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Sep 26, 2007 02:12 PM

I Want to take my parents to Chinatown

My parents are coming to visit and love to try new places and areas. We have never eaten in Chinatown. My parents are in their mid 50"s and I know they will be picky about cleanliness. Any suggestions? Could you recommend what to eat also? I know the menu will be overwhelming the first time there
.Thank You

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  1. Are you looking for lunch (dim sum?) or dinner?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobetobiko

      We are looking for dinner or lunch.

    2. Congee Village (there's one on Bowery in Chinatown and one on Allen that's a bit outside of Chinatown) is good. It certainly looks cleaner than some other Chinatown restaurants, and I like the food (it's the kind of menu that has pictures of the dishes). You can search the board for what people like to eat. I like the Thai-style clams, soy sauce noodles, and sauteed pea shoots.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Gluttonous Prime

        The Allen street location tastes better.

        1. re: Gluttonous Prime

          Have you been to XO Kitchen before? Always wanted to try Congee Village to see how it compared to XO Kitchen's congee...

          I like to eats.

          1. re: druz99

            If you're looking for good congee, I cannot recommend enough Big Wong on Mott (next to Shanghai Cafe). Better than both Congee Village (whose congee I never order at either the Bowery or the Allen street location).

            1. re: claireness

              Big Wong...thanks for the tip claireness! Will check it out this coming Sunday (congee is the best hangover remedy, btw) and share my experiences here as well as on my blog.

              I like to eats.

              1. re: claireness

                I will second Big Wong on Mott. It has better congee than any of the "Congee XXX' places, as it is more "dense" and rice flavor is more intense than the others. However, the selection of their menu is much more limited (which actually is a good thing because they are more focused and specialized in congee).

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  true true--good point kobe. I really wish anyone extolling the congee virtues of either Congee Village (allen) or Congee Bowery would try Big Wong. You'll be able to experience the true inferiority of their product. I only eat at Congee Village (allen) when i'm too lazy to head to mott. The food there ain't great.

                  The other thing I go to Big Wong for is won ton soup and dry beef chow fun. The beef chow fun can be inconsistent, but when they get it right, it's light, delicate, not oily, and a great example of simple, tasty, cantonese(?) food done right.

                  But one thing to note for parents is that this is NOT the cleanest of places to dine. They do tons of take out, and on weekends there's always a line (moves quickly) to be seated but the dine in be better (and cleaner).

              2. re: druz99

                I wouldn't compare these two. XO is different to congee village. Their schizomenu of japanese, cantonese, taiwanese, shanghainese, italian, & american is pleasing to the younger generations as nothing tastes truly authentic and everything on the menu is fun. If your craving for spaghetti, udon, dim sum, rice, filet mignon steak, teriyaki, sandwiches, & sweet dessert all at once, then this is your place.
                Congee village specializes in southern cantonese with a better menu for the adult crowd.

            2. Amazing 66 on Mott St is sparkling clean and very good food.

              Reading this might make things less overwhelming:


              5 Replies
              1. re: Brian S

                Brian, I avidly read your past CTown posts. What do you order at Amazing 66? I see the menu has Orange Peel Beef & Szechuan style tofu (Ma Po?). I have seen that called Bear Claw! I always tend towards the spiciest stuff, which is why I always end up at a Szechuan place. Maybe that isn't the best thing here, since they are doing a different province's cuisine. I also don't see any whole fish, but maybe there's a separate Chinese menu, like at the one you waxed so poetically about. As a kid, my family used to have huge gatherings at Shanghai-centric places in Chinatown. Courses upon courses of amazing tastes, until you needed to step out for air!

                1. re: sing me a bar

                  Thank you for reading my posts! It's the only reward I get for writing them. Anyway, here are my recommendations for Amazing 66:
                  No, Cantonese food is NEVER spicy. I wouldn't order Sichuan food there.... you really should go to Spicy & Tasty or Little Pepper in Flushing and order the water-cooked beef aka beef in fresh hot pepper, it will blow your head off. But back to Amazing 66, they have 2 menus, both in English, no separate chinese menu though I've looked. They do have whole fish I think, but it must be expensive cause the price isn't on the menu.

                  Here's the link for Little Pepper

                  1. re: Brian S

                    Brian S,

                    Cantonese food can be spicy. Just to name a few: XO sauce, fermented bean curd sauce, shrimp paste cause with chile (not the same as Malaysian version).

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      I guess I should never say never. I dont think of XO or fermented bean curd as being very spicy. By spicy I meant 辣, which means hot pepper but which someone told me also means little bundle of suffering.

                      1. re: Brian S

                        I know what you mean Brian S. about spicy. The real XO sauce and fermented bean curd sauce (with chili) (when I say real I mean the ones that you have in Hong Kong or Cantonese province) is supposed to be spicy. It is just that the chefs here are not competent enough to make the real things or they skimp on the ingredients.

                        I have yet to find a restaurant in NYC Chinatown that serves up the "real" XO sauce.

              2. Oriental Garden on Elizabeth Street. Great food and clean bathrooms. Order some fresh seafood. Or, if you are there at lunchtime, they have very good dim sum.

                3 Replies
                1. re: batterypark

                  Unfortunately this place had terrible service and honestly the dim sum wasn't really great. I wouldn't suggest bringing parents there because of the service.

                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    I was there yesterday for dim sum. Yesterday it was great.

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      I agree, my last trip here was horrible. The food had no wok breadth. Plus, they didnt even cook off the cornstarch in the tofu with shrimp. The center had a filmy pocket of starch. At that moment I wished I was sitting in WoHops instead. I felt so embarrassed. Rather than impressing, I ended up apologizing to my guest from Australia.

                  2. Cleanliness and Chinatown are two things that don't go together, unfortunately! But for some tasty eats why not take them to Joe's Shanghai, or for some authentic (and majorly cheap!) Hong Kong cuisine (must try the century-egg ie. fermented egg porridge with a side order of 80c deep-fried dough!), check out XO Kitchen on Hester St.

                    I like to eats.