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DYING for good Chinese on the UWS...

I posted a response to a similar thread the other day, but didn't realize it was from so long ago. I just thought I'd start a new one, since so many places have mysteriously closed in the last couple years....

My friend & I both live on the UWS (70's & 80's) & we've been on a desperate hunt for a good Chinese restaurant ever since Hunan Park closed. (One mainly for delivery & take-out.)

Here are some places we DON'T like:

The Cottage
Ivy's Cafe
Lime Leaf
Ollie's
Empire Szechuan Kyoto

I found these places to be either bland, greasy and/or having meat of substandard quality (what my friends & I call "spare parts chicken," for example).

Any good suggestions?!

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  1. I would like better neighborhood options too. I do take-out occasionally from China Fun. It's passable, but not execeptional. I would love to hear of some alternatives.

    1 Reply
    1. re: uwsgrazer

      We like Pearls on 99th and Amsterdam. Of course Shun Lee is great but not inexpensive Chinese.

    2. There are two places in the area that have passable to good eats off the appetizer's (dim sum) menu. UWSgrazer mentioned one of them, China Fun, which I also like for the weekend sao bing and you tiao (sesame flat bread and fried crullers) and warm dou jiang (soybean milk). Pearls is a lot like China Fun, but certain items like the curry puffs and dan tat (egg custards) are slightly more delicately made and I think, if I remember correctly, the menu is a little more expensive, too.

      Ollie's is actually fine for jiao ji and red roasted pork.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cimui

        I immediately thought of China Fun when I read you post without reading the replies. This is probably the best you'll find up here. No, it's not great and the service is often nasty but there are several decent menu items. I like the dumplings, stone forest chow fun and the singapore curry noodles.

        i have yet to try pearls but the recent menupages reviews look horrible. regardless, i'd be inclined to give it a try. please let us know if you do.

        i think we all need to make lots of noise about the lack of good chinese up here as we did for burgers until, lo and behold, a miracle occurs (i.e. shake shack opening a W77th and Columbus site). $#@$%^#$%^$%$@$!!!!!!
        that's my noise.

      2. Good luck, and if you find anything, you are morally obligated to report back! I've been dying for the same for years. The UWS is a wasteland of mediocre, fair Chinese restaurants. I've given up, although I will give a thumb up to Pearls (if I can't make it to Chinatown, that's my alternative).

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. So much of good and real Chinese food is made up of what Westerners might call "spare parts," but chacun à son goût as they say (not the Chinese, obv). I've also been stricken by the lack of good to decent Chinese food in the neighborhood and usually just head to Chinatown on the weekends to get my fix. But I pass China Fun quite often and will have to get over my suspicion and try it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              for a quick, cheap Chinese fix, my roommates and I order from Wai Lee (you can find them on Menupages). They're nothing spectacular, but the delivery is fast, the food is cheap (and there is LOTS of it!), and we have had consistently good experiences with them...

              1. re: JungMann

                "So much of good and real Chinese food is made up of what Westerners might call "spare parts," but chacun à son goût as they say (not the Chinese, obv)."

                So true about the "spare parts"! Tho there are plenty of Chinese people living in France who do say "chacun a son gout" (and who laugh at both my French and my Mandarin ... and probably my English, too :).

                Knowing a little bit about your gustatory background from Chowhound, JM, I don't want to raise expectations too much for China Fun. The quality of the food isn't all that high, but at least they have some variety of authentic dishes on the menu. In other words, they're authentically (just above) mediocre -- think like a 6.5 on a 1-10 scale for Manhattan as far as authentic places go.

                1. re: cimui

                  If you know my gustatory background, you will also note that I have a predilection for cheap Chinese, amply fed by working in a part of Midtown where my motto is "Chinese or nuthin'." For what it's worth, I'm pretty satisfied with my dinners at Silk Road Palace, though I'd not recommend it here lest I lose my CH credentials, so China Fun might be an even better and more convenient place to add to my take-away file.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Sorry -- didn't mean to impute gustatory credentials. :) I do recall that thread a long while back where you asked about AYCD Chinese places on the UWS -- which may have been what earned you the (real or fictional) gustatory credentials, in my book.

                    Not to take this thread too far off track, but a good buddy of mine who grew up in Flushing's Chinatown absolutely and unashamedly LOVES Mr. Yips and that horrible greasy place in Rock Center. Go figure.