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Jun 24, 2008 11:49 AM

Nice Green Bo - still don't get it

So my gf wanted xiao lon bao last weekend, so we decided to re-try Nice Geen Bo and well I still don't get it, was not impressed at all (again).

Here's what we got:
- cong you bing (scallion pancake) - this was the best thing, a bit thick, but reasonably airy and light, probably the only thing i thought was good
- yu xiang qie zi (eggplant in spicy garlic sauce) - someone told me this was good, so i tried it. It's ok, its not spicy really, the sauce tasted ok, but was a bit on the gloppy side. Purple eggplant itself was fine.
- cripsy eel (don't know what its called in chinese) - the eel themselves were very thin and crispy and they could've been very tasty, the sauce was a sticky sweet sauce that was way too sweet, it was like candy sweet
- xie fen xiao lon bao (crab soup dumplings) - not impressed. skins were sort of soggy, filling was fine, but nothing special. Just generally not impressed.

I'm going to try it one last time b/c Hling said they have a decent peking duck, but after that if thats not good I'm done with this place.

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  1. I made a similar post several months ago. This place is so over. The food hasn't been good for years. The chef(s) are heavy handed with oil and the flavors are just off. I much prefer Shanghai Cuisine.

    1. my boyfriend loves the place... but the one time he took me there... let's just say that even he couldn't deny that it was worse than most chinese takeout restaurants.

      he did claim that it was because we didn't focus heavily enough on meat dishes... but what can i say, sometimes you should judge a restaurant by its weakest dish!

      6 Replies
      1. re: courtney.hami

        I am so depressed that I live next to Chinatown and there is a lack of great places now. I agree that Nice Green Bo is overrated, I think the primary reason ppl like it is because its been reviewed by numerous magazines/zagats etc. I think the food is only okay.

        Unfortunately now that Moon House is gone (at least last I cked) there is a lack of great Shanghainess food in C town.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            no i haven't but i will give it a try. thx for the suggestion.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              i'll give it a second try, i thought it was overly americanized last time i was there but that was at least 3+ yrs ago...what are your favorite dishes there?

              btw feemepls i was a huge fan of moon house as i knew the owner threw 2 degrees of separation, so that was my go to shanghainese place in the city esp since their sheng jian bao were top notch

              1. re: Lau

                My favorite dish there used to be the pork chop rice. It was under $4 before. I haven't been there for a while so I don't know. Stay away from the lobster cantonese, that dish is a lie. Their chef used to be good if you stuck with the Shanghainese dishes, I don't know about now.

                1. re: designerboy01

                  A shanghainese friend took me there the first time, and we had the crab soup dumplings and the Shanghainese noodles with pork and Chinese spinach. That's what I always get there. I love them!

        1. I've tried New Green Bo only once, and I got red-cooked whole fish. It was authentic, I think, and it was good.... but it was NOT great or even very good. Even given the lack of great Shanghainese places in NY, you can do better. Joe's (assuming it hasn't slipped, see ) or Shanghai Cafe at 100 Mott.

          Of course if New Green Bo were here in Tulsa, it would be the best Chinese restaurant within 500 miles and I'd be there every night.

          17 Replies
          1. re: Brian S

            haha im sure

            yeah ive been meaning to go back to Joe's as it has a tourist stigma, but I haven't been there in years and id always rather judge something for myself. I also agree that shanghai cafe is better...i long for yangtze in flushing, i really wish they didnt close, only time ive had very good shanghainese in nyc

            1. re: Lau

              If you go to Joe's again, you should do yourself a huge favor and order the following dishes, in order of awesomeness: Lion's Head Meatballs (the best meatballs in any cuisine- period), Prawns in Meat Sauce (so much different, and better than it sounds), and Braised Pork Shoulder (so unique). The sauce is a bit rich in all of them, but trrrrrust me, you will not be disappointed in any of them. And of course, Joe's has the best soup dumplings, bar none.


              1. re: FuDee

                I ate at Joe's last night and was pleasantly surprised. Most of the diners at 6:30pm Tuesday appeared to be local people. XLB were very good. Kaufu, Shanghai noodles with roast pork, and ss crab were each also very good. Not so great was the cold appetizer of dried bean curd with mixed vegetables which turned out to be long shreds of bean curd with shredded carrots and a few edamame pods. But altogether I liked it better than Yeah Shanghai, based on this small menu sampling. Decent service, too.

                1. re: FuDee


                  Nice pictures.....and recommendations. Thank you

                  1. re: FuDee

                    Great collection of pictures - Thank you for sharing!

                  2. re: Lau

                    Shanghai Pavillion uptown is not bad if you want some authentic dishes. The people out from speak Cantonese and Mandarin, but they claim the chef is Shanghainese (I was skeptical). They have wuxi ribs that are done pretty well (wuxi is close to Shanghai). They also have a fish cooked in wine that is pretty good. I ate there with Mom and she invited me for dinner and said she made that for under $5 while it cost $20+ in the restaurant. Typical Chinese Mom. If you ask the waiter for help just make sure you say want dishes made for Chinese taste. They got a mochi (really light and soft) with sesame sugar - I think its called cooked soup for dessert which is a little different from the norm in a restaurant.

                    Shanghai Pavilion
                    1378 3rd Ave
                    New York, NY 10021
                    Phone: (212) 585-3388

                    1. re: designerboy01

                      fudee - thx, ill give them a try. im probably most curious about the braised pork shoulder, its called dong po rou in chinese and when its done right its unbelievable, but most places can't get it right...i had an amazing version in flushing with a friend who's shanghainese, but alas the restaurant closed down

                      designerboy01 - ive actually been meaning to try that place as its not all that far from my gf's place

                      btw has anyone ever tried tang pavilion in midtown? someone told me the shanghainese food is good there, but i was sort of skeptical

                      1. re: Lau

                        Tang Pavillion are defectors from Shun Lee. That is why that place is next door. I just thought it was OK there and can get something equivalent by going to Chinatown at lower prices. That Shanghai restaurant in Chinatown on the corner of Mulberry and Bayard use to be OK for it, but I haven't ate there in quite a while. Seems like many restaurants are cutting corners these days.

                        1. re: Lau

                          The dong po rou 東坡肉 you can find at Shanghai Cafe. I think it's pork belly though, but Dong Po's poem doesn't specify.


                          1. re: Brian S

                            Its all about the fat. I never had it here but had it in Hangzhou and yes it was unbelievable.

                            1. re: designerboy01

                              ill try it at some of these places and report back.

                              I had it at nice green bo a while ago, its all wrong there, the meat while sort of tender should be like super tender and the fat didn't taste right and they kind of just threw this sauce on it that was too sweet (although the sauce is sorta of sweet) u can cross that place off the list for dong po rou

                              1. re: Lau

                                Well on my one visit to New Green Bo the table next to me ordered it and I could tell just by looking at it that it wasn't something I would ever order there.

                          2. re: Lau

                            I thought that the version of braised pork shoulder at Shanghai Tide in Flushing was excellent! Far better, not even in the same class, as one I had at Yeah Shanghai. Curious if others would agree. Why don't I see more comments on this place on the OB board?

                            1. re: erica

                              Thanks for the tip. Haven't tried it yet but just wanted to add that it's called "Mr. Shu's Pork" on the English menu, among the house specialties.

                              Shanghai Tide
                              13520 40th Rd, Queens, NY 11354

                              1. re: squid kun

                                i just saw this...i asked my shanghainese friend about shanghai tide b/c her family used to eat at yang tze restaurant weekly and she said the owners and staff at the now defunct yang tze restaurant (which used to be across the street) moved to shanghai tide...yang tze was the only very good shanghainese restaurant ive eaten at in NY and they had very good dong po rou

                                i will be trying it soon

                          3. re: designerboy01

                            I ate at Shanghai Pavillion a few weeks ago and thought it was very good, although pricey because of where it is. I had a fish dish served with noodles that was delicious...I could eat it every day. However, the soup dumplings were disapointing (the only disappointment in a big meal). The crescent chicken dumplings were really good, as was a filet mignon dish.

                            1. re: LloydG

                              Yeah you pay a little more. It may be more for a Chinese restaurant but its worth it if you want Shanghainese food uptown. They will do special orders like turtle if you want to get more exotic. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

                      2. The crispy eel dish is one of the better dishes offered there. It is suppose to be sweet. Are you saying that it wasn't as good as it was in the past, or was it your first time trying that dish? It's very similar to the one at Green Village in LA.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: E Eto

                          ive had that dish before although not here, i remember it being sweet, but not this sweet. the eel itself was fine, it was actually good, nice little thin crispy eel was the sauce that was just too sweet. could be my personal taste

                          ive been to green village before, but never tried that dish there

                        2. My mom always says to go to the little place across the street from new green bo...yeah, we are a shanghainese family...and we used to like new green bo...but they suck now...
                          there was the most awesome place in flushing a while ago...but no more...
                          we usually go to Shanghai Cafe nowadays...its decent.......

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: dingaling

                            yeah the place across the street was moon house, but they just closed down (they were run by shanghainese)

                            i think the place you're talking about was called yang tse although it had a different chinese restaurant....that place was really really good. my friend told me the owner and staff just moved to another restaurant, ill find out where it is

                            1. re: Lau

                              i know some of the staff had moved to the rest across the street next to the bakery...i went there once....the xiao long bao was good but nothing else....too bad i am in tokyo good shanghainese here...went to the famouse tawainese outpost here, dai ting fung i sucked and was mega expensive....and they gave us mini xiao long to be me.....

                              1. re: dingaling

                                yeah they moved across the street i believe although i gotta ask my friend b/c her parents know all the staff and owners since they are shanghainese and ate there like once a week, they had the best dong po rou ive had in the US

                                din tai fung is a bit different (havent been to the one in tokyo), but their xlb are much more delicate and the skins are thinner...i actually happen to like them, but its not a normal xlb

                                1. re: Lau

                                  oooo I never knew Moon House had Dongpo rou! The best I've had was at Shanghai Cafe on Mott, but I'm sure that if I ever tasted the best in Shanghai or Hong Kong I wouldn't even want to look at the Shanghai Cafe version again.

                                  1. re: Brian S

                                    oh no, sorry for the confusion, i was not talking about Moon House (although I'm sure they had it). I was talking about this now-defunct restaurant in Flushing that was called Yang Tse (different name in chinese which i forget). Part of the staff moved across the street to another shanghainese restaurant (it might be Shanghai Tide that erice was talking about in the above post). That place had awesome dong po rou (like blew anything ive had in ctown away by miles and miles).

                                    I need to go back and try it when i do I'll put a post on the OP board

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      btw Moon House just re-opened as Shanghai Kitchen...haven't had a chance to try the new incarnation, but hopefully it will be okay

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        not a fan. used to like Moon House, although tended to go to Yeah's. The new place was mediocre. We had a soup noodle with pork and picked vegetables that basically had no seasoning. We thought it was us, but then we heard the table behind us complain about a wonton soup with no salt either. Soup dumplings were ok - skin was actually pretty good, but there was too much filling and they were just too meaty. the sen jian bao (fried bao) were well fried and again, the wrapper was just the right thickness, but the filling this time had very little flavor.

                                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                                          interesting...well i never thought their soup dumplings were all that great, but the sheng jian bao were the real reason to go...i figured they would go down hill b/c the old owner used to make all the apps by hand every morning (sheng jian bao, cong you bing etc etc)