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Aug 10, 2007 08:58 AM

Sunset Park Chinatown

I thought I should finally start exploring Sunset Park's Chinatown. My tastes for Chinese (and SE Asian) food revolve around Taiwanese, spicy Szechuan, good Dim Sum, and noodle shops that serve Pho and other spicy noodle soups. Any must-visits?

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  1. don't know about taiwanese or szechuan, but there are some good places in sunset park.
    if you like noodle soups, try the hand-pulled noodle shop (lan zhou?) on 60th between 7th and 8th. Great noodle soups that you can spice up to your liking. Friendly owners.
    Also great is Ba Xuyen, the banh mi (vietnamese sandwich) shop on 8th and 41st. (or is it 43rd?) do a search on this board for it.
    Near the hand-pulled noodles on 7th between 60th and 61st is another banh mi shop whose name i forget. the banh mi are not as good as Ba Xuyen, but this place also serves pho, which I have not tried.
    As for dim sum, the big chinese place with parking around 65 and 7th has good and usually fresh dim sum. There's a better place that people really like and that the times reviewed a few months back, but the name escapes me and I haven't tried it. I'm sure someone else will chime in with the name.

    1 Reply
    1. re: missmasala

      Maybe you're talking about Pacificana? It's on the 2nd floor of a building and has a ($4) parking garage nearby. I went recently with my (very discerning, picky, Chinese) parents and they thought the dim sum was great - fresh and very tasty. They've also had dinner there, which they thought was good, though I haven't been.

    2. lots of noodle places in Sunset park, not any Taiwanese or Szechuan that I know of (tho some might be there to be found)
      your could try this place, Yunnan Flavor Snack for spicy noodle soup
      there are lots of little places springing up, particularly on the side streets off the corners of 8th - if you find something new hope you report it.

      11 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        I've been pretty unhappy with the Vietnamese options in Sunset Park, so if you find a good one please let me know. :)

        There used to be a fantastic dumpling place on 48th right near 8th Ave; I haven't been in a couple of years so it may be gone. Another must-visit is Nyonya at 8th Ave and 54th Street, which is a stellar Malaysian place. It's cheaper but otherwise similar to the other branch in Manhattan.

        1. re: jen kalb

          I'm pretty sure there are no Sichuan or Taiwanese. No Shanghai either since the last breath of the legendary Little Shanghai took place out there. At Yunnan I recommend the dumplings in hot and sour soup (more a tom yum taste than Sichuan hot & sour). I highly recommend the dim sum at 8th Avenue Seafood Restaurant, between 44th & 45th. Not glitzy like Pacificana, but as good and much easier to get into. I think Nyonya is overall the best restaurant out there. Though I do eat at Gia Lam Villa, I don't think there are any Vietnamese places really worth the trip (except Ba Xuyen for banh mi).

          It would be nice if Sunset Park had the variety of Flushing.

          1. re: Peter Cherches

            I just went and tried 8th Avenue Seafood Restaurant and found it very enjoyable with good, fresh food, no trouble getting seated at 12:30 on a Saturday. We were the only non-Chinese people there but the restaurant staff was very nice, with the cart-ladies being especially friendly and good humored even though they didn't seem to know much English. The waiters and the host spoke English though so it was easy to get drinks and stuff like that. We got 2 orders of those fried tofu-skin wrapped shrimp paste and celery rolls and they were the best version I have ever eaten--hot and fresh. We also ate delicious flavorful beef balls on a bed of tofu skin, really wonderful spring rolls that were sweet and a little greasy. The shrimp rice rolls were good, not gummy. The only dish I didn't like was that lacy taro puff filled with meat that I almost always hate anyway and I thought the sticky rice was a little boring because it only had pork bits in it, no little shrimp, greens and peanuts like they have other places. The only thing is that they didn't seem to have any har gow or shu mai or other types of steamed dumplings...maybe they were sold out. The food tended toward the sweet and heavy rather than delicate and intricate, with several varieties of rice rolls coming out of the kitchen. It was definitely not as good as World Tong, but it was a lot more chilled out and still a lot better quality than anything you'd get in Manhattan.

            1. re: bolletje

              They usually have shu mai and har gow at dim sum, in fact many kinds of steamed dumplings (which I usually lean toward), so it may just have been timing (next time you should ask one of the waiters--maybe the right cart never got your way). I had dinner there for the first time the other night with Chowhounders Steve R & Krista G. The food was, in general, fresh & simple. Nothing earth-shattering, but pretty good. Actually the highlights were the vegetables, yin choi in broth and a special ong choi with dried shrimp and hot pepper that was almost like a milder version of Malaysian kang kung belachan. Steamed sea bass was tasty, and the Tai-Pan style mei fun was quite good. I was least impressed by the salt & pepper pork chops which were very bland and the sable with black pepper sauce which was too heavy. The host, who remembered me from dim sum visits, was helpful with recommendations, and is clearly happy to see business expanding beyond the local Chinese community. They gifted us with a dessert: a molded carp made of honeydew -flavored gelatin floating in evaporated milk.

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                I suspect that we had either missed the steamed dumplings or were not seeing them on the carts. They had a wide selection of those little dishes of sauced meat bits that are on the steam cart that also has the chicken feet, but I'm always timid about which ones to try for fear of getting something too gristly or bony for my taste.

                I will definitely try their dinner offerings in future. The freshness of the food was impressive so I imagine they'd do well with simple dishes and veggies. And the restaurant employees were so welcoming that I would like to give them my business. Do you know if they deliver?

                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  I would concur with the fresh and simple description. Minus the melon-fish dessert, I didn't find anything unlikable. The pork chops were a little dull, but more boring than bad.

                  I'll definitely try their dim sum when I get a chance.

                  Photos and descriptions of dinner:

                  1. re: Krista G

                    Nice pictures on the blog... wasnt easy for you to get the shots before my chopsticks got to the food.

                    I think we all agree. The food was fine but nothing too exciting. Good ingredients, prepared well with no big flavors. And at a good price.

                    I think I'll try their dim sum and focus dinners at other places with more zing. However, it was fun doing this. Thanks for finding it & getting us together, Peter.

              2. re: Peter Cherches

                Hey Peter,
                We just made our first visit to Sunset Park, 8th ave Seafood was terrific! We passed on Pacificana in favor of 8th Ave's smaller, family style crash bang boom atmosphere. Lots of new and good eats, in particular a cold seafood dish consisting of tiny boiled octopus in a spicy sweet chili sauce on a bed of jelly fish and pickled vegetables... really really good and served off the dim sum carts. A chef's special. Steamed dumpling with vegetables and fresh peanuts and shrimp and greens wrapped in rice noodles were also stand-outs. The owners were quite friendly, asked how we found out about them and I gave them the chowhound website address, they were excited to find they are thought well of.
                We found Yunnan Snack down the avenue and polished off bowls of noodles and dumplings in delectable broths and spicy sauces. Got to talking with two customers, a married couple, the wife was from the same town as the owners/operators of Yunnan. They were leaving as we came in but they took the time to approach us and talk about the food and the owners. Rice Noodles with pork, #11 is their signature dish and apparently the most authentic item on the menu. More stew than soup. Pork braised for hours with lots of flavors. NO FRILLS DINING but totally our kind of place. Thanks for the suggestions. We don't normally eat two meals within three hours but given the lucky circumstances, we couldn't help ourselves. And since it was the weekend there were waffle cake makers on the corner and so for a dollar a bag we each had steaming hot cakes for dessert to keep us warm as we strolled back down 8th ave. A wonderful, tasty, friendly afternoon.

                1. re: jbwalker

                  Glad to hear you had such good experiences at both those places.

                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                    I went back to Yunnan Snack this afternoon based on the chatter in this thread. This place is great. The woman who makes the soup is quite exacting...I watched her put a bit of salt into someone's soup, look at it, and then remove a tiny bit of it with chopsticks to make sure it was perfect. Very old-school chowhound, IMO. #11, though, is rice noodle soup with spicy meat sauce, which I got, and thoroughly enjoyed. I'll have to try the above-mentioned pork stew (#10) next time.

                    Peter--if you're looking for Sichuan or Shanghai food, both are available in Bensonhurst. The Shanghai place is on 86th near 20th ave, near my favorite Cantonese (68 Golden restaurant) and the Sichuan on 18th Avenue and, oh, 72nd or something like that.

                    1. re: PAL

                      I'm sure I got it mixed up, #10 rice noodles with pork stew is the 'signature' dish though apparently #11 is just as authentic. The only reservation I have is I'm not a fan of eating out of disposable plastic containers and her soup bowls get thrown out after every use. No time or room for a dishwasher. I'm never a fan of participating in creating garbage that will last for over a 1000 years because I wanted a meal that lasts less than half an hour. But that's just me.

            2. There's a Fujian Seafood restaurant that we eat at occasionally called Sheng Xiang. It has some very interesting dishes that I have not seen elsewhere. Here is a digest entry that may be of some help: . I know almost nothing about Chinese regional cooking, but I think I read here that Fujian is near Taiwan (does that make the cooking similar?).

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  I'd second Nyonya, but as for Dim Sum, go for World Tong. Not so much farther in Brooklyn