HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

I Want to take my parents to Chinatown

abylane Sep 26, 2007 02:12 PM

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. k
    kobetobiko RE: abylane Sep 26, 2007 02:21 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobetobiko
      abylane RE: kobetobiko Sep 26, 2007 02:32 PM

      We are looking for dinner or lunch.

    2. Gluttonous Prime RE: abylane Sep 26, 2007 02:28 PM

      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
        DarthEater RE: Gluttonous Prime Sep 26, 2007 06:08 PM

        The Allen street location tastes better.

        1. re: Gluttonous Prime
          druz99 RE: Gluttonous Prime Oct 2, 2007 07:36 PM

          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
            claireness RE: druz99 Oct 2, 2007 07:56 PM

            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
              druz99 RE: claireness Oct 2, 2007 10:12 PM

              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
                kobetobiko RE: claireness Oct 3, 2007 09:35 AM

                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
                  claireness RE: kobetobiko Oct 3, 2007 11:05 AM

                  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 experience...um...could be better (and cleaner).

              2. re: druz99
                DarthEater RE: druz99 Oct 3, 2007 02:59 PM

                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. Brian S RE: abylane Sep 26, 2007 06:28 PM

              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
                sing me a bar RE: Brian S Oct 2, 2007 04:21 PM

                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
                  Brian S RE: sing me a bar Oct 2, 2007 06:02 PM

                  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
                    kobetobiko RE: Brian S Oct 2, 2007 07:27 PM

                    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
                      Brian S RE: kobetobiko Oct 3, 2007 09:43 AM

                      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
                        kobetobiko RE: Brian S Oct 3, 2007 12:07 PM

                        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. b
                batterypark RE: abylane Oct 2, 2007 01:46 PM

                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
                  kobetobiko RE: batterypark Oct 2, 2007 01:48 PM

                  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
                    batterypark RE: kobetobiko Oct 2, 2007 01:54 PM

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

                    1. re: kobetobiko
                      DarthEater RE: kobetobiko Oct 3, 2007 03:08 PM

                      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. druz99 RE: abylane Oct 2, 2007 07:33 PM

                    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.

                    1. claireness RE: abylane Oct 2, 2007 07:59 PM

                      A decent choice for parents is Peking Duck House. One of the few places in Chinatown I would put my CLEAN stamp on. Expensive by Chinatown standards but the food is good.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: claireness
                        druz99 RE: claireness Oct 2, 2007 10:15 PM

                        I agree, Peking Duck House is very tasty, but then again, anything in that dark hoisin/black bean sauce tastes wonderful. My parents, who are from Singapore, weren't too impressed though...they are used to having the skin paper-thin as well as very crispy. They found their preparation to be very rough, and complained a lot about the excess fat under the skin (which is usually scraped off quite thoroughly if you have it in Hong Kong/China and Singapore).

                        I like to eats.

                        1. re: druz99
                          claireness RE: druz99 Oct 3, 2007 03:38 PM

                          All very , very true. I'd expect those standards if it were the kind of place where you have to order the peking duck at least 24 hrs ahead of time. Since this is walk in, I found the meal very acceptable. And for those picky about cleanliness (like me) this place is a gem! On the cleanliness scale, it's a far cry from Big Wong.

                        2. re: claireness
                          a_and_w RE: claireness Oct 3, 2007 03:20 PM

                          I think Peking Duck House is an excellent suggestion given the OP's requirements. Maybe Dim Sum Go Go for dim sum.

                        3. c
                          ChowDiva RE: abylane Oct 3, 2007 10:19 AM

                          We ate at New Yeah on Bayard Street on Saturday night and it seemed fairly clean and had more ambiance than New Green Bo across the street. They also serve beer, which many of the small places in Chinatown don't. We ordered the twice cooked pork which was great and the salt and pepper shrimp which I liked but my boyfriend didn't. We had the seafood panfried noodles which was addicitve and the juicy buns which were ok...not as good as New Green Bo. I would take my parents to this place...they had quite a few "Americanized" chinese options as well as offbeat, more "daring" dishes. I think the honey pork shoulder is their signature dish and I want to go back and try it.

                          1. thegingerbreadgirl RE: abylane Oct 3, 2007 03:22 PM

                            I've been going to dim sum for years, but just last weekend discovered a new place that was quite large, very clean and had a good selection of dumplings and things to order off menu. Their card just reads "Oriental Food Restaurant" and it's at 103-105 Mott Street, just north of Canal. If you go for dim sum, I recommend the Har Gow, BBQ Pork Bao, Egg Custards, and crab legs wrapped in an egg roll shell.

                            1. w
                              waveguide33 RE: abylane Oct 3, 2007 03:47 PM

                              You might want to try Wo Hop at 17 Mott St. It's downstairs below street level. Not fancy at all but must have something since it's been open 24/7 for DECADES. Food was good and lots of chinese families.

                              Don't forget to do some food shopping and look at Kam Man on Canal upstairs for cooking gear.


                              1. k
                                KittyK RE: abylane Oct 3, 2007 04:58 PM

                                Maybe Dim Sum Go Go (5 East Broadway)?

                                Show Hidden Posts