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Sep 18, 2008 01:26 PM

Brooklyn Chinese

Here's a question that stumps everyone. What are the dynamite Chinese Food restaurants in Brooklyn (but not Szechuan style) and more or less limited to these neighborhoods --- Bay RIdge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Midwood, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay.

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  1. I told you people this one's a stumper.

    10 Replies
    1. re: pizmet

      I recall a number of complimentry posts about a dim sum place over that way. A search should turn it up.

      1. re: pizmet

        If you are willing to travel all around the southern tier of Brooklyn, the 8th Avenue chinatown which runs from roughly 65th St north should not be out of range - plenty of restaurants there which have been discussed on this Board.
        What there isnt in Brooklyn is a range of Chinese restaurants with a primary business of catering to non-Chinese.

        I just saw a new fancy banquet place on 8th Ave around 64th - it didnt seem to have an English sign and was chock full of diners last sunday afternoon - any info on this one?

        1. re: jen kalb

          Thanks for your reply. I purposely left out Brooklyn's Chinatown from my original post because I always have bad luck when I try to eat there. I'm not all too familiar with the neighborhood and am always, always guessing wrong. The enjoyable Brooklyn Chinatown dining experience has been elusive for me.

          Although there is no shortage of chowhound posts on places to eat in that neighborhood, they are --to me-- maddening. Many posts describe the restaurant in the vaguest way possible, so that the place is practically impossible to find. (I don't want to sound like a complainer because I do appreciate the time and effort anyone makes to post helpful information. I'm not whining and hope no one interprets it that way .. just wanna explain, though). Twice, I've gone to Bklyn CH-Town only to discover that my intended destination is no longer there. And I've also had the worst Chinee food meal of my entire adult life there as well (DIamond on Eight) So, I excluded Bklyn Ch-Town from my post, not because I'm not willing to try it, but because I've had miserable luck there.

          1. re: pizmet

            Well, I am going to make a categorical statement that with a couple of exceptions which you already know about (and World Tong's neighborhood is increasingly Chinese so it is locally supported), you are simply not going to find a good Chinese restaurant in a non-chinese neighborhood. Anywhere, except maybe really high class places in Manhattan and such.. Maybe you ought to be posting a request for reliable chinese restaurants in Chinatown, or something like that.

            1. re: jen kalb

              "Well, I am going to make a categorical statement that with a couple of exceptions which you already know about (and World Tong's neighborhood is increasingly Chinese so it is locally supported), you are simply not going to find a good Chinese restaurant in a non-chinese neighborhood. Anywhere, except maybe really high class places in Manhattan and such.."

              I have some good news for you. All of these places are excellent to very good and none are in Chinese neighborhoods:

              Grand Sichuan House - Bay Ridge

              Szechuan Gourmet - W. 39th St Manhattan

              Wu Liang Ye - W. 48th St. Manhattan

              Grand Sichuan International - multiple Manhattan branches, none are in Chinese areas

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                He was specifically not asking for Szechuan.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I didn't see a reference to Szechuan in your post:

                  "you are simply not going to find a good Chinese restaurant in a non-chinese neighborhood. Anywhere, except maybe really high class places in Manhattan and such.."

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    ok. Maybe "really high class" overstates it - I was thinking of Wu Liang, Shun Lee and such. Im sure there are a few more with white tablecloths there. I cant speak for Manhattan any more, having little contact except for driving across Canal every day, but I think its still fair to say that with rare exceptions, we dont see good chinese restaurants that do not have a substantial chinese clientele. When I go to Wu Liang, I see aChinese patrons. Going back to the days of Hunam and such, there was significant chinese patronage, from the diplomatic community and a lot of pride in the high quality places.. But normally, for a restaurant to have significant Chinese clientele it needs to be in an area where numbers of Chinese people live. As the Chinese population of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach etc grows, Id expect to see more good Chinese restaurants there. There are some excellent chinese restaurants out here in NJ, because significant numbers of more upscale chinese people have moved out here - they are more scattered and not concentrated in Chinatowns, but they are there to provide the base of support these restaurants need.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      We're in full agreement about the Chinese clientele. All the places I mentioned (probably with the exception of the St. Marks GSI) do in fact have a high percentage of Chinese patrons even though they're located far from traditional Chinatowns. I think the upward mobility of ethnic Chinese has dispersed them into jobs in other areas of the city and so the restaurants have followed them. That's great news for all of us since we now have many more options.

                      And to bring things back full circle to the OPs request, I've heard very good things about Lucky Eight in Sunset Park from people I trust.

                      Another possibility not too far afield is Vietnamese. Nha Trang Palace is a favorite of mine. A bowl of pho on a cool night is one of life's great pleasures

              2. re: jen kalb

                Well both of you guys are correct. You clearly need a lot of Chinese patrons to have a really good Chinese restaurant. Whether you can have a good Chinese restaurant in a non-Chinese neighborhood is a matter of geographics. Essentially the restaurant does not have to be in a Chinese neighborhood if it is convenient to Chinese diners, and given the proximity of other authentic Chinese restaurants. Where there is a concentration of Chinese residents in a general area not sufficient to be considered a Chinese neighborhood, and not close to a true Chinatown, you may end up with a subregional Chinese center of commerce located in a not particularly Chinese neighborhood. But this is not going to happen very often, so as a consequence even in cities with a relatively large Chinese presence, (e.g., New York, Los Angeles) there will be large portions of the city that are totally devoid of any decent Chinese restaurants.

        2. For dim sum, World Tong Seafood: 62nd st & 18th avenue is arguably one of the best in all 5 boroughs. Not a big place unfortunately.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dhs

            We haven't been to World Tong in at least a year. It was always great for dim sum but between warnings of it maybe going downhill with the loss of their chef, and the difficulty of getting there early enough in the AM before the crowds came, we've demured.

            We were at Lucky 8 yet again on Friday night. It may not be as spectacular as some places in Flushing but I think it's pretty awesome. We had 3 couples the other night. We had the baby octopus, Chinese Salami, Pride of Lucky 8 (wok of abalone and vegetables), vinegar ribs, t-bone steak, fried bean curd w/shrimp, fried garlic chicken, clams in "maggie" sauce (super peppery black bean!). The bill including beer and tax was $136.

            To the OP: Lucky 8 is on 8th Ave at 52nd st. On Fridays we can always park right out front and walk in to a waiting table. I think they close at midnight. It very much exists and is less than 15 minutes from parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker, Bensonhurst, maybe even Bath Beach and Midwood!

            I've also mentioned our family's favorite "less formal" places here a number of times: Yunnan Flavour Snack rice noodle shop at 48th and 8th, Kai Feng Fu dumplings on 49th at 8th, and the Fujan noodle shop on 60th at 8th.

            1. re: noisejoke

              Yunaan Flavour Snack is probably the best $4 meal I have had in New York (alongside Bahn Mi's at Saigon on Mott St., and Goat taco's at the Red Hook ballfields).

          2. pizmet
            I know exactly what you mean. Locating a specific restaurant in B'klyn's Chinatown can be confusing. Additionally, many places that are rec., while they may have good food turn out to be unappealing or outright dingy.. I've had lunch twice in a fairly new, larger and more attractive restaurant that's located on the corner of 64th St and 8th Ave
            The name escapes me at the moment (I think it was Golden something) but you truly cannot miss it. It's directly across 8th Ave from the new Popeye's that recently opened. If you are a long time Brooklynite you may know it as the previous location of the old Saturday Night Fever 2001 Club. The food was delicious. There was a bit of a language barrier, but the stafff was very friendly and we had no problem ordering. On both occasions, we were the only non Asians dining..The entire 8th Ave wall is all glass so everything can be seen in the dining room and I was impressed with their cleanliness. We had 'real food' AKA: NOT Dim Sum :-}.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Tay

              There are two, relatively new places, that have opened in the past few months just south of the place you're talking about -- on 65th street. One is 65th and about 8th Ave and the other is closer to 6th Ave. One is called Spring Garden and the other is East Harbor. I haven't been to either, but they both look very promising and neither appears to be Sichuan. (Both look enormous.)

              1. re: ropa vieja

                Spring Garden is EXTREMELY noisy when it is full. For dim sum the portions of the items, the kind that are spooned onto a bowl in front of you, are incredibly huge. They just build a small mountain out of the tripe or chicken feet or whatever you've ordered from the cart. One portion here is the equivalent of two portions anywhere else and they don't mark it as an extra large item. There are consistently fresh batches of different things coming out. Unfortunately it's the same 15-20 items over and over and over. The lack of variety and the noise level makes this a place I won't return to since there are 3 other dim sum places within a 2 block radius.

                1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                  which one of these places do you like? do you think the compare favorably to Pacifica or World Tong?

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I've only tried 3 out of the 4 places, I like the place Tay mentioned (I can't remember the name either because I get distracted by the Popeye'`s) and Park Asia better than World Tong. The couple of times I went to World Tong, there was variety and interesting items but the food was mostly lukewarm. It was also double the price I would have paid for a similar meal in Chinatown. I have not been to Pacifica.

                    1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                      I think I was distracted by Popeye's as well (Actually I was wishing I had thought of openiing a FFR They'll make a fortune!) I believe the name of the restaurant is::
                      Golden Bay Seafood
                      6409 8th Avenue Brooklyn, NY. 11220
                      (718) 238-1122
                      (718) 238-1130 fax
                      I liked Park Asia as well. Also very good service and a very clean Dining Room.I think that used to be one of those Arby-like roast beef places It's located on the other side of 65th St. I don't know if it's changed but for those who drive, there is a parking lot behind the building and diagonal parking on 66th ST


                    2. re: jen kalb

                      Don't you mean Pacificana? That's the best place for dim sum in Brooklyn as far as I'm concerned!

              2. on nostrand ave in sheepshead bay across from the little shopping center peking duck good food

                2 Replies
                1. re: howster

                  Regarding Lucky 8 in Sunset Park (mentioned above), I'm interested to know what people like to eat there?

                  Adam Platt mentions their 'steamed chicken and mushrooms' in his 'Where to Eat 2009'. However, to my knowledge that dish doesn't exist on their menu, unless it's a special. I tried the 'steamed chicken with angelica' last time I went, which was good (cheap at $8.95 but more bones than chicken meat).

                  1. re: howster

                    I think you mean Peking Kitchen. It was a staple for takeout for me for years but someone mentioned their fabulous chef left. can anyone confirm this?

                  2. pacificana in sunset park 8th ave!
                    extremely delicious cheap dim sum
                    its always crowded for dim sum but it's part of the experience
                    dinner there is extremely delicious it's pretty funny this place is right on top of a bank