Chinese in Manhattan by cuisine: Sichuan, Shanghai, northern
Will be visiting with my wife from the Boston area in a few weeks. I'm of Chinese ancestry but born and raised in the NYC area, though my favorite Chinese restaurants of my childhood are long gone (sniff - memories of Siu Lam Kung in Chinatown). My wife and I spent a year in Hunan Province, and a summer traveling through multiple regions of China, so I know something of the quirks of each specific region. I have a few places that I've liked in the past, but I was curious if anyone know of other specific recommendations for other places to consider:
Sichuan and Hunan cookery: I liked but did not love the Grand Sichuan in Chinatown near where the Fung Hwa buses let off; adored the Grand Sichuan at St. Mark's. Does Wu Liang Ye blow this out of the water, or is there some other place to consider?
Shanghai: Have been going to Joe's Shanghai (Lu Ming Chun) and Shang Hai Deluxe (Shanghai Laofandian) for years to get my soup dumpling (xiaolongbao) fix. A friend recently turned me onto Yeah Shanghai -- are there any other places to keep an eye out for?
Northern Chinese - used as a blanket term for Shandong, Hebei, Manchu, Shanxi and Shaanxi cooking. I fell hard for Tianjin Goubuli Bun when they had a branch in the Flushing Chinatown, but they apparently closed a while ago. I posted about a year ago asking about good northern Chinese in Manhattan and came up empty. Any updates on this?
And I'd prefer not to go to Brooklyn or Manhattan -- we're dependent on public transport, and I realize the 7 train goes out there, but I don't want to make it an hour extravaganza each way to get back and forth.
Thanks in advance.
try Szechuan Gourmet, I think its the best in the city now that the hell's kitchen branch of GS closed down
very little northern chinese food (actually none) in the city.
Try Super Taste on canal and eldrige, they have good beef noodle soup, get the spicy one (niu rou la mian) and an order of fish balls (yu wan)
Dumpling house up the street is good for dumplings and a da bing sandwich (i guess that is semi-close to northern chinese food)
Btw, if you take the LIRR to Flushing it only takes 15 mins (literally) and puts you right on main st. Well worth it if you want some very good chinese food
My memory is probably betraying me but I thought there used to be a bus with pickup/drop off in Flushing. I can't find any now, but there is Boston Deluxe that stops at Penn station - convenient to catch LIRR to Flushing. You can get one way on Fung hwa and the other on Boston Deluxe.
Here's a post that breaks down food in Chinatown by region.
I think Chinatown is strongest for Cantonese and Fujianese. The Shanghai is good, especially Shanghai Cafe, 100 Mott, but not great. For Sichuan, I believe you'd do better in Flushing. There have been incredible developments in Northern Chinese in Flushing this year and you might want to reconsider your decision not to go. See e.g.
re: Brian S
Two enormously helpful and insightful posts, thanks for forwarding those. Unfortunately, I don't think a stall-type place such as the Flushing food courts is what I'm looking for. My wife and I aren't against the occasional exploration and adventure, but we do want a slightly more formal sit down place.
I'm curious for your thoughts on the relative virtues of Shanghai Laofandian (aka Shanghai Deluxe or Shanghai Cuisine?), Joe's, Yeah and Shanghai Cafe. Latter looks interesting, though a little less than sit-down again, but maybe when we grab the Fung Hwa, we'll stop by there on our way to the Grand Street subway stop.
i'd stay away from Joe's, the xiao long bao are decent, but most of the rest of their food is very mediocre
People like Yeah, New Green Bo, Shanghai Cafe and I like moonhouse (though for two specific dishes). I never was crazy about Yeah or New Green Bo, both of which I thought were overrated (relative to the hype) though in fairness I haven't been to either one in a long time. I went ot Shanghai Cafe recently and it was pretty good overall (not the great, but good for Manhattan chinatown). Here is a recent review I wrote: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/387243
Also, fyi, Flushing is mainly sitdown restaurants. Obviously you need to take the LIRR out there (only 15 mins though), but really the food is MUCH better than manhattan.
I like the wu liang ye on lexington and 39th, I find it very good though I'm not sure if it's better than the grand sichuan international chain. The grand sichuan intl on 9th ave and 50 something street is quite good too, just don't get any of the american takeout offerings they have.
I agree with the Lau's post about joe's other food being mediocre.
There's a Wu Liang Ye on 48th between 5th and 6th. I would recommend this over Lexington. The service is extremely polite and the food quite well-made.
Skip Joe's. I've only been once, but it was enough...thought it was all mediocre, including the soup dumplings.
Here is a post in response to MY question about the bus to Flushing a while ago:
The LIRR would be faster I'm sure, but if you're already in Chinatown and thinking about the next meal, it's more convenient than going back up to a 7 train stop.