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Inexpensive dinner in Chinatown

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Any suggestions for an inexpensive dinner in Chinatown?

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  1. The Dumpling House on Eldridge Street.

    Start with a pint of hot and sour soup ($1).

    Then snack on a sesame pancake with beef ($1.50).

    Top it off with an order of dumplings ($1).

    Wash it down with a bottle of water ($1).

    You'll be stuffed for $4.50!

    1. It's hard to find a restaurant in Chinatown where you CAN'T find something delicious and filling for under $10. The restaurant at 9 Chatham square is a few dollars cheaper than most other places for meals which are as good as other places.

      1. On a trip to NYC a few months ago I stumbled on the East Corner Wonton. There was a line to the door and absolutely nowhere to sit, so I figured it had to be good if that many people were around. I ordered TWO dishes, not realizing it was big enough to be two meals - salt-baked chicken and rost duck on white rice with fried egg, only $4, AND the wonton noodle soup for $3. With a can of Diet Coke (which I think they forgot to include) and tip (they forgot the tax, too), I still managed to stay around $8. That more than makes up for the $60 I spent on dinner the night before, which was a 30-second walking distance to TWO Broadway musicals, but hardly as memorable as the East Corner Wonton.

        1. New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe is my favorite resturant in Chinatown. You get 8 delicious pork soup dumplings that are packed full of flavor for 3.50. If you are very hungry, you can get two all for yourself, and still stay under $8. Otherwise you can get the scallion pancakes, which are piping hot and delicious. The dumplings are best with an ice cold can of soda, to prevent from burning your tongue on the hot hot dumplings. I have eaten here with three people for $18 includinig tax and tip. Yum!

          1. I had a truly disappointing meal at YSD two weeks ago - though the dumplings were good. Anyone else had bad experiences there? I had the shrimp and eels, which I'd had years before and they were so memorable, but this time, though the shrimp were good, the little eels were greasy and the sauce was heavy and almost nauseatingly sweet.

            6 Replies
            1. re: redbecca

              Do you remember which eel dish you got? I really like the one on the "Specials" menu.

              1. re: Pan

                No, sorry. I think it's listed as a shrimp dish with eels. The eels when they were good were crunchy and salty and even a little dry. When I had them recently they were covered with some sickeningly sweet sauce. blech.

                1. re: redbecca

                  Sorry about that. If you do go back, though, try the eel dish on the "Specials" menu - Sauteed Eel with Chives (I just looked up their menupages.com menu). I'm sorry the Sauteed Yellow Eel with Shrimp was so disappointing two weeks ago. I've liked it before.

                  I will say and have said before that Yeah would be a mediocre restaurant at best if it were in Shanghai. The degree to which I like it is directly proportional to the amount of time I've been back from Shanghai.

                  1. re: Pan

                    So which do you think IS the best Shanghai restaurant in town?? Last year I found a wonderful place in Flushing that served yellowfish in 7 different ways, each better prepared than I'd ever had. Other people said it wasn't authentic because (1) most patrons spoke Mandarin, not Shanghainese (2) the fish was probably American croaker and not Chinese yellowfish (3) they served a few dishes that were not from Shanghai. In any event, the place changed menus and went downhill after that.

                    Any recommendations of other good places??

                    1. re: Brian S

                      Actually, Yeah is the best Shanghainese restaurant I've found in New York. I like it, and I've been a regular for years, but I'm not blind to its mediocrity in comparison to Shanghainese food in Shanghai. If you find someplace better, I'd love to know about it.

                      1. re: Pan

                        Many of my Shanghainese friends proclaim there is no good Shanghainese restaurant in New York. They do find some restaurants doing a dish or two right occasionally but most of time they are not happy with the food being served. One friend always comments that the Shanghainese food served here is way too sweet than what he had in Shanghai. If anyone finds a restaurant serving all around good Shanghainese food please do tell.

            2. If you REALLY want cheap, there are many cafeteria-style places that offer four or five small portions of steam-table dishes for $4 or $5 (sometimes less). There is one on Grand just east of Bowery, there is one (I think)on Centre St just north of Canal. And there are lots around the eastern fringe of Chinatown, such as E Bway east of Allen.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Brian S

                The 4 or 5 buck steam-table places are also starting to dominate Division, between Chatham Square and the bridge. They are hit and miss, but they always fill you up - hard to get a better value for that price.

              2. The Dumpling House on Mulberry Street across the street from Columbus Park in Chinatown is a little cleaner and opened by the same people.