Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 6, 2009 09:24 AM

Chinatown recs for Chinese parents?

I'm in Manhattan working for just a month, but my parents have decided to come visit me from semi-rural California for a few days. They're Chinese (dad is Cantonese and mom from Taiwan) and definitely not adventurous - they want Chinese food. I would like to take them to Chinatown for several dinners and let them have all sorts of regional cuisines since they can't get that at home, but I haven't gotten a chance to explore Manhattan Chinatown yet because of the job. Any suggestions? I'm planning on Joe Shanghai and Cantoon Garden from my reads here on the board, but would like to hear other possibilities (Congee Village? Great NY Noodle? Supertaste? Others?) The main issue here is that my mom is pretty fastidious, so although my dad and I have no problem eating great food in dirty little joints or roaming to different places to get a special dish here and there, my mom would hate it. I'm not able to take them to Flushing or any of the other boroughs. Addresses or intersections would help immensely - no "near (landmark building/bridge)" directions unless they get more specific. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd skip Joes Shanghai and head to the Shanghai Cafe at 100 Mott Street. Joes does have its many admirers on this board though. Here are some other threads/recs:

    Amazing 66 at 66 Mott Street - Cantonese Family Style

    Two "best Fuzhou" restaurants:

    These Fujian immigrants have also opened up 5-6 homemade hand-pulled noodle soup shops:

    Other favorites, in alphabetical order include:
    Big Wong King at 67 Mott Street, 10013. Best Cantonese style BBQ Roast Pork.

    Fuleen Seafood at 11 Division Street, 10002.

    New Chao Chao at 111 Mott Street, 10013.

    Yogee Restaurant at 85 Chrystie Street, 10002 Cantonese


    Best dumplings:

    Jobee Taiwanese:

    Best Chinatown Restaurant:

    Szechuan Gourmet - I have to agree with Pan in that I think it is the best Chinese restaurant in Manhattan.

    5 Replies
    1. re: scoopG

      Also if you're going to Shanghai Cafe go next door and check out Dining Room Management Group for Cantonese food at 102 Mott St. (Apparently these guys don't realize the restaurant can have a fictitious name.) Besides being one of the better Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown, they're open almost all day, from early in the morning for jook, noodles, etc. to extremely late at night (something like 3am). They're probably best known for their Cantonese chicken, but I like the fish cake with saifun and pumpkin.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        Right! Although their Cantonese style BBQ Roast Pork is not as good as Big ong or NY Noodletown. Although they say they open around 8 am they don't really get going until 8:30 or so. Also, on Wednesday's they are offering half price off on Shabu Shabu for ladies!

        1. re: Chandavkl

          What have you tried there for dinner? I'll probably go there soon.

          1. re: Pan

            I've only had breakfast or lunch there Pan. Huge menu, solid old-style Cantonese offerings. 4-5 booths otherwise communal tables. Not as good as Amazing 66 but the place still has its charms.

            1. re: Pan

              Try the stir fried fish cake with saifun and sliced squash.

        2. Golden Unicorn I think they would like for Dim Sum

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodwhisperer

            No please, don't do that. The dim sum has deteriorated so much that they don't even try to keep the dishes warm anymore. Cold Dim Sum? I loved Golden Unicorn, My first Wedding reception was held there many years ago but sadly, it's Dim Sum is now focused to Lo Fan tourist.

            1. re: currymouth

              Currymouth, If you go to Golden Unicorn you can count the "Lo Fan" on one hand. Seems like you havent been there in a long time. The dim sum is excellent. And Lo Fan is pretty derogatory a word to be throwing around

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Thanks for cluing me into that word. I never heard it before, and was curious to see what it meant so I looked it up. I had to scan through a ton of "J Lo" Fan sites 1st to find it!

          2. I was worried that some of these would have closed since some of the posts with these same recs were from more than a year ago, but I'm glad to hear that I can still get at them. Thanks!

            2 Replies
            1. re: meuri

              Most all of the places are hanging on. Just a couple of favorite places have changed hands (New Big Wang, HSF, Kam Chueh). Similar trend in LA and SF (knock on wood).

              1. re: meuri

                All of the recs in my earlier post are going strong.

              2. i'd recommend Amazing 66, Cantoon Garden, and Grand Sichuan Chelsea.

                i like NY Noodletown too, but it sounds like a place your mom wouldn't care for...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Simon

                  hands down ..especially if they enjoy seafood...

                  Oriental Garden
                  14 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10013
                  nr. Bayard St.

                  talk to the waiter about what you would like as some of the best items arent listed on the menu...they are very nice..and like talking about the different options the restaurant offers..its not the cheapest chinatown experience but for us any way consistently the best

                  1. re: Simon

                    I agree about Great NY Noodletown. It's a consistently good restaurant, but it's also a continually shabby-looking place which often has water all over the floor in the bathroom.

                    1. re: Pan

                      Agree about the restroom. Thier Ladies room is one of the worst in CT.

                  2. so in manhattan, i agree with most of the posts above:
                    - cantonese seafood: Cantoon Garden, this is my favorite restaurant in manhattan ctown, i highly recommend (i think all chinese will appreciate this type of food); here is my review:
                    - cantonese (general): Amazing 66 as other posters suggested
                    - cantonese bbq: i personally like NY Noodletown (all bbq, flowering chive dishes, jook / zhou / congee and salt baked squid), but alot of people will go with big wong...either way you can't go wrong, but these are more quick lunch type places as opposed to a nice sit down dinner
                    - sichuan: I also agree that szechuan gourmet is definitely the best sichuan restaurant in manhattan;
                    - cantonese snacks: stop by mei li wah for some steamed roast pork buns (cha siu / cha shao bao) and coconut buns (gai mei bao / ji wei bao) and also some coffee tea (yin yong / yuan yang cha
                    )- shanghainese: while I think the quality of manhattan shanghainese is low, I'd agree with other posters that you should go to shanghai cafe if you must go; i personally think their xiang gan rou si is excellent if you like that dish; here is a quick review:
                    - dim sum: while I highly recommend going to flushing, in manhattan, I'd go to Dim Sum Go Go, Red Egg (recently tried and it was good) and 6 chatham square restaurant (it can be streaky, but its quite good when its on)....btw all 3 are off the menu ordering (which is how i prefer dim sum as its fresher


                    if you mom is a stickler about cleanliness, I'd generally stay away from the fuzhou places as they are rather unkept (although that doesnt mean the food is bad by any means)

                    Other than that, I REALLY recommend going to flushing (the LIRR takes 15 minutes) and you'll upgrade the quality of your chinese food immensly:
                    - cantonese seafood: Imperial Palace; this is my absolute favorite chinese restaurant in NY;
                    - cantonese seafood / general: their garlic crab and garlic chicken is the best in NY and its generally an excellent restaurant;
                    - sichuan: spicy & tasty and xiao la jiao (little pepper) are both excellent, among the best sichuan food ive had in the US;
                    - dim sum: id go to either Jade Asian or Perfect Team Corp (both are much better than manhattan dim sum);

                    if you need more recs in flushing, feel free to ask and I can give more

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Lau

                      Nice report Lau, I don't get to hang out in Chinatown as much as I would like to and this comes in very handy.

                      1. re: Lau

                        I definitely agree that the quality of Shanghainese food in Manhattan is low.

                        meuri, I think you've gotten lots of excellent recommendations, so I really have nothing else to add at the moment.

                        1. re: Lau


                          Glad you enjoyed Red Egg...i've only been there (repeatedly, addictively) for their 4-8pm dimsum happy hour (i've never gone on a Sat/Sunday nor have i sampled the regular menu -- except maybe for fried oysters one time when i was a little bit drunk)...but the happy hour dimsum has been consistently very very good...

                          Did you go for happy hour or at another time?


                          1. re: Simon

                            currymouth - glad I could be of help

                            Simon - i went around 12pm on a sunday (primetime dim sum); here's my review:

                            1. re: Simon

                              Simon, if you a fan of fried oysters . . . . trek out to andy's seafood and grille in rego park. you too Lau!


                              1. re: bigjeff

                                Fried oysters would definitely be the main course of my personal/hypothetical last supper...the place sounds's on my list!...