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Jun 2, 2008 06:49 PM

Gu Shine / Gu Xiang - pretty good and holy cheapness

Went to eat at Gu Xiang tonight with a friend to catch up. Its a small taiwanese restaurant on 39th bet main and prince. It's a pretty small place maybe 7-8 tables, it was packed and every table was full. Since there were only two of us we got the "liang cai yi tang" special (two dishes one soup) and its only about $15. At first I thought well that really doesn't seem like that much food...and then the soup bowl came out and it was enough soup to feed like 4 people and the two dishes were regular size dishes. I can't believe it's that cheap.

The food was actually quite decent, I was skeptical b/c of the cheapness of the special:
- hot and sour soup (suan la tang): this was very good, not starchy at all, could've been slightly spicier, but overall it was very nice. they also put blood cakes in it fyi although you probably wouldn't notice if you didn't check
- sha cha beef (sha cha niu rou): this was pretty good as well although the beef could've been a little more tender, nice sha cha sauce and it had some greens it as well although I'm blanking on what they were right now
- shredded pork w/ shredded dried tofu (forgot what this was called in chinese): this was excellent, best dish of the night, i couldve just eaten a big plate of this by itself and been happy. Its thin strips of pork that are sauteed with that dried bean curd you always get in taiwanese food, i think its called something dou gan. anyhow, the pork was nice and tender and the dried tofu was great. It's hard to explain how it tastes as its not huge bold flavors, but its excellent...i polished off all of it

Anyhow, it was a nice little meal and I definitely want to go back to try more.

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  1. ended up eating here again yesterday, was originally planning to hit main st imperial, but my friend already parked, so just decided to hit gu xiang. Again it was pretty good and really cheap (i did the same 2 dish 1 soup special...which is more than enough for 2 people).

    Here's what we got:
    - watercress soup: this was pretty good, its a light soup broth that almost tastes japanese, with pieces of watercress and some pickled vegetables in it...very light and a nice complement to the meal
    - beef with leeks: this was excellent, just simple stir-fried strips of beef sauteed in a wok with leeks and garlic and oil i believe...very tasty, nice tender beef
    - corn, tomatoes and soy beans: this was good although not great, another simple dish just the 3 mentioned items sauteed a little bit of oil and maybe salt. a nice complement

    i do like the simplicity of this place, im not sure id go way out of my way to eat here, but if this was in manhattan i think id go here very regularly...its cheap and simple food that is done well and that is generally a good recipe in my book

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      what street exactly is it on? 39th ave?

      1. re: joekarten

        135-38 39th Avenue which is on 39th bet main and prince, here's a map

    2. never been always wanted to go, but I don't think I could eat two dishes & one soup. Can you buy dishes from the family special individually? They do have an a la carte menu but each dish is almost as expensive as the family special.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Brian S

        yeah you can order anything a la carte, not sure what the price differential is as i didnt do the math

        and yes one person definitely cannot eat the two dishes one soup. the soup bowl is massive (like really its enough for probably 4 people)

        1. re: Lau

          So they won't let you order, say, one dish plus half a soup for $7.50?

          1. re: Brian S

            haha i dont know...i guess they should since its the same for them economically

            it could be when u add up the dishes its the same amt, its just they package them to sell more (havent done the math)...honestly, just go check it out b/c nothing at that place is even remotely expensive. if for some reason u couldnt, ud have a ton of leftovers for later

            btw while i havent tried it my friend just told me not to get the stinky tofu there as she said its just so so....but they do have other taiwanese classics like oh ah jian (oyster pancake), which again i havent tried although i remember reading an article saying it was good there

        2. re: Brian S

          wow brian you're totally missing out! this place has been around a long time but the last time I ate there was hot pot downstairs; not sure if they still have that but this is one of the earlier TW joints, although, maybe its changed hands over the years. the fish head casserole hot pot is the way to go though, if they have it downstairs. there's plenty of good stuff off the menu, the pork with bamboo shoots they should have which is tasty.

          1. re: Brian S

            A much better option than taking home a heap of leftovers, which might not be nearly as good a day or two later, is to go with friends, one or two or more.

            That way you can check out a far broader sampling of the menu. You can also deepen your experience by comparing notes with your chow-savvy companions (and I assume any companions of yours would be - but if not, it's a teaching moment).

            Larger parties are the best way to get to know Chinese restaurants, in my experience. They are, after all, the reason banquet dining was invented.

            1. re: squid kun

              Gu Xing is too small for a big group, four tops. Gu Xing is some what famous for take out. So popular they give you a number when you call so you can have it for pick up. Try the basil chicken in casserole.

              1. re: PaMa

                they have a wing to the left of the main 'restaurant' that has more tables, i thought? we had a group of 8 people that sat back there. ..

                1. re: cervisiam

                  They do have a space to the left. They use to have one upstairs too but it close down a few year back. Eight would be mighty cozy even for Chinese restaurant standard but hey if you love the food (and their food is good).