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Best Chinese Food

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  • taboo Aug 13, 2008 09:56 AM
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Where in NYC would you go to for amazing chinese food. Does not have to be fabulous decor and it could be in Chinatown. Thanks

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  1. Shun Lee Palace East - www.shunleepalace.com - (212) 371-8844

    7 Replies
    1. re: kcijones001

      Hi - don't know if you saw my query on the other thread, but I wonder if you might be able to suggest some favorite dishes of yours there?

      Thanks!

      1. re: MMRuth

        The grand marnier prawns are incredibly tasty (now I'm craving them!).
        Chicken Soong is great as well.
        Honestly, there is not a thing on that menu that ISNT going to be satisfying.

        1. re: kcijones001

          Thanks. Have you tried Chin Chin? It's my favorite "upscale" Chinese these days and they are also known for grand marnier prawns - though I just happen to not like that dish generally. The spicy squid is wonderful.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I have always wanted to try Chin Chin. Do you think the food is relatively authentic? How about the clientele? I heard it's mostly business/corporate customers. Are there a lot of Asian diners? I am just curious. I don't really mind Americanized Chinese food. If made right, I actually like them just as much as the authentic stuff but I would prefer to get an idea if I ever decide to go.

            1. re: bearmi

              I'm really not able to judge whether the food is authentic or not, given that most of my experiences with Chinese food are at this kind of place, or neighborhood "cheap" Chinese, or cooking at home. I'd say the crowd, at least at night, seems to be mostly couples and families, though we've gone on occasion with another couple as part of a business dinner. I'd say very few, if any, Asian diners. That said, the food tastes great, IMO - and I swoon every time I have that squid dish.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Sounds good to me. "Good food tastes great" - you are exactly right! I won't mind being one of the few Asian diners there. I will have to check it out.

                I have a feeling that the food probably isn't Chinatown-style "authentic", but if it's well prepared and and if the dining environment is nice and clean (yeah, no little greasy rice kernels stuck to the side of my plates and not having to share tables with other diners and watch the horror on my non-Asian friend's faces when people start spitting out fish bones right onto the table as they consumer a big pot of Fish Head Casserole may help relieve my stress level! haha). I will have to try it on one of my "special occasion" meals. Thanks!

                1. re: bearmi

                  I quite like the decor - nicely framed old photographs. If you go, just make sure you don't get seated in the back room - it tends to be noisy - I think there are tiles on the floor.

    2. Szechuan Gourmet is the best - 39th between 5th and 6th.

      8 Replies
      1. re: stephaniec25

        I have been to Shun Lee and most of the other high end ones and they are good, but I am looking for more authentic Chinese food without the bells and whistles. Where most of the patrons are Asian and you just know it is great.

        1. re: taboo

          I'd avoid Shun Lee, Mr. K's, Mr. Chow's, Phillipe's etc...they are all just high end versions of americanized chinese food

          If you want "great" chinese food, I'd really advise you to go to flushing (15 mins by the LIRR). Post on outer boroughs board

          If flushing is too out of the way here's a decent list of reasonably good chinese restaurants in the city:
          Sichuan: 1) Szechuan Gourmet (my favorite in the city, on 39th); 2) Wu Liang Ye (midtown branch - 48th st); 3) Grand Sichuan (St. Mark's branch only)

          Cantonese: 1) Amazing 66 (like their casseroles and roasted chicken w/ preserved veg; generally good); 2) Cantoon Garden (seafood) 3) Oriental Garden (haven't been for dinner in a long time, but people on this board love seafood)

          Cantonese BBQ / Congee: 1) NY Noodletown (love bbq meats particularily cha siu and roast baby pig, shrimp wonton noodle soup, salt and pepper squid, beef w/ flowering chives) 2) Big Wong King 3) Big Wing Wong

          Beef Noodle Soup (be advised all these places are total dumps and its very helpful to speak chinese): 1) Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles (144 E. Broadway, no english sign, beef noodle soup and fried dumplings are the thing to get) 2) Super Taste (spicy beef noodle soup, fish balls and steam dumplings are the thing to get)

          Hong Kong Diner Style Food: 1) XO Kitchen (dim sum items are good, baked pork chop rice, clams in black bean, congee, desserts)

          Dim Sum: 1) Chatham Square Restaurant (6 Chatham) 2) Dim Sum Go Go

          I'd avoid the shanghainese places in ctown (i'm sure someone will recommend one) as they are generally pretty bad

          Whatever you decide, I'd advise searching the boards for the particular restaurant as almost all of these restaurants have been written about extensively (dish recs, opinions etc)

          1. re: Lau

            Shanghai Cafe is definitely chow-worthy!

            1. re: scoopG

              well some of their stuff is alright, but ive never been wow'd although now that moon house is closed it is my default shanghainese place in the city (i can't stand nice green bo, yeah etc)...what do u love there?

              1. re: Lau

                I like most of the dumpling items there - xiaolong bao and shengjian bao particularly. I once complained to the waitress about the shengjian bao not being brown enough (like they are in shanghai) and she said its not possible b/c they use clean/fresh oil. I think that's probably pretty accurate since some of the places in shanghai can get pretty skanky. i also really like their version of hongyou chaoshou. they're not quite as the traditional sichuan dish is supposed to be. instead they use a spicy peanut sauce and shanghai wontons which i prefer since they're a bit more substancial. the spicy peanut sauce is reminicent of what you might get from a fujian xiaochi place on noodles (in fujian/china not in chinatown that i've seen, despite the funjian population)

                Also, their shanghai zumian are freshly made. while i don't usually like them in soup - generally prefer lamian - b/c their fresh they're still good. they do a good paigu tangmian. their niangao is not bad as well although the portions are huge, especially for something as filling as that.

                1. re: Renguin

                  I like their soup dumplings and Shanghai Lomein too. I also like their Stuffed Bean Curd Skin & Puff w. Minced Meat (it's a soup dish), which is sort of bland but I think it's refreshing. Their salt and pepper pork chops are usually good, although on a couple of my visits, the pork chops were a little on the dry side.

                  1. re: bearmi

                    From their English menu I like their XLB, Spicy Cabbage, Stir Fried Eel (Ningpo Style) and the Stuffed Bean Curd with Meat as well. I also gobble up their Sautéed Pea Shoots (Dou Miao 荳苗) when they have it.

                    From their Chinese menu I love their succulent Dongpo Rou (東坡肉). Brian S. wrote about it here:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3325...

                    Two other hits on the Chinese menu I’ve tried (they list 23 house special dishes) include:

                    Braised Yellow Croaker (紅燒黃魚 -hong shao huang yu) and
                    Sesame Shrimp Balls (芝麻蝦球 – zhi ma xia qiu.)

                    1. re: scoopG

                      interesting...ill have to try their doug po rou i remember Brian S recommending it as well (i'm in love with that dish when done right), all the versions ive had in the city are not up to par, which reminds me that i need to go try it as shanghai tide in flushing as i believe its the former staff and owners from the defunct yang tze restaurant, which had the only good version ive had in NY

      2. Lau is right. The best Chinese food is mostly in Flushing and nothing in Manhattan approaches amazing. A lot of the Chinese food in Manhattan Chinatown is pretty good, but does not compare to Flushing, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver or Toronto.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          I think the Fuzhou restaurants in Manhattan's Chinatown approach amazing and offer unique deliciousness not found elsewhere in North America. Flushing is great (with no tourists) and is very compact, unlike the vast San Gabriel Valley and the Bay Area. Also, for those that imbibe alcohol there is no need to worry about driving.

          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 only $5 in peasant surroundings.
          English spoken at Eastern Noodles (28 Forsyth) and at 2 East Broadway.

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

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

          1. re: scoopG

            yeah u are right that manhattan has become the fujian capital of north america, ive barely seen their food in LA. I don't know if id classify it as amazing although it maybe since im fairly novice to their food or it could be that its not my favorite type of chinese food (not sure yet)

            i also have had some communication problems in their restaurants since im not that very familiar with their food (i.e. im not sure what everything is called), plus my chinese is not that good and everything is generally written in chinese and i can only sort of read

          2. re: Chandavkl

            Although I agree with your sentiment generally, Szechuan Gourmet approaches amazing.

          3. Thank you all sooooooooooo much!!! This has been so helpful. I will let you know where I end up going.