Most authentic (preferably upscale, too) Chinese
I tried searching the boards, but seemed to be able to find only a smattering of recommendations...
Basically: what is in your opinion the Most Authentic Chinese Restaurant in Manhattan? Anywhere that also serves delicacies like (real) sharkfin, swallow's nest, abalone, sea cucumbers etc? Anywhere that has homemade 'pulled' (la) or 'shaved' (dao xiao) noodles?
I'm from Taiwan, and both my parents are from China, and I'd like to take them somewhere nice that they'll like.
(No sesame chicken, moo goo gai pan etc, please!)
If you want to have sharkfin, swallow's nest, and abalone, you can try Ping's or Fuleen. The places aren't really upscale or grand per se, and actually a little old-school. But they are better than most of the mom and pop shops you can find in Chinatown.
I think it will be better to pre-order those items as they take a long time to cook and you want to make sure that they have the dishes available.
I don't know if this qualifies as UPSCALE, but I find it a bit nicer than most Chinatown places: Wu Liang Ye. There's one on 48th between 5th and 6th and one on 86th between 2nd and 3rd. I prefer the one on 48th, and not just because it's more convenient. My parents are also from Taiwan and they want to eat there every time they visit.
The camphor-smoked duck is fantastic. This is not the full menu by any means, there's always at least one specials menu.
Also good is Shanghai Cafe on Mott. I find their xiao long bao skins to be too thick but they have plenty of other things. Not upscale at all, but not a hole in the wall by any means.
Actually, my parents really liked Tang Pavilion on 55th between 5th and 6th. I don't remember it standing out that much but have been meaning to re-try now that I work in the neighborhood. I do remember them praising the xiao long bao. This was several years ago, though.
The idea that one's only option is to leave Manhattan and travel to Flushing for great Chinese seafood is risible. Yes, Flushing is much more polyglot, has more diverse Chinese food offering and no tourists, but it is 25-40 minutes by subway (one way) from Grand Central Station. (There is also the faster, less frequent and more expensive LIRR from Penn Station.) So you will have to do a logistics cost-benefit analysis conquer, depending on how many days you are in NYC and how many in your party all together. Fuleen Seafood has sharksfin, sea cucumber and swallow's nest but no abalone - at least the last time I was there 6 months ago. The American Fuzhou Restaurant on Division is certainly not catering to the poor Fujian immigrants and has some great fresh seafood dishes.
My point is that if you want upscale authentic Chinese seafood in a nice setting, something like you'd find in San Gabriel, CA, Markham, Ontario or Daly City, CA, it won't be in Manhattan. There's a lot of good, authentic, tasty Chinese food in Manhattan Chinatown, including Cantoon Garden, Fuleen, Chatham Sq., East Seafood, etc. etc.. But it seemed to me is what the poster was looking for, which includes authenticity, ambience and a wide variety of higher end seafood items, is more appropriately found in Flushing.
Well virtually all the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown north of Canal or east of Bowery are authentic, be it Hong Kong/Cantonese style or Fujian. Non-Chinese patrons in restaurants around there are relatively uncommon. However like most Chinatowns, New York's Chinatown is large part is poised to serve the needs of its lower income residents, and consequently lacks the high quality Chinese seafood restaurants that you see in the suburbs of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, etc. You'd probably have to go to Flushing to find what you're looking for.
Maybe we attended the same wedding! I was there for a wedding on the 15th and II thought the food was awful, as did most of the people at my table. My wife, who is a big lobster lover (I'm not) said the lobster wa s
"so-so". The chicken was under-cooked, red in the middle. No one touche dit and a noodle dish was so oily I could have lubed my car with it. I was ready to go out and bring in from another place on Prince Street!
For more upscale surroundings, try Szechuan Gourmet:
The noodle houses on and near Eldridge Street are not fancy dining at all. Amazing 66, Fuleen Seafood, Shanghai Cafe and Yogee Restaurant all fit the bill for more bright, clean and upmarket decor etc.
Amazing 66 for Cantonese family style:
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.
These Fujian immigrants have also opened up 5-6 homemade hand-pulled noodle soup shops where you can replenish your soul for $5. Lan Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles at about 27 Eldridge street (just south of Canal) is in the basement and serves Dao Xiao Mian.
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.
Other Chinatown threads: