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Jun 29, 2007 07:17 AM

The Chinese food challenge

Okay, I am desperate for help. I have tried a lot of places, some expensive, some cheap; some uptown, some in China town... and I still can't find a place where I can get what I consider to be "good" Chinese food.

I grew up in China (Beijing and Shanghai) and Hong Kong, so my taste is quite authentic, but authenticity is not the only thing that matters. I just want Chinese food, whatever version / cuisine, well done.

So here is the challenge: suggest restaurants, in Manhattan, that has "good" Chinese food. Cuisine / type of Chinese food doesn't matter, as long as it is Chinese food. Price and location also doesn't matter. I am willing to try everything.


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  1. i grew up in HK. have u tried oriental garden for their seafood?
    i also like congee bowery. Hong Kong noodle is also supposedly pretty authentic but I haven't tried it yet.

    1. Singar, perhaps what you're looking for simply doesn't exist, because you're not in China or HK. There are different ingredients and techniques of cooking and even sociocultural factors to consider. I was in China for a month and ordered noodle soup (a favorite) everywhere I went, and I was amazed not only by the differences between different regions, let alone between what we have in the U.S. vs. China! I'm sure that fellow CHs will be up to your challenge, but I settle for what we have here (and in NY, we have a lot, so we're lucky), keeping in mind that our options here will never duplicate anything I've had in China, Spain, India, France, etc., etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gloriousfood

        "but authenticity is not the only thing that matters. I just want Chinese food, whatever version / cuisine, well done."

      2. If you're talking Manhattan you're best bet is Chinatown since that's where the Chinese restaurants are both in numbers and authenticity. Unfortunately, New York Chinatown, just like San Francisco Chinatown and Los Angeles Chinatown, has no destination Chinese restaurant. We have the type of Chinese food you're looking for in California, and you might find it in Flushing, but it's not in Chinatown. Consequently the best you can hope for in Manhattan is good, not great Chinese food. So far the best I have found in Manhattan Chinatown are Cantoon Garden on Elizabeth and East Sea on Bayard. Have you tried these, or the string of Chinese seafood restaurants on Division St.? If you have and these aren't good enough, I don't think you can do any better.

        1. Singar, I've visited Beijing and Shanghai just once each, and Hong Kong twice, so I have nowhere near your depth of experience to draw on, but I've eaten a fair amount here in New York. I enjoyed the salt-baked seafood combo on my most recent visit to Great N.Y. Noodletown (, and even now I lust after the crispy lamb with cumin and pepper at Waterfront International (

          1. wasn't there something in the times last week about a new chinese restaurant opening in the gramercy park hotel with a japanese chef? sounded promising.
            as for good chinese food in NY, i think it's the kind of thing where you can find well executed dishes here and there...but am i mistaken to think that there's such a breadth to the cuisine that you would be mitaken to look for it as a something that can be found?
            i would approach your search by trying to recall one or two dishes you enjoyed from china--in particular something that might not find it's way onto every chinese menu in the united states, seeing if anyone prepares it and then going from there.