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Jul 18, 2008 11:23 AM

Favorite Chinatown restaurant?

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. 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.

    3 Replies
    1. re: michele cindy

      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: MMRuth

          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. ciao chow

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: thew

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

        1. 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

            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

              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!

            2. re: Renguin

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            i like the soup dumplings at shanghai pavillion on the UES

                            1. re: scoopG

                              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

                                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

                              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

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