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Taiwanese, anyone?

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  • xjc Jun 17, 2009 01:07 PM
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I'm from Taiwan and have been pointed towards Flushing for good Taiwanese food. I'd appreciate any advice from the collective here! No one will make food as good as my aunties back home, but I would LOVE to find some good Taiwanese go-to's in and about NYC.

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  1. Are you looking in Manhattan or Queens? For Queens, you'll need to post on the Outer Boroughs board.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I'm looking in greater NYC, including all boroughs and possibly NJ.

      1. re: xjc

        For NJ you need to post on the TriState Board.

        1. re: scoopG

          Thx - will do.

    2. Jobee in Manhattan's Chinatown is not bad for Taiwanese specialties like Three Glass Chicken and Stinky Tofu (takeout only!) among other dishes.
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/528055

      In Flushing there is 66 on Prince Street which is very good. I love their Lu Rou Rice and Oyster Omelet. Will remind you of Taiwan but maybe not your beloved Aunties home cookin'.

      1. Welcome to the board. I am Taiwanese too (used to live in Taipei and now visit there every 4 to 6 months) and I sometimes go to Saint's Alp Tea House at 39 3rd Ave (between East 9th and East 10th Street) in Manhattan. It serves bubble tea, some Taiwanese style rice plates (Fried Chicken / Pork Chop over Rice), and some Taiwanese snacks such as tea eggs and tea jelly. You can check it out.

        In addition to that, I know there are a couple of Pork Chop restaurants in Manhattan Chinatown. I have visited "Excellent Pork Chop House" on Doyer Street and I didn't like it (I thought the pork chop was dry and the sauce/flavoring was a little off..). I have heard good things about "Wah Mei Pork Chop" on Hester Street but I have not visited yet.

        Lastly, "Quickly" at 237 Grand Street #B in Manhattan Chinatown serves bubble tea and Taiwanese style hot pot (shabu shabu). It's a chain but the hot pot is decent.

        If you find other places in Manhattan, please let us know. There are fewer and fewer Taiwanese in the US these days so it's getting harder to find Taiwanese food/snacks.

        24 Replies
        1. re: bearmi

          Well it's not that they're not in the US, they've just moved to Southern California. If you go to Rowland Heights where there are dozens of Chinese restaurants, the majority of them are probably Taiwanese.

          1. re: bearmi

            I really love Excellent Pork Chop House. That said, I haven't had the same dish (had similar Vietnamese Pork Chop over rice dishes but not Taiwanese) from anywhere else so I'm open to the possibility of their being better renditions out there. Other than your pork being dry, which is something i've experienced on occasion there, what else was wrong with the dish?

            1. re: demigodh

              In addition to the texture, I think the pork chop sauce/merinade at "Excellent Pork Chop" tasted a little off... I don't quite remember what the seasoning was (maybe a little too much worchestershire sauce? I am not 100% sure but it was a little off balanced...) but the flavor was very different from the ones I have had in Taiwan or at other pork chop places in NY and in CA. But overall, I think the dry texture was what turned me off the most.

              Btw, if you are interested in trying more pork chop, you can check out Ah Chung Noodle at the food court at Flushing Mall in Flushing, Queens. I think their Pork Chop over Rice was pretty good.... (definitely more moist and the side dishes/vegetables tasted "homemade" too.)

              1. re: bearmi

                bearmi, there is no way that they can make those delicious porkchops here!

                And you totally reminded me of those jumbo fried chicken cutlets... Boy, those are SO GOOD!

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  I know.... I think Excellent Pork Chop was supposed to be affiliated with a Pork Chop restaurant in Taipei's Wu Chang Street... However, I don't know what has happened. I suppose they might have changed their recipe to adapt to local taste... and perhaps the quality (and flavor) of pork chop in Taiwan and the US are different..

                  1. re: bearmi

                    Hi bearmi,

                    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that the two pork chop restaurants are affiliated. I think you are right that the quality of pork chops are different in Taiwan and the US - the ones here are too lean and bland! (unless they use heritage, but of course that's not possible given the cost).

                    Have you tried ViVi teahouse on Bayard? I wonder if you will qualify their bubble teas as close to the ones in Taiwan? Plus they have popcorn chicken.

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      that's the place which is pretty cheap right? I remember their drinks were all about $1 less than say, st. alps. bright yellow place a couple doors down from noodletown?

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        No, it's standard bubble tea price, like $3-4 dollars each. It's on Bayard and has a big "skeleton" pirate like figure outside.

                        They have pudding bubble tea, which I like, and thick toast (flavored) some other Taiwanese snacks.

                      2. re: kobetobiko

                        Sorry I have never been there. I remember it seems always crowded so I guess it's a popular place. I might check it out next time I am in Chinatown.

                  2. re: bearmi

                    thanks for the tip on Ah Chung Noodle. I go to Flushing Mall quite a bit (probably headed there this weekend as well) and haven't tried that place. If I was facing the food vendors, where is Ah Chung? I know those vendors decently well so if you just said "a few in from the left" or "next to the soy bean milk vendor" or something like that I'm sure I could find it. Thanks again, i'll check it out soon.

                    1. re: demigodh

                      Their signage says "Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle" and it looks like this:

                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathryn/...

                      If my memory serves correctly they have two stalls in between the Sichuan vendor and the juice/boba/shaved ice vendor, towards the right as you enter.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        perfect, thanks for that. i know where that one is, i'll be trying their pork chop shortly. my taiwanese friend too me to EPCH (excellent pork chop house) and i've been in love with it ever since. i'm really excited about the possibility of having a much better rendition of the same dish.

                        1. re: kathryn

                          Yeah. it's sort of on the right side of the food court, but not all the way to the right (that's where the Sichuan vendor is). I think Ah Chung occupies the biggest station in the food court and it's probably one of the busiest. Service gets a little snippy on weekends but I have been there on week days and the workers were a little more relaxed. They serve oyster noodles (probably their most popular item) and also rice plates... I believe they also have steak dinners too (I have never tried them).

                    2. re: demigodh

                      the excellent pork chop house's pork chops had no breading!! major gaffe. I have given up and just stick with my memories of Laifood circa 2000; that was a bad-ass chop.

                    3. re: bearmi

                      i wouldn't think the taiwanese population has decreased but maybe just the percentages, due to immigration shifts. but I think Flushing has quite a few new taiwanese joints; between all the malls and a handful of newer places (which, I haven't sampled all of, I just know of them from ads in the paper and what my parents talk about); there may just be a miniature rise in the choices lately. all this of course, best discussed on the companion thread from xjc in the outer boroughs board.

                      did anyone make it to the Passport to Taiwan event last month? I didn't go this year but in past years they had some semi-decent stuff (pig blood on a stick dipped in sauce and crushed peanuts comes to mind).

                      and, wonder if the NYC Cravings Truck counts (https://sites.google.com/a/nyccraving...); plenty of coverage on Midtown Lunch.

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        I guess I was comparing to the 1980's (and in Northern Calif) when I moved to the US... It just felt that I kept running into Taiwanese people a lot more often back then and a lot of family and friends have moved back to Taiwan since then. I suppose my statement was more based on my own perception and experience, not real demographics!

                        Going back to the subject of food, I did not go to the Passport to Taiwan event because I think I was getting ready to fly back to Taiwan that weekend! I have visited a couple of years ago and it was fun. I didn't see the pig blood (with sticky rice?) on a stick though.. They might have sold out since I arrived a little late..... I am curious to know how many non-Asians actually enjoyed that snack!

                        1. re: bearmi

                          the REAL passport to taiwan! lucky for you!

                        2. re: bigjeff

                          What Passport to Taiwan event? How do you hear of these things? We would dearly love to go to the next one. Apologies if you posted about it here, I didn't see a reference to it.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            it was a few weeks ago:

                            http://p2tw.org/p2tw2009.aspx

                            they have an annual festival, usually in union square or something; lotta stalls for arts, gifts, food with performances throughout the day. good times! I think DaveCook covered it on Eating In Translation too.

                            1. re: bigjeff

                              Thanks, I put it on my calendar for next year already. Looks great.

                              1. re: bigjeff

                                Here's the 2010 details if people are interested:
                                Passport 2 Taiwan Festival 2010
                                Sunday May 30, in Union Square (North side)
                                12PM-5PM

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Oh goodie, thanks, we can make it this year!

                                  1. re: kathryn

                                    thanks for the reminder, kathryn.

                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                      fyi it gets pretty packed and they run out of stuff fairly quickly in my experience

                          2. I have a lot of family from Taiwan and to my disappointment, they did not enjoy ViVi's bubble tea. Quickly (chain) just opened a bubble tea shop on Pell Street. I took my Taiwanese friends and they gave it their stamp of approval. Similar to Vivi, you can get a membership card and earn a free bubble tea. You also get 20% off after you get your free bubble tea. It's at 11 Pell Street, right by Joe's Shanghai!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: teresa

                              apparently there is a food truck called NYC Cravings that serves taiwanese pork chop / chicken leg rice with meat sauce. it's getting rave reviews. i haven't been, but am going this friday when they are near my office.

                              i've always thought a good taiwanese snack foods place would do well in midtown. don't have the time or experience to follow through, but i think it'd rock in the vein of a yakitori totto, if executed well.

                              1. re: FattyDumplin

                                latest updates:

                                http://twitter.com/nyccravings
                                http://midtownlunch.com/category/nyc-...

                                1. re: FattyDumplin

                                  I went for their pork chop over rice during their first week of introducing pork chops to the menu and it was not good. The rice was undercooked too. I would definitely suggesting going to Excellent Pork Chop House or May Wah if you want real Taiwanese pork chops.