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Feb 18, 2008 06:40 PM

86th Street Chinatown?

We've all seen postings about Chinatowns in Flushing, Sunset Park and Elmhurst, and occasionally Ave. U in Brooklyn, too. Well, I was thumbing through a throwaway Metropolitan New York Chinese food magazine, and they have a listing in back of the magazines of various restaurants, bakeries and markets in the different Chinatowns. But the last section puzzles me, referring to a dozen restaurants and a handful of bakeries and markets all on 86th St. (Names are only in Chinese so I have no additional info.) Anybody have information on what appears to be a budding Chinatown?

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  1. Sounds like maybe 86th St. in Bensonhurst (BK)?

    1. Been a while since I've been up that way, but up past 21st Ave or so there were some restaurants and bakeries that would fit the bill. Don't have any recommendations as the one restaurant I used to go to (next to the OTB and Burger King) closed a while back.

      10 Replies
      1. re: TomT

        are you referring to chef wongs?

        1. re: ericalloyd

          Yes and no. Not the American Chef Wongs but the authentic place that was next door. Good dim sum and their roast pig was great...fantastic crispy skin. I could swear when they first opened the authentic place it was connected to Chef Wong's...and may have also shared the name... but I may be misremembering.

          1. re: TomT

            I think it was just an enlargement of Chef Wong's restaurant.

            1. re: TomT

              Maybe it was Jade Fong, with Helen running it? She was responsible for my being born. In the fifties, she gave my parents a red hard boiled egg (they were social friends), a Chinese fertility symbol. My folks were married 16 years then. No kids. That egg must of worked...almost a year later, I popped out.

              Maybe there is something to say about Chinese medicine! And the Chinese restaurant on 86 Street (between Bay Parkway and 20th Ave!).

              1. re: MoxieBoy

                Moxie Boy
                Very cool story!
                I don't know if it's the same place I'm thinking about, but I can (barely) recall a typically old style Cantonese restaurant very close to the movie theatre (on 86th St and 20th Ave. maybe it was called The Benson?) In order to give my parents some 'sanity time', my Grandparents would take us to a Sunday matinee and then to the Chinese Restaurant for what they considered "authentic" chinese food. It was a big deal at the time:-} I'll bet chicken chow mein and roast pork chop suey were the first 'chinese' dishes I tasted lol!.

                1. re: Tay

                  def not chef wongs. i know the place you speak of but for the life of me cannot remember the name. this place had polynesian themed atmosphere with tiki hut-like booths and bamboo everywhere. in my young and stupid teen years my friends and i drank zombies until we were falling down drunk.

                  1. re: ericalloyd

                    Chef Wong's wasn't as old as the place I'm thinking about. Chef Wong's was on 86th St off Bay Pkway. The place I'm referring to was on 86th St, but on the other side of 86th St and off the corner of 20th Ave.It did do those cheesy umbrella-themed fruit based drinks, It might have been the Jade Fong that Moxie mentioned., but I don't think that was the name of it. Maybe it was just called the Canton Restaurant.. Dunno.. :-}

                    1. re: Tay

                      Long ago and far away, there were three Chinese-American restaurants on the northern side of 86th Street between Bay Parkway and 20th Avenue: Rose Garden, New Parkway, and Canton (in order from east to west); the first two were upstairs and the third on street level. At some point, Canton moved across the street and Polynesianed itself, so it is Canton to which you refer.

                      More recently, there were two Chef Wongs with separate entrances on the southern side of 86th between Bay Parkway and 21st, one fancier than the other, both now gone. When last I looked, there was an unpretentious Chinatown-style Cantonese place calling itself 86 Wong on the southern side of 86th, just east of Bay Parkway, perhaps the descendant of one of the earlier Wongs. For the intensely curious, it has a web site:

                      1. re: ahr

                        That was a very informative posting. Like most NYC'ers, unless the sun is rising or setting, I couldn't tell you East from West, but I'm happy you were able to confirm my distant childhood memory of the old Canton Restaurant. I do not remember the other two you mentioned.
                        Thanks so much! :-}

                        1. re: ahr

                          yes I remember was eventually replaced, I beleive, with New Dynasty.

          2. There's a little conentration of Chinese stores which is growing in the direction of the rapidly expanding 18th Av Chinatown. Nothing amazing yet though.