So I finally got around to trying Amazing 66 after reading Brian S's post (would've responded to it, but for some reason I couldn't find that post). So we had three dishes (wanted more, but there were only 3 of us):
- dry sauteed string beans w/ pork
- pork belly casserole
- steamed crab with XO sauce over rice
The best dish was the casserole, which i thought was excellent. It came in a clay pot full of tender fatty pork belly covered in a thick brown sauce with tons of pickled vegetables covering the pork; really great dish. The dry sauteed string beans were typical, I'd say they were decent, but not great. I was a little disappointed with the crab, the crab was fine, just a little plain (really just tasted like steamed crab without sauce), the rice looked amazing as it had been steamed with the crab, but it was just sticky w/o much flavor. That said I saw some dishes at the other tables that look really good, so I'm looking forward to trying to Amazing 66 again to try the other dishes which I'm sure are great. Thanks for the rec.
I've been there three times in two weeks, trying to explore the menu a bit. The roast chicken dishes are always excellent. I've had the half chicken with preserved vegetables, and also with garlic. Same chicken, but with the preserved vegetables the sauce was thicker and didn't soften the chicken so the skin stayed crispy. With garlic it was in a nice soy based sauced, and covered with finely chopped crispy golden friend garlic. The sauce made the skin go soft, but it was great.
The quail appetizer are really tasty. More about flavor, than being a filling food.
The casserole of salty fish, chicken, and eggplant was great. the salty fish in it was small chinks of preserved fish that were more like a seasoning to the chicken and eggplant. I loved this dish.
The spicy tendon appetizer was similar to other versions of this cold dish, but different enough that it had its own appeal, again liked it very much.
I had one dish, can't remember the name, that had roast pork, sausage, and veggies that was boring. Also a few other dishes that were boring. from the menu descriptions it's hard to figure out what a dish will be like.
The staff hasn't been that helpful in helping to pick out the dishes with big flavors. language problem, they are very nice and quick service. the last time we were there they immediately asked us if we wanted beer. We said no, just water, and they brought us beer, which we sent back with no hassle.
I finally tried some of their well known specials with a big group on Saturday. Amazing indeed - peking duck, short ribs with pumpkin, house special crispy chicken with sticky rice, crispy noodles with roast pork, steamed scallops vermicelli and fried garlic, and sauteed pea shoots with mushrooms.
On previous occasions I've had the quail appetizer, roast chicken with garlic, and a bean curd dish with mushrooms.
All excellent, and service has always been very friendly.
We went for the first time in ages yesterday, drawn by my husband's having a look at their menu and seeing a goose in beancurd skin dish (which two ingredients are in his top ten favorite foods). We ordered it only to be asked if we knew what goose was (yes, in Chinese and English both as it happens). We also ordered the doumiao with garlic, the shrimp with walnuts and the honey quail. The waiter came back and told us the goose was not available (this had also happened to us on the prior occasion) and told us we had already ordered enough food, which we had, but we always overorder (so that my husband can have leftovers for his lunches during the week). We asked him to suggest another dish, perhaps doufu. He suggested the sizzling pan doufu (no thanks, do not like sizzling pan dishes), then the steamed doufu which is on the menu with shrimp but he suggested scallops. This, with black beans, a garnish of youcai, and the steaming juices was the standout dish of the meal. The douniao were also very good, the quail quite nice, but the shrimp with walnuts was not good - very heavily battered (but good-quality) shrimp with a very sweet sauce made from mayonnaise with possibly some sweet-and-sour sauce stirred in - it looked rather like Cheez Wiz - slopped unappetizingly over the top, and candied walnuts, served on top of honeydew melon chunks and grape tomatoes. I have eaten this dish before and liked it reasonably well - the shrimp sautéed and tossed in lemony mayonnaise with the walnuts as garnish - but this was a big disappointment. This meal cost $84.00 with 4 Tsingtao beers. You can eat a lot better in a pleasanter environment for about $20.00 less for more food at Cantoon Garden.
really they had goose? i can never find goose in the US although i heard its b/c the goose raised in the US are different than the ones you get in asia (its like a better version of duck if you get it done right)
stick to the casserole dishes at A66, that's what i find they do very well there. To be fair they are a different type of cantonese restaurant that CG although as well noted i think CG is the best chinese restaurant in chinatown. CG is really kind of seafood specialist who makes certain other meat dishes well. A66 is more general cantonese food who i happen to think makes good casseroles.
I hate that mayo shrimp dish, so i cant really comment on it.
They have goose on the menu but both times we have ordered it, they have taken the order and come back to say they don't have it. It's a little early for prime goose season, but we thought it worth a try. No such luck. Noted re strengths but I don't think we will be regulars at 66 as we are at CG. (I wouldn't normally order the shrimp and mayo dish but my husband has been rather fond of it in the past. This was not a good rendition)
I just ate there last night as well in a group of 3 and we went with 4 dishes:
- pea shoots with garlic
- half a roast chicken with garlic
- three fried seafood delight
- pork belly and dried squid with XO sauce
in the same way, our group was small and I wish we were larger that we would've gotten the pumpkin stuffed with short ribs but the food was really good, kind of classy cantonese. the greens were good as expected, the fried seafood was scallops, shrimp and squid perfectly fried in batter (although I thought it would be the batter-less salt pepper shrimp style) and when we asked for the seasoned salt, it made it 100x better. the roast chicken was beautifully tender and covered in fried garlic, soy sauce, etc. (better than Wo Hop's rendition, and I really like their's). the dish that stood out was the pork belly because I had no idea what I was ordering and when it came out, large pieces of cured pork belly that looked like scored squid was actually pig stomach, the inner lining, cured, sauteed with good veg and really, a great dish. not what I expected at all, but chewy, tasty, tender; good stuff. I should've ordered the pork belly casserole you mentioned above since that's the actual pork belly that I was expecting, and in fact we even shied away from ordering it since we thought it would be ridiculous to order two pork belly dishes; little did we know that they literally meant "belly." with a few rounds of drinks, total cost was $90, much higher than what I'm used to paying in chinatown but it was worth it. a return visit will include the pork belly casserole and maybe some of the other stuff that was mentioned in Brian S's original thread, link below:
oh, and our waitress had a lot of fun making fun of us, so that was good, and it seemed like many of the customers and staff knew each other; place was packed on a random Tuesday night and its definitely worth a return visit; I'd love to do a 10-person banquet there sometime.
We went to 66 in hopes of recapturing the amazing salt baked shrimp experience of "Phoenix Garden". Remember? Sadly we found the food very tasteless (except fr lots of salt) and very expensive; not a great combo. Alas, the salt baked shrimp arrived in a big crustly fried dough. Very disappointing. The staff was friendly and excellent, which is nice.
66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013