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Oct 21, 2006 02:03 AM

Chinese in Midtown?

My brother in law will be in town for his 50th birthday, and he loves Chinese food, usually a Chinatown guy, though. We want to stay in Midtown and have great food with or without atmosphere. It will be a Monday night.

Is Phoenix Garden still good? From looking at posts, it seems up and down. Wu liang ye? Other suggestions?



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  1. Szechuan Gourmet on 39th st between 5th & 6th aves is really good. Lots of spicy szechuan dishes. Excellent crispy lamb; excellent spicy bean curd with meat. Some standards too for the less adventurous. Not everything is spicy. Also, they have two menus. If you want to go the tripe-and-duck-tongue route, ask for the leather menu.

    1. I'd pick Wu Liang Ye on 48th as the #1 choice. I think Phoenix Garden is pretty good if you're looking for Hong Kong-style. Szechuan Gourmet is excellent too, but I'd give the edge to Wu Liang Ye (but NOT the one on Lexington).

      1. Wu Liang Ye is very could also consider Tse Yang on E. 51st Street. It may be a little pricey (I was treated so I didn't really pay attention!) but I do remember they have a good prix-fix menu. And it has a very nice, more upscale atmosphere.

        1. How about Ollie's? Cheap, Times Square Location, full of tourists and did I mention cheap? Just go to Joe's Shanghai in C-Town and call it a day.

          3 Replies
          1. re: vision20

            Actually I thought about posting what you said about Ollie's but I thought I might get booed off the board. But really for a "Chinatown guy" this would probably be first choice. Otherwise, Grand Sichuan on 9th Ave. would be my pick.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Why would a mediocre joint like Ollie's be the first choice for a "Chinatown Guy"? Chinatown has good restaurants.

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                I'm not saying Ollie's is a standout compared to what you can get in Chinatown. But if you were to force me to eat Chinese food in Midtown, Ollie's would be my first choice--sort of a comfort food oasis outside of Chinatown, since it serves a rather authentic version of the same type of Cantonese/Hong Kong style food I'm used to. Also, while it might be hard for some people to fathom, I'm a mild victim of the culinary superiority mindset that afflicts many of us Chinese Americans, i.e., bad Chinese food (and particularly the style of Chinese food we're used to) is often better than good versions of other cuisines. Actually, my affliction is much milder than with most of my compatriots. Did you know that Chinatown travel agencies offer tour packages to Europe and other non-Asian destinations, where the meals served on the tour are exclusively Chinese food? Would you want to eat Chinese food every day for two or three weeks in places like Innsbruck, Austria or Lucerne, Switzerland? I wouldn't, but a lot of Chinese-Americans sure do!

          2. I'd go with either Wu Liang Ye or Grand Sichuan if you want to stay in midtown