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Mar 16, 2008 08:07 PM

Northwest Chinatown

What are the best restaurants near Canal and Lafayette?
Chinese or otherwise.

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  1. new wing huang (on lafayette a little south of canal, next to excellent dumpling house): for congee (i think its the best in chinatown), pretty decent roast meats and noodle soups...the real reason to go there is for the congee though (if you're not familiar with it, its a rice porridge with condiments, i like pork and thousand yr old egg, and you usually eat it with a long deep fried doughnut)

    sun say kai (canal and baxter): i havent eaten here in a really long time, but people say they have great roast pork buns and good roast meats

    may way (hester and baxter): pork chop rice, not quite the same as the original owners, but still good

    6 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      Thanks. What about at dinner time, do they still serve congee and pork baos?
      I'm taking an evening class in this area.

      1. re: Barry Strugatz

        i'm sure sun say kai still has them although they might run out

        new wing huang closes on the early side, but if u get there by 7 they probably still have it, i've gotten it fairly late there (its generally a morning type food)

      2. re: Lau

        Speaking of Excellent Dumpling, while some of their picture-menu plates may be less than scintillating, let me put in a word for their Hot and Spicy Wontons, neither hot nor particularly spicy, but gingery in an awesome peanut/sesame broth, absolutely the favorite of anyone who's ever tried them, youngsters included; and I've been eating their Pork Fried Noodles for 15-20 years or so, and they never disappoint. Ask for a little bowl of ginger and add some hot sauce if you need to ramp it up a bit.

        1. re: bob192

          i love excellent dumpling house. their fried rice cakes with chicken or shrimp are to die for, IMHO.

        2. Not a lot of choices in the immediate area since most of the commercial space is taken by retail shops due to the high foot traffic. New Wing Huang is more breakfast fare and the one time I went there for dinner I found it wasn't filling enough. Sun Say Kai does have bbq pork buns even at night, but that's a couple of blocks away. A closer choice would be Canal Seafood, 266 Canal St., whose clientele is an interesting mix of locals and replica shoppers. Then there's always the Lunch Box Buffet at 195 Centre St., which has to be one of the best bargains around--I think they charge $4 for 5 fairly decent entrees. I think they actually intend for two people to split the entrees, so if you're by yourself it might be a challenge to finish everything.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl

            The buffet place at 195 Centre Street now charges $4.50 for their "five-course" buffet, $4.00 for take-out. That's fifty cents more than the other buffet places on Grand or Division. Splitting one meal between two is not encouraged - they charge an extra buck for that. Avoid getting the soda or bottled water they try to push on you if you can, which adds 25% to the meal cost.

            1. re: scoopG

              I think they knock a buck off at night, but there's less of a selection.
              Had the congee at New Wing Huang. Beef, squid, pork. Very good. I put in a little soy sauce. What are the usual condiments? Had the donut, too. What's the Chinese name?

              1. re: Barry Strugatz

                the congee itself can have alot of different types of meats, innards, eggs, etc put into it...the usual side condiments are white pepper, chili oil and some people put in soy sauce (i like it without soy sauce).

                the chinese names:
                - congee: zhou (in mandarin) or jook (in cantonese)
                - donut: you tiao (in mandarin) or yow ja guei (in cantonese)

          2. i used to work out right in that area. After the hard workout i always have to head over to what is now named "Whatever" (previously "Healthy Dessert") for a glass of watermelon juice, coconut juice, or the delicous mango pudding that comes with a scoop of refreshing coconut ice. I haven't been recently, but know that they have also started offering savory dishes. It's on Center street at Walker. Next door to it is a Vietnamese grocery store that offers bahn mi, and other snacks like their extra dryish spicy beef jerkey that had good flavor but quite dry indeed. Upstairs from there is a Japanese restaurant that I've never tried, yet. Next door on the other side to "Whatever" is the Vietnamese place, one of the Nha Trang restaurant. Sometimes I get a craving for their $5 beef cubes over white rice. Haven't really been crazy about the pho though.

            A few more blocks away on Walker, toward the ACE train stop is the newish place with those little kimchee pork shoulder sandwiches..anyone have the name handy? It's not a Chinese restaurant. I haven't actually eaten in the restaurant because it's always too late when i'm around there, but have had the sandwich at different occasions, and thought they were quite good.

            3 Replies
            1. re: HLing

              I think you're talking about Providence Canteen...i'm not a huge fan of it, I thought the meat was kind of disappointing although maybe I went on an off day or something

              1. re: Lau

                The name of the place is Province. Last time I tried it, I was disappointed as well. I totally agree with Lau that the meat was the weakest part, especially the pork shoulder. If you have the pork bun at Momofuku before as comparison, I will honestly say that the pork here is below average. Their kimchi also lacked flavor.

                The buns were ok if they were served fresh, but they became chewy once they cooled down.

                Their short ribs were slightly better.

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  ah yes, Providence Canteen. When they first opened they sold some at the Dragon Boat Festival in Queens. I don't remember which one i had to tell you the truth, but it was the only time i got to try anything from there, and of course, it was way better than anything else being offered at the Festival, which, isn't saying much. Short ribs would have to be good....

                  I've been hearing so much about Momofuku but i'm ashamed to say that i've not the means to try anything there, yet. I'll just have to wait for the right opportunity and company, i guess. I mean, it's NOT a vegetarian friendly place, right? It's difficult when more and more of my friends are becoming vegetarian, or have particular likes and dislikes...