwichews you can eat in this city.
                    3. Dumplings on Mosco is better then the dumpling place Mulberry. The key is to go at an off time so that they cook them long enough to get that brown crust on the bottom.
                    4. NY Noodletown, love the shrimp dumpling in soup and the roast baby pig.
                    5. Pongsri Thai is terrible. I used to eat there once or twice a month, after one meal at Srip I never ate there again.

                    1. prunefeet Aug 25, 2006 04:08 PM

                      Fantastic post. Maybe a bit far, maybe not, Skyway malaysian on canal and allen, has been getting a lot of attention, and personally I can't wait to check it out.

                      1. m
                        maria_nyc Aug 25, 2006 03:08 PM

                        Wow, an impressive report. Thanks!
                        Now if only someone else will do the same for 10th Avenue eateries.

                        1. d
                          djk Aug 25, 2006 03:19 AM

                          i think sweet n' tart just closed btw.

                          and as for nynoodletown - the scallops with flowering chives as well as the salt baked squid and salt baked tofu and all the rest that was mentioned.....

                          1. f
                            fudluvr Aug 24, 2006 05:44 PM

                            Did you put on any weight over the course of the year? :)

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: fudluvr
                              h
                              huzzahhuzzah Aug 24, 2006 10:16 PM

                              Not yet, but in the next few weeks I'm looking to eat pho at Pho Grand, salt-baked shrimp at Kam Chueh, shrimp and watercress dumpling soup and bamboo rice at Sweet n' Tart, I'm not sure what at XO Kitchen, roast baby pig and rice casserole at Yummy Noodles, roast pork at some no-name place on Chrystie, spicy noodles with ground pork, xiaolongbao and cold dishes at New Yeah, dumplings and sesame pancakes at Prosperity Dumpling, noodles at Hongkong Station, and ginger scallion lo mein with a side of pea shoots at NY Noodletown.

                              If a get a few more tips, I might even try Fuleen Seafood again, and if for some reason a cold weather spell kicks in, I might even get some hot pot at Happy Shabu Shabu.

                              Thanks everyone for the tips!

                              HH

                              1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                jen kalb Aug 25, 2006 01:43 PM

                                consider Congee, on the bowery across from Pho Tu Do.

                                Im addicted to their silver fish, dried squid and chinese celery dish - they have a lot of good looking casseroles too, as well as great garlic fried chicken and many other fine dishes.

                                Have you tried the shanghai pork chop restaurant on doyers street or the little malaysian down at the end of that street (nr bowery?) Havent been to either for a couple of years but have had good meals at both. (at the latter, fried noodles, water spinach with belacan, nasi lemak, hainan chicken -theyve also had good bean curd and fish dishes in the past.

                                1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                  bokkyo Aug 25, 2006 03:02 PM

                                  My favorite at XO is their Japanese pan fried dumplings. Oh and if you can walk another 5 minutes to Allen St then you have to visit Skyway (Malaysian).

                                  Btw, that Malaysian restaurant at Doyers that Jen is referring to had changed ownership at three times the past five years but they're still very good... although the current restaurant Bagus doesn't have that Golden chicken that the previous Malaysian Village used to have. But their Nasi Lemak is better!

                                  1. re: bokkyo
                                    bigjeff Jan 31, 2009 09:37 AM

                                    hey bokkyo, just to clarify, which place exactly are you saying has the good nasi lemak?

                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                      l
                                      Lau Jan 31, 2009 10:03 AM

                                      I believe he is speaking about Bagus, which is the restaurant to the left of Excellent Pork Chop House (if you're facing Excellent Pork Chop House)

                                      1. re: Lau
                                        squid kun Feb 18, 2009 02:54 PM

                                        BTW Bagus is closed. There's a sign up for a hand-pulled noodle place; not sure if it's open yet.

                                  2. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                    k
                                    kimcheater Aug 25, 2006 05:39 PM

                                    I wouldn't rule out the lo mein at Kam Chueh, either. I know it's not a very adventurous pick, but I like they way they're especially thin and firm here, just a hair (no pun intended) thicker than cappelini, with plenty of scallions. It's a tad on the greasy side, but that's something I quite value past midnight, and it's cut rather well with a spoonful of hot sauce.

                                    1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                      j
                                      jungirl Aug 25, 2006 08:17 PM

                                      now that's an itinerary!

                                      1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                        Polecat Aug 30, 2006 02:45 AM

                                        I've never gone wrong at XO kitchen; the dish there that I come back to the most, though, is the meatball congee. the portions are generous - lots of meatball for your money - and this dish can easily serve two or three people.

                                        The last time I went there, I had a chicken based casserole with cheese melted over it. Eating bad never felt so good.

                                    2. bokkyo Aug 24, 2006 03:09 PM

                                      Thanks for taking the effort to write this, I haven't been to a few places on your list but shall check them out.

                                      As for comparing NYN and BW, comparing just roast pork, I like them BW's better than NYN, although NYN has the edge with their broth and wonton dumplings. Otoh, I think BW's congee is better than NYN especially with those big rolls you dunk in it. As for the "best" roast pork, there's this no-name place (didn't see an English sign) along Chrystie between Hester and Grand (closer to Hester). There's always a line outside during lunch so it's hard to miss.

                                      I also recommend Yummy Noodles at the entrance of the arcade, imo their version of roast baby pig is better than NYNs-- crispy skin on the outside, soft meat on the inside.

                                      Oh and try Hongkong Station as well!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: bokkyo
                                        p
                                        Pan Aug 24, 2006 03:18 PM

                                        I've been intrigued by Hongkong Station. What have you enjoyed there, so far?

                                        1. re: Pan
                                          bokkyo Aug 24, 2006 04:30 PM

                                          I've tried most the noodles and I think the egg noodles works best especially if you have it spicy. Had the green-tea noodles yesterday and thought it was a bit too soggy but then perhaps the lady preparing it was rushing. After you've settled on the noodles, then you could choose from various ingredients-- different meats, fish balls, etc.

                                          You could load up a bowl with different ingredients, have a soda and it'll still come to around $7. However, I've noticed the best meals I had was when I stayed conservative with mixing ingredients so their flavors don't clash, e.g. not mixing fish balls with beef shank.

                                      2. Peter Cuce Aug 24, 2006 11:49 AM

                                        Great post. Thanks for the rundown. Give Cantoon Garden on Elizabeth a few tries before you leave Chinatown.

                                        1. v
                                          vinouspleasure Aug 24, 2006 01:16 AM

                                          First, let me add my thanks for this great list. I used to work reasonably close to chinatown and have eaten at many of these places.

                                          While I would agree on the difference of the quality of the soup between NYN and Big Wong, I like to get the big sweet rolls at BW to dip into the soup.

                                          1. p
                                            Pan Aug 23, 2006 11:22 PM

                                            huzzahhuzzah, I really appreciated that rundown.

                                            Oddly enough, my impression of Joe's was that their soup dumplings weren't that good and that things like eel were more likely to be good. But nowadays, when I want Shanghainese food in Chinatown, I just go to New Yeah, so it's been years since I've been to Joe's. I'm curious what you'd think of Yeah. Compared to what I ate in Shanghai, it's mediocre, but I think it's quite good for New York. Try their spicy noodles with ground pork and some of their cold dishes (kaofu, spicy cabbage, aster indicus, seaweed, etc.). They have some good larger dishes, if you have someone to share your meal with. I haven't had their xiaolong bao recently, but my feeling is that they are good, though the width of the skins is too variable. I find xiaolong bao - or at least the ones I've had - kind of fatty and not terrifically tasty, so I usually stick to other things. I didn't have a chance to have xiaolong bao in Shanghai because I was travelling with someone who doesn't eat pork, so I can't make that comparison, but the ones I had in China 46 on Route 46 in New Jersey were superior to the ones at Yeah, which I thought were superior to the ones I had several years ago at New Green Bo, and Joe's weren't as good as those when I tried them a fair number of years ago. How the comparison would work now, I don't know.

                                            At Noodletown, I like some dishes you didn't mention. Have you had their ginger scallion lo mein? I also recommend most any dish with flowering chives or pea shoots. I don't think I've tried the dishes with XO sauce there. How are they?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Pan
                                              b
                                              binkis Aug 24, 2006 07:00 PM

                                              Why get it in a dish? A side order of pea shoots is a must at Noodletown, IMO. I second the soy sauce chicken rec. I also highly recommend the soy sauce noodles with marinated pork and/or an order of duck. My wife and I actually like the Ma Po Tofu there.

                                              1. re: binkis
                                                p
                                                Pan Aug 24, 2006 07:23 PM

                                                I have no disagreements with your recommendations. I third the soy sauce chicken. However, I like the dishes of duck or chicken (etc.) with flowering chives or pea shoots.

                                              2. re: Pan
                                                h
                                                howboy Aug 29, 2006 06:22 PM

                                                The sea bass with flowering chives!

                                              3. c
                                                chetlemon Aug 23, 2006 09:51 PM

                                                Great stuff, much appreciated.

                                                1. ellenost Aug 23, 2006 09:19 PM

                                                  Thanks a million for the great run down of restaurants in Chinatown. It's been a long time since I've gone to Chinatown, and at my last visit, my old favorite was gone, so it's great to have an updated list of where I should try.

                                                  1. wleatherette Aug 23, 2006 08:15 PM

                                                    sorry to hear that you had a bad experience at fuleen. the several times i've been there i've had excellent food, though nothing from the seafood tanks.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: wleatherette
                                                      j
                                                      jungirl Aug 24, 2006 04:03 PM

                                                      i agree. i've only had good experiences at fuleen, and consider it one of my favorite family style dinner destinations. their dungeness crab that is broken and then sauteed with their pepper dry seasoning is delicious. i've been to almost all of the restaurants on your list, and i agree with you on many points, and disagree with you on some. i suppose having lunch is very different from dinner, and most of these places i've had dinner.

                                                      for instance, kam chueh i go for a late night snack (they're open til 4 AM) and they have great salt baked shrimp (shell on) and garlic spare ribs and is one of the only restaurants in the city that does rice casseroles (rice cooked with toppings in a stone bowl). also, i've been going to nha trang for literally 17 years, and i like their pho but i don't think it is their strong suit. i love their pork chops, perfectly marinated, thin, and distinct bbq taste.

                                                      i totally agree with you on pongsri, and a manhattan alternative would be pam's real thai in clinton. i love dim sum go go. pretty much agree on everything else actually.

                                                      i really like the pho at pho grand. they also have avocado shakes, which sounds odd, but is actually really refreshing, slightly sweet.

                                                      i would also try happy shabu shabu on canal and orchard. not necessarily summer weather food, but yummy individual hot pot nonetheless.

                                                      sweet and tart cafe is one of my old faves: really good shrimp and watercress dumpling soup, their bamboo rice is one of the most addictive foods ever. fried rice with chinese sausage and taro steamed in a bamboo section.

                                                      xo kitchen is also quite tasty, but may be a bit far from your work.

                                                      1. re: jungirl
                                                        Peter Cuce Aug 24, 2006 04:27 PM

                                                        Great post jungirl. Thanks for the Kam Chueh late nite tip. One thing though -- you can get rice casseroles at countless places throughout the city. Just off the top of my head, in Chinatown, Yummy Noodles specializes in them, the ones at Cantoon Garden are quite good, even Sweet n Tart has rice casseroles, as does Dragon Gate on Elizabeth.

                                                        1. re: Peter Cuce
                                                          j
                                                          jungirl Aug 25, 2006 08:10 PM

                                                          i think we're talking about different rice casseroles, b/c my chinese friend specifically told me the ones at kam chueh are really difficult to find. in LA, you can only order them at banquets now. it has no sauce, its actually just plain white rice cooked in a pot with a few things on top. i like the preserved meat and chinese sausage one. comes with 2 different kinds of sausage and some sort of dried beef. some chinese broccoli and they just cook the rice in the pot to absorb the juices. it takes a while to make. then they bring it out and serve it with a bowl of some sort of soy sauce and oil and scallion sauce, which you mix into the rice. i think you're talking about the rice casseroles with more sauce and toppings? i like those too, i will check out your suggestions. :)

                                                          1. re: jungirl
                                                            k
                                                            kenito799 Aug 25, 2006 09:37 PM

                                                            i dunno what you are describing sound just like the ones at Yummy...check it out and let us know

                                                        2. re: jungirl
                                                          h
                                                          huzzahhuzzah Aug 24, 2006 09:18 PM

                                                          jungirl, I've been meaning to try Nha Trang's pork chops for a while, mostly based on your own recommendation in an earlier thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...). I managed to get there today for lunch, and yes indeed those are some tasty porkchops. I've had the same dish at the uptown mecca of mediocrity, Saigon Grill, but never at one of the linoleum table places, where I order pho about 98% of the time. Needless to say, Nha Trang's porkchops were delicious and far superior to the Saigon Grill version.

                                                          I'll have to try the salt-baked shrimp at Kam Chueh. I was impressed by the steamed fish and remain somewhat dumbfounded by the emptiness of the place, considering the apparent quality of the food.

                                                          I also agree with you that Pam Real is good for Manhattan Thai, but I don't think it is in the same league as Sripraphai. I'll try to make it to Pho Grand, Sweet and Tart, and XO Kitchen. Thanks much for tips.

                                                          As for Fuleen Seafood, once again it seems that everybody else is having solid meals there while I am 0 for 3. Dungeness Crab with pepper dry seasoning sounds worth a try, but does anybody else have any concrete recommendations?

                                                          HH

                                                          1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                                            jen kalb Aug 25, 2006 01:35 PM

                                                            the cheapest fishes; the three egg pea leaves (or other greens) the soupy baby clam appetizer and the salt-baked squid.

                                                            1. re: jen kalb
                                                              j
                                                              jungirl Aug 25, 2006 08:12 PM

                                                              second on the salt baked squid!

                                                            2. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                                              j
                                                              jungirl Aug 25, 2006 08:08 PM

                                                              i love those pork chops, i've been eating them since elementary school! and on top of the broken rice, the juices sort of seep into it and the rice is delish too!

                                                              kam chueh has been rated a "sleeper" (high rating, lower number of votes) in the past by zagat. it is always empty, i agree. but more tables for us! :)

                                                              i have yet to try Sripraphai, been dying to. its in queens, right? i think for manhattan pam is my favorite. pam real thai encore (their second restaurant) is a funny super modern version that opened up on 47th and 9th (2 blocks away from the original). the font on the menu is so modern it's difficult to read, there are no right angles on the walls or corners, you sort of feel like you're eating in a stanley kubrick movie. that said, there's never a wait and the food is exactly the same.

                                                              as for fuleen, i can give you a few suggestions. the fried tofu with shrimp and ponzu type dipping sauce app is great. so is their salt baked tofu app. i like their geoduck 2 ways, they bring you sashimi with wasabi soy, and then take the stomach and deep fry it into little bite size pieces. their peking duck is also quite good, prepared traditionally in 2 different ways. the wraps are shanghai flat bread-ish buns, instead of pancakes. then they take the rest of the carcass and carve it in the kitchen and stir fry the meat near the bone with veggies. i also like this one dish, it's chopped beef with black pepper. it comes with diced onions and some sort of chopped pea pods. yum! ooh! their razor clams with black bean sauce (not on the menu) were really really good. they don't always have it. my friend has told me their peking CHICKEN is also excellent, but they don't have that every day either. i also like the e fu long life noodles with seafood. really good finish with some sambal chili sauce. personally the crab is too difficult for me to eat (it's a lot of work for little meat) and i'm terrible at eating crab (i end up with a lot more shell than meat in my tummy!) but the dry sautee they use is heavenly. i'm content literally just sucking on the shell pieces like a lollipop. i think lobster would be easier to eat with the same preparation. the clams in a spicy pepper soup are really yummy too.

                                                            3. re: jungirl
                                                              k
                                                              kenito799 Aug 25, 2006 01:26 PM

                                                              sweet and tart lost their lease...I think the Flushing brach will remain open

                                                              1. re: kenito799
                                                                j
                                                                jungirl Aug 25, 2006 08:16 PM

                                                                OMG, please tell me this isn't true. are they totally closed or are going to? i will travel to flushing just for that rice and stockpile it in my house. i kid you not.

                                                                1. re: kenito799
                                                                  designerboy01 Sep 16, 2006 05:49 PM

                                                                  I heard they are in process of looking for another place in chinatown, NY. They plan to be back.

                                                            4. Nosher Aug 23, 2006 08:15 PM

                                                              Since you're a dumpling fan, I'd encourage you to try out Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge-- we just wrote about it. I like it better than Dumpling House, not least because of the stuffed sesame pancake (and from another recent visit, the noodles with mashed sesame sauce).

                                                              Nosher

                                                              NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: Nosher
                                                                h
                                                                huzzahhuzzah Aug 24, 2006 09:23 PM

                                                                Those pictures sure look intriguing, especially the Stuffed Sesame Pancake with Vegetable. I've never seen anything like that. Unfortunately, both Dumpling House and Prosperity Dumpling are a bit of a hike from my office. Do you know if Prosperity sells frozen dumplings? If so, it might make the trek a little more worthwhile.

                                                                HH

                                                                1. re: huzzahhuzzah
                                                                  Nosher Aug 25, 2006 02:56 AM

                                                                  You're lucky I kept the menu. Yes, they do sell frozen items: chive & pork, vegetable & pork, vegetable dumplings are all available, plus fuzhou wontons, and noodles w/ peanut sauce. Lots and lots of frozen stuff!

                                                                  Nosher

                                                                  NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

                                                                  1. re: Nosher
                                                                    n
                                                                    Nehna Sep 10, 2006 10:38 PM

                                                                    Took your advice, Nosher, and my husband and I walked to Prosperity for lunch last week. YUM! Had the sesame pancake stuffed with beef and veg (reminded me of a bahn mi) and it was amazing. We also shared an order of steamed dumplings. With two of the pancake sandwiches, 10 dumplings, and a water, we walked out with a tab of $5. Amazing.

                                                                    1. re: Nosher
                                                                      Polecat Sep 11, 2006 12:49 AM

                                                                      I love the sesame pancake at Excellent Dumpling House up the street. So, if you say Prosperity's is even better, I have to pay a visit. In general, I'm grateful for all the dumpling stalls that have cropped up over the years, extending Chinatown's borders and making for some of the cheapest, tastiest chow around.

                                                                  2. re: Nosher
                                                                    Brian S Aug 29, 2006 06:52 PM

                                                                    I've noticed several new noodle places in this area. Two on the west side of the block of Eldridge just south of Canal claim to sell Lanzhou hand-made noodles, and one has Shaanxi noodles as well.

                                                                    1. re: Brian S
                                                                      j
                                                                      jacques gaudet Jan 31, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                      Is there a place in Chinatown -or elsewhere in the city- where they make the noodles in front of you? I was very fond of a tiny Chinese place in Madrid where i could watch the guy making the noodles every day at 1pm... Is there anything like that over here?

                                                                      1. re: jacques gaudet
                                                                        s
                                                                        small h Jan 31, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                        A man makes soba noodles in the front window of Soba Koh. It's not in Chinatown, nor is it Chinese, but maybe you're ok with that. He's in the slideshow:

                                                                        http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

                                                                        1. re: jacques gaudet
                                                                          f
                                                                          fourunder Jan 31, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                          JG,

                                                                          check the date....this post is from 2006...it may or may not be relevant any longer.

                                                                          For hand pulled noodles, go to <seriouseats.com>. They have a feature on noodle shops throughout the city. I've posted the link a couple of times, but they always get deleted for some reason. Also, most of the hand pulled noodle shops seem to be on East Broadway...including:

                                                                          Eastern Hand Pulled @ 28 East Broadway

                                                                          Here's a little more information from another thread.

                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/524562

                                                                          1. re: fourunder
                                                                            l
                                                                            Lau Jan 31, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                            Eastern does it in front of you as does 144 E Broadway (i like 144 E Broadway, but Eastern is pretty good as well)

                                                                            1. re: Lau
                                                                              scoopG Jan 31, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                                              Right. Mr. Gao of Eastern Hand-pulled Noodles does his noodle making right in front of your eyes on a wooden table. Seems to make far less of a racket than 144 East Broadway!

                                                                              Other Chinese hand-made noodle shops (but without the noodle making show) in Chinatown are:

                                                                              Super Taste at 26 Eldridge.
                                                                              Lan Zhou at 27 Eldridge (they have knife-cut noodles as well.)
                                                                              Food Sing 88 at 2 East Broadway.

                                                                              Am I missing anyone?

                                                                              Super T

                                                                              1. re: scoopG
                                                                                j
                                                                                jacques gaudet Jan 31, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                                Thanks! Heading there. Now I have a question: both places seem to make noodles for La mian, the place I was talking about did not make the noodles for soup necessarily, you could order any type of dish with noodles. Is this possible here or are they just for soup?

                                                                                1. re: jacques gaudet
                                                                                  scoopG Jan 31, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                                                  Mr. Gao of Eastern Hand-Pulled Noodles does have 炸醬麪 Zha Jiang Mian – Meat and Bean Sauce with Noodles. #21-Spicy Meat Noodle on his menu. I've not had his version. You can ask him (he speaks English) about any of the other 80+ noodle dishes he offers. The vast majority though are prepared for a noodle soup type dish.

                                                                      2. re: Nosher
                                                                        wleatherette Sep 24, 2006 09:21 PM

                                                                        i just had some of the fried pork and chive dumplings from prosperity. delicious! much better, imo, than fried dumpling, tasty dumpling, or excellent dumpling. sadly, they were out of the stuffed pancakes.

                                                                      3. c
                                                                        Chandavkl Aug 23, 2006 08:08 PM

                                                                        Thanks for the rundown. Especially appreciate the heads up on Forlini--had eaten at a place with the same name in Montreal, which was pretty good, and was tempted to try the New York version.

                                                                        1. Andrew P. Aug 23, 2006 07:58 PM

                                                                          Wow. Thank you!

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