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Favorite Chinatown restaurant?

s
sandwich22 Jul 18, 2008 11:23 AM

Boyfriend and I went to Amazing 66 on Sunday. Food was good (though a little salty), the place was busy (in a good way - full but we didn't have to wait for a table), and it seemed clean. Thoughts on the place? Others you'd recommend?

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  1. michele cindy Jul 18, 2008 11:40 AM

    Take a look at this post on Amazing 66. I don't think I have ever scene so many comments on 1 Chinese restaurant. I've been there 2x's, thought it was fine. As for other places, while it's not a new place, I still enjoy the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai a lot.
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340879

    3 Replies
    1. re: michele cindy
      s
      sandwich22 Jul 18, 2008 12:05 PM

      We decided to just go and choose a restaurant and see what we could find. We chose based on anything that had some kind of Zagat rating. We spent $25 for two people and I enjoyed it so much that I was sad when I got too full to finish my plate.

      1. re: sandwich22
        MMRuth Jul 18, 2008 12:14 PM

        What did you order?

        1. re: MMRuth
          s
          sandwich22 Jul 18, 2008 12:25 PM

          We were pretty conservative. He had wonton and I had eggdrop soup. Usual Chinese takeout serves really watery eggdrop but this was thick and super eggy in a good way. Then we split beef with snowpeas and vegetable lowmein. It was just so good.

    2. thew Jul 18, 2008 12:42 PM

      ciao chow

      my chinatown seafood fave, sun lok kee, has apparently gone the way of the dodo

      1 Reply
      1. re: thew
        r
        rwilenker Jul 19, 2008 05:43 PM

        Sun Lok Kee reopened on Main Street in Flushing as New Lok Kee several years ago.

        Took a detour coming home from the Jones Beach Theatre last Sunday night --- 1am wonton soup, saltbaked shrimp & spicy chicken w/cashews --- as good as ever!

      2. jenniebnyc Jul 18, 2008 12:56 PM

        Joe's Shanghai, New Green Bo and Oriental Garden. Never really understood the hype over Noodletown. My meal here was pretty bad.

        1. r
          Renguin Jul 18, 2008 01:11 PM

          I'm baffled by the positive reviews that Joe's Shanghai continues to get from people. I think it's just plain bad. i work with all chinese people and we went there a couple times out of convenience, and the last time we decided it was just too awful and not worth returning to ever again. i guess their versions of american chinese food is okay, but the authentic stuff is terrible.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Renguin
            michele cindy Jul 18, 2008 02:09 PM

            You find their soup dumplings to be terrible? Let me know who you think has the best. I've only done side by side of Green Bo, and Joe's, and I think Joe's wins. Who wins over Joe's in CT. Thanks!!

            1. re: michele cindy
              jenniebnyc Jul 18, 2008 02:42 PM

              i'm with you michele cindy.

              when eating at joe's or ngb i normally order soup dumps, shanghai flat noodles and salt and pepper pork chops. all are delicious everytime!

              1. re: jenniebnyc
                scoopG Jul 18, 2008 04:16 PM

                Shanghai Cafe.

            2. re: Renguin
              Miss Needle Jul 19, 2008 02:59 PM

              Most of the reviews I see of Joe's is that it's awful. Personally, I like their soup dumplings in spite of what other people say. But I'm not a fan of their other stuff.

              You may want to try Shanghai Cuisine on Bayard.

              1. re: Miss Needle
                michele cindy Jul 20, 2008 06:42 AM

                We went on Friday night. The soup dumplings were really good, we even ordered an extra order. We had the turnip cake which I liked, the braised shrimp were just so so, the shanghai noodles were good, moo shoo vegetable was ok, the only stand out were the dumplings. Overall is was just ok, for my dad and his girlfriend up from FL it was great, they only have really really crumby Chinese were they live. Service was good.

                1. re: michele cindy
                  Miss Needle Jul 20, 2008 09:10 AM

                  Yes, I do enjoy the soup dumplings. I think some people may not like them because they're a bit fattier than other places. But I still think they're delicious.

                  1. re: Miss Needle
                    k
                    kobetobiko Jul 20, 2008 10:46 AM

                    Hi Miss Needle and MC,

                    I think Reguin's comment was really relative. If someone has tried the true soup dumplings in Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, there is really no comparison on what Joe's Shanghai offers - it is simply average at best (and sometimes I will also consider the dumplings as bad). Just because their soup dumplings are the best in Manhattan Chinatown (which I sort of agree) doesn't necessary mean that it is good in other people's standard. That may be the reason why Reguin was a bit harsh on Joe's.

                    The principle sort of applies to most Cantonese or Shanghaiese restaurants in Manhattan Chinatown. The best among the breed here does not necessary apply to good food to some people. (sort of like my sentiments when I enjoy burgers or steaks in Hong Kong...)

                    1. re: kobetobiko
                      Miss Needle Jul 20, 2008 11:28 AM

                      I can totally see your point about NY not being good for soup dumplings compared to Shanghai, Toronto, etc. You're right, there are better examples out there in the world. My comment wasn't really about Renguin's comment. In contrast to his comment where he says he reads a lot of positive reviews of Joe's, I've read a whole bunch of negative ones. I've seen a lot of reviews from people that say that the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai is crap and offer alternatives in NYC saying it's much better when in fact, I don't think it's too much different from Joe's. I think sometimes people like to bash things because -- dare I say it -- it's "trendy" to bash the place?

                      1. re: kobetobiko
                        scoopG Jul 20, 2008 03:11 PM

                        I've had soup dumplings in China (Shanghai and Dalian) and Taipei and there is a wide variety and differences in taste and texture. I guess I am more interested (as I think most hounds are) in what is delicious and less so in what is considered "true" or "authentic" no? There at least six restos in Chinatown serving them up daily. Personally my preference is the soup dumplings at the Shanghai Cafe - especially now that Goody's is gone. Joes Shanghai or Joes Ginger will do in a pinch.

                        1. re: scoopG
                          l
                          Lau Jul 20, 2008 03:28 PM

                          agree w/ u scoopG about delicious vs "authentic" as I think usually the reason I'm looking for "authentic" is b/c it is delicious

                          that said, i dont really like the soup dumplings from any of the places, i mean there fine and if im craving them i'll go to one of those places...but they're fairly weak compared to what ive had at home in LA or especially what ive had in asia

                          1. re: scoopG
                            thew Jul 20, 2008 03:39 PM

                            i like the soup dumplings at shanghai pavillion on the UES

                            1. re: scoopG
                              k
                              kobetobiko Jul 20, 2008 10:02 PM

                              Hi scoopG,

                              Sorry that I guess my English has confused you. When I said "true" all I meant was "truly good" or "really delicious". It has no reference to authenticity at all.

                              I was comparing strictly on taste. I completely agree with what Lau said. I have tried Shanghai Cafe and the soup dumplings were fine, though I wouldn't call them great or excellent. Of course not every place in Hong Kong or Taiwan serves excellent soup dumplings, and you will find some perhaps worse than Shanghai Cafe. But if I were to compare the better ones (hence "truly delicious") soup dumplings, Joe's is still far behind - I think the skin is thin but the meat is not "fluffy" enough and the soup is not flavorful enough (lacks the sweetness of the meat juice). The crab soup dumplings totally lacked crab flavor and even tasted fishy.
                              Most of the other restaurants' soup dumplings suffer similar problems, with the skin even thicker and unpleasant.

                              1. re: kobetobiko
                                scoopG Jul 21, 2008 09:11 AM

                                Hey Kobe - your English is flawless! You have made your case very well with very clear parameters. There certainly are taste and quality differences among the Chinatown XLB houses that is for sure.

                            2. re: kobetobiko
                              michele cindy Jul 21, 2008 05:51 AM

                              For me, I like the way Joe's taste even if they may not be the best, they are good enough for me. While the soup dumplings may be much better elsewhere, I haven't been fortunate enough to get to try them... But I do look forward to it, one of these days!

                            3. re: Miss Needle
                              a_and_w Jul 21, 2008 04:30 PM

                              I like Joe's soup dumplings, too, but they have sentimental value, as this is the first place I ever tried them.

                      2. Chandavkl Jul 18, 2008 05:35 PM

                        I voted for Yogee last month.

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/531040

                        1. scoopG Jul 18, 2008 05:51 PM

                          I love the Cantonese family-style Amazing 66. I think it was Brian S. who warned us that it was still in its heyday and I think that holds. I love their sixty-eight $5.25 lunch specials that include tea, a cup of soup, a giant hot plate of deliciousness and rice. Is there a Manhattan CH thread with more replies than this one?

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340879

                          What makes Manhattan’s Chinatown unique is our abundance of Fujian immigrants and the great cuisine they’ve brought with them: from delicately flavored, boiling hot soups and rich stocks to steaming seafood casseroles and stir-fries. My favorite is Best Fuzhou at 71 Eldridge Street. I’m also am fond of Best Fuzhou at 68 Forsyth Street.

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/483902

                          These Fujian immigrants have also opened up 5-6 homemade hand-pulled noodle soup shops where you can replenish your soul for $5.

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/492376

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/504362

                          Other favorites, in alphabetical order include:

                          Big Wong King at 67 Mott Street, 10013.

                          Fuleen Seafood at 11 Division Street, 10002.

                          New Chao Chao at 111 Mott Street, 10013.

                          Shanghai Café at 100 Mott Street, 10013.

                          Yogee Restaurant at 85 Chrystie Street, 10002.

                          Yummy Noodles at 44 Bowery, 10013.

                          There’s more of course but full disclosure has its limits!

                          1. bigmackdaddy Jul 19, 2008 06:19 PM

                            New Wonton Garden in Manhattan and Pacificana in Sunset Park.

                            1. diablofoodie Jul 20, 2008 11:39 AM

                              I have always been a bit surprised by the raves that New Green Bo has received. Frankly, it struck me as a place that you'd take people to for an "authentic Chinatown experience"--in that people will be suitably impressed by the sketchy tablecloths, abrupt service and the images of what they expect a 'Chinatown' restaurant to be. But the food and the menu doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Just a few warning signs--mushrooms are out of a can, sweet and sour (糖醋) sauce is out of a mix packet and my clams were definitely not that fresh. The menu is a bit more 'American Chinese' than I would be comfortable with. I would not take Chinese people there, but that doesn't mean there aren't people who would not like it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: diablofoodie
                                l
                                Lau Jul 20, 2008 03:24 PM

                                i agree with you that new green bo (now nice green bo) kind of sucks...in fact i just posted about it, i keep giving it tries b/c people claim its great, but i've yet to have a good dish there

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/532272

                                that said, i mean you have to order the right dishes at a place and this is a shanghainese restaurant....ordering sweet and sour dishes and other americanized dishes will clearly not get you what you want. I mean almost any full service restaurant in chinatown serves americanized dishes b/c there is usually some sort of demand for it from tourists or people who don't really know much about chinese food...if u order that u will usually get gloppy crap. Although canned mushrooms and bad clams are definitely unacceptable

                                1. re: Lau
                                  b
                                  bosox Jul 21, 2008 08:50 AM

                                  joe's shanghai

                              2. t
                                tsiblis Jul 21, 2008 09:23 AM

                                Didn't think it was good at all, just has a big menu. I prefer The Big Wang on Bayard & Elizabeth

                                1. f
                                  foodwhisperer Jul 21, 2008 04:22 PM

                                  Manhattan Chinatown: Golden Unicorn for dim sum and dinner. Grand Szechuan for hot pot, 17 Mott ( downstairs) for lo mein or chow fun.
                                  Queens: Joe Shanghai, Sweet Tart, No. 1, Shabu Shabu ( next door to Sweet Tart)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                                    k
                                    KTinNYC Jul 21, 2008 04:42 PM

                                    Is this Sweet n Tart related to the other Sweet n Tart's that closed in the last few years?

                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                      Brian S Jul 21, 2008 07:41 PM

                                      Same restaurant.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                        b
                                        bearmi Jul 21, 2008 07:50 PM

                                        Yeah.. the one in Manhattan had closed down but the one in Flushing is still open. I think the food is similar but the menu is not identical. I know the one in Flushing doesn't sell Malay Cake because I tried to order it there once and they didn't have it. But the other basic items are similar (although not identical): noodle dishes, congee, etc.. and rice plates.

                                    2. b
                                      bearmi Jul 21, 2008 08:03 PM

                                      I like Peking Duck House on Mott Street. The menu can be a little Americanized but the food is good. I was there a while ago with some friends and we ordered the pre-fix group meal. The Lamb Chop was very good and the Grand Marnier shrimp too. Of course, their Peking Duck is good too.. nice and hot and crispy. The restaurant is relatively comfortable and clean, compare to other Chinatown restaurants. If you order a full prefix dinner it will be about $35 to $45 if you order drinks and include tips.

                                      Another restaurant I like is Oriental Garden. It's sort of on the expensive side but the food is decent. Some of the menu items can be a little more Americanized too but their seafood dishes were very good. This place is relatively clean and a little on the upscale side. About the same price as Peking Duck House, but price can be higher if you order special seafood dishes such as King Crab or other delicacies.

                                      A third place I like is Cantoon Garden (on Elizabeth Street), not far from Oriental Garden. It's more authentic than the other two places and the price is good. I think they have a lot of specials posted on the wall too (but written only in Chinese). I would consider this place more of a "Chinese family style" restaurant because it's not as fancy as the other places and is much affordable.

                                      Lastly, like some of the folks here, I also like Shanghai Cafe. Joe's Shanghai's soup dumpling is good too but I don't like their other dishes. I really like Shanghai Cafe's salt and pepper pork chop and stir-fried Shanghai noodles. Price at Shanghai Cafe is relatively cheap, less than $20 a person if you order a lot and around $15 or even less if you don't order too many dishes.

                                      1. financialdistrictresident Jul 22, 2008 03:36 AM

                                        I usually go to the place across the street - Big Wong's. Cheap, good, no ambience.

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