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BEST Chinese Dinner for an Out-Of-Town Taiwan Native?

  • h

Here is my situation - my great uncle from Taiwan is in town for two days. This is his first time in New York City and he has been waiting his whole life to come here (he's a bit on the old side and jokes that this may be his first and last time in this city).

I have been asked by my parents to choose a restaurant for dinner this Friday night (tomorrow).

Shamefully, I don't know of ANY good Chinese / Taiwanese restaurants! I'm looking for something that's not slam-your-drink-down, dirty-chopsticks, rush-rush service...something a bit nicer, classier, more impressive. It doesn't have to be extremely expensive OR extremely cheap, just someplace that would make my Taiwanese uncle feel like he's experienced a good authentic meal in New York.

Any suggestions are welcome! And thank you!

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    1. Why take your uncle to a taiwanese dinner when Taiwanese cuisine is lacking in NYC? Perhaps Japanese kaiseki, Honmura An, french, or Italian would be a more unique experience...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Porthos

        Agreed that Manhattan is not the place for Taiwanese food. However, the link between Taiwan and Flushing goes back over 50 years. Ultimately that's why there's a Flushing Chinatown. If you could arrange a side trip there it's something he might find very interesting.

      2. If it were up to me I would definitely take him to a non-Chinese restaurant. However, my parents requested a Chinese restaurant! :)

        1. Shun Lee Palace is both Chinese, and a classic New York institution. Some will say the food is not the BEST in NYC, but the service and decor are impressive, and the food is certainly very good. Be ready to shell out bucks, but for overall Chinese food dining experience, he wouldn't be disappointed. Not sure about the "Taiwanese" element, but if Chinese is what you're after, this is a great place to don the coat and tie.

          2 Replies
          1. re: surfer dude

            i couldn't disagree more...

            "not the BEST in NYC" is a huge understatement...service is impressive if you like snotty captains, pretentious attitude etc...i don't think the decor is anything to get too excited about either...on my first and last visit there, i found my food about on par w/ my local Cantonese delivery joint, perhaps w/ slightly better ingregients (but inferior to the Chinese places that have opened up since then -- e.g. Grand Sichuan)...my visit there was one of the silliest wastes of money i've ever had in an NYC restaurant...

            that said, i've heard from others on this board that Shun Lee has some yummy specialties and perhaps i ordered poorly...and i'll conceed that if the OP merely wants a coat&tie place, this is one of the few Chinese places where that'd be normal...

            to the OP: i agree w/ the other posters that a non-divey AND tasty Taiwanese dinner in Manhattan is hard to come by...i'd recommend checking again to see: a) if the meal really has to be Chinese and if your great uncle might enjoy something else (e.g. a steak at Keens, great Italian at Lupa, etc), or b) which other regional Chinese cuisine he favors: you can find much better Sichuan in Manhattan than Taiwanese, or you could get some nice Cantonese seafood at somewhere like Ping's...

            1. re: Simon

              ^ also, youve gone to the og SHUN LEE on the east side. the westsider version is not snobby. it would be a decent choice.

              too bad the uncle was not here during the DIN TAI FUNG expo at the sheraton hotel in flushing, but i dont think they had it this year anyway???

              is there nothing taiwanese worthwhile in flushing?

          2. Sadly, there are no authentic Taiwanese restuarants in Manhattan.

            If you really want Taiwanese, you have to go to FLushing.

            Two good ones: Lau Seafood (on the corner across the street from the big parking lot)

            or
            Lu Ho 39-07 Prince St

            Fianlly, It's not Taiwanese but upscale Chinese is Ocean Jewels, also in Flushing

            3 Replies
            1. re: Buddha Belly

              Lau seafood, the place that used to be Laifood or 66? Had a couple of bad meals there, and unfortunately, not feelin' it. You can do David's, which I think is the only place that has the word Taiwanese in its name. That place is in Elmhurst. Or, do they still have that place Ku Shiang?

              1. re: bigjeff

                I believe Lau Seafood is what Laifood used to be. I wasn't a big fan of Laifood, but now they offer homemade noodles, so I'm all set! :) I think Ku Shiang is still open. I believe there is also another restaurant in Eastern Flushing on Main Street. I can't remember the name though!

                1. re: bigjeff

                  I like Lau Seafood, had a couple of good meals there.