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SF CH looking for authentic or different Chinese and Taiwanese food

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Hi All,

I will be visiting NYC next month for work from SF. I am originally from Taipei and looking for authentic Chinese or Taiwanese food. I'm not too familar with Chinese cusine in Manhattan but from the research I've done, it looks like a lot of good Cantonese food, similar to SF. Is that a correct assumption? What's different about the Chinese food in NY and what are some must try places? I don't really have a budget since I'll be on an expensive account so I'm open to everything from hole in the walls, to places that might be a little pricier. Since I will be at a conference by Wall Street most of the time, I think I will only be able to have 1 lunch and 2 dinners on my own so one or two really good Chinese or Taiwanese places would be great in the area.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. IMO, sichuan is the best Chinese cuisine in Manhattan. I personally think the SF Bay Area has better with places like Z&Y and China Village, but many NY transplants disagree. Try Szechuan Gourmet on 39th.

    3 Replies
    1. re: a_and_w

      I'd second the recommendation for Szechuan Gourmet - I'm a Bay Area transplant myself, and the Sichuan places tend to stand out amongst Manhattan's Chinese eating options. In general I haven't found much that compares favorably to the level of Cantonese cooking San Francisco natives take for granted.

      Szechuan Gourmet isn't exactly in your immediate neighborhood if you're staying near Wall Street, but it's worth the trip up to midtown. Chinatown is much closer (15 minute walk); the following places generally elicit positive reviews on this board, but be sure to research which dishes or specialties come recommended:

      Amazing 66 (casseroles)
      Cantoon Garden (Cantonese)
      NY Noodletown (Hong Kong-style noodle dishes and soft-shell crabs, when in season)
      XO Kitchen (Wide-ranging Hong-Kong cafe-style menu - Hester St. Location)
      Lan Zhou Hand-Pulled Noodles (don't miss the delicate dumplings!)
      Super Taste (more hand-pulled noodles - Spicy Beef soup garners the most praise)
      Big Wong (roast meat over rice)

      Taiwanese pickings are pretty slim unless you're willing to trek out to Flushing in Queens - Jobee may be the only option in Manhattan, and the food is pretty uneven.

      This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope it will help you hone your search.

      -----
      South China Garden
      22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

      Great New York Noodletown
      28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

      Amazing 66
      66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      Big Wong
      67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      Super Taste
      26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

      XO Kitchen
      148 Hester St, New York, NY 10013

      Szechuan Gourmet
      21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

      Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
      144 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

      Jobee
      3 Howard St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: CalJack

        i think if you're here from SF if you have a chance you should try flushing...if u want recs let me know i know the area well

        If that's too far and you really want something in the city. I'd go with the above rec and go to Szechuan Gourmet b/c sichuan is one cuisine that manhattan does fairly well.

        As far as cantonese goes:
        - Cantoon Garden: i think this is the best cantonese in the city, its a seafood specialist...here's my review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589457
        - Amazing 66: this is best non-seafood cantonese specialist in the city
        - NY Noodletown / Big Wong: if you want bbq or congee, these are the places to go

        All that said, SF has better cantonese than NYC, so you're not going to be blown away

        Fujian food is something that manhattan has that i dont know any other city in the US that has it in a major way; i'm chinese and grew up in LA and I knew literally nothing about their food until they started getting big here; in fact i can't even think of one fujian restaurant in the SGV. That said, I'm not a huge fan of their food, some of it is good, but i much prefer cantonese, sichuan, taiwan, shanghai etc over it. Although to be fair i'm definitely no expert in it.

        As far as taiwanese goes, you can see from my other post that i'd definitely avoid in in manhattan (you really only have one choice btw)...its much better in Flushing, but on an absolute basis its just ok.

        1. re: Lau

          btw if u happen to have time to go to flushing here is a great thread:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636409

          time wise if u take the LIRR, which leaves from penn station, it takes 20 mins to get there

    2. Big Wong at 66 Mott has the best Cantonese style Roast BBQ Pork in Chinatown IMO. I'd go with what you might not be able to get out west.

      Jobee Taiwanese:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/528055

      Two Best Fuzhou Restaurants:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48390

      My all around favorite hand-pulled noodle joint is Far Eastern on Forsyth Street. The best broth is found at Food Sing at 2 East Broadway.
      Fujian Hand Pulled Noodle Shops:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637995
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/492376
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/504362
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/492376

      Best Chinatown Restaurant:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/531040

      1. All the NYC Taiwanese food is in Flushing. There's some hole in the wall Taiwanese food in Manhattan Chinatown, but don't bother. Putting Sichuan style aside, comparing Chinatown to Chinatown, NY Chinatown is better than SF Chinatown, but way short of what you find in the Bay Area suburbs and San Gabriel Valley. (Flushing is also much better.) I like to say that NY chinese food is stuck in the 1990s--no place like Koi Palace, Zen Peninsula, Asian Pearl or other modern Chinese restaurants of that ilk. What Manhattan Chinatown has that California doesn't are the 4 or 5 for $1 dumpling houses where you can get some very inexpensive and tasty meals. There are a number of threads on the board relating to these dumpling houses. Also a good portion of eastern Chinatown is Fujianese, which is a regional style pretty much unheard of in California (except that these Fujianese restaurants throw a lot of Cantonese dishes in their menu, so it's not like they're entirely radically different). Since money is no object, one restaurant you might consider trying is Chinatown Brasserie, 380 Lafayette St., in SoHo. It is the exception to my comment about NY Chinese food being stuck in the 1990s.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          Jobee Taiwanese is not a hole in the wall. And I know of no true Fujian place here throwing Cantonese dishes on their menu. And Fujian cuisine is distinctly different. It is a reverse migration pattern of Chinese from over 100 years instead now it is going from East Broadway west to the rest of America. Manhattan is old world Chinatown - with the first Chinese here in 1808 when San Fransisco was Yerba Buena. Flushing is newer and richer - with the Chinese presence only since the mid 1950's. Manhattan's Chinatown is poorer and working class whereas 38% of Flushing’s Chinese-Americans are business professionals. Only 14% are in Manhattan’s. 38% of the Chinese in Flushing have college degrees compared to Manhattan’s 7%. And four times as many Chinese now live in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan. Different experiences, both authentic.

          1. re: scoopG

            Well, for example, grabbing the menu from 88 Reach House, you have a special section of the menu entitled "Foo Chow Special Style" and another small section called "Foo Chow Special." But the majority of the menu consists of items which you'd find just as well on a Cantonese restaurant menu. I'm not overly fond of Fujian cuisine so I haven't frequented a lot of them, but the other Fujian places I've been to (e.g., American East Fuzhou) also included Cantonese favorites on their menu. (BTW the Fujianese disaspora is restricted by the ability to get a bus connection from Manhattan Chinatown.) As to Jobee, I recognize the premises are not small, but the ambiance certainly is not upscale and the menu wasn't particularly extensive for Chinatown.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Have not heard of 88 Reach House. Where is it? The one Fuzhou style place in Chinatown opened by Cantonese owners on Forsyth Street (to capitalize on the Fuzhou craze) closed within a year of opening because it was not Fuzhou food. What Cantonese favorites are at American East Fuzhou? Fujian cusine features fresh seafood (like Cantonese) excellent soups, broths and sauteed dishes. They love to use cauliflower and even sweet potatoes. Can't help you if you are not fond of Fujian cuisine - might as well say you are not fond of Hunan food to me. Jobee's menu is extensive enough with Taiwanese classics like the Oyster Pancake, Three Cup Chicken and Stinky Tofu etc.

              1. re: scoopG

                88 Reach House is at 88 Division St. American East Fuzhou was the first Fuzhou restaurant I ever went to, maybe 10 years ago. Walked in expecting all sorts of different stuff but the menu looked very similar to the other places in Chinatown. Wasn't keeping track of meals back then like I do now, but I do recall having tofu soup there.

                1. re: scoopG

                  ya i ate here late one night, had a lamb bone noodle soup or something like that; the place is open the latest in the area but i didn't find it amazing. when i asked the guy for his best dish, this was it; it was aight. but there is a ton of stuff on the menu but by no means am i an authority on the cuisine or this joint.

                  1. re: scoopG

                    the problem with taiwanese in manhattan (finally tried some of the places) is that the quality is not good; they offer alot of the classics at least classic street food, but its not good...in fact flushing suffers from the same problem in that while the taiwanese is decent none of the places i've tried are particularly good (and i think ive tried just about every place) with the lone exceptions being the gua bao guy at the flushing mall, who does make a good rendition of a gua bao and the cong ying tou at bei gang (main street imperial), which really is a very good dish

                2. re: scoopG

                  Look at the menu at Happy Garden Palace on East Broadway. It's a Fuzhounese restaurant, but there are plenty of Cantonese items on the menu.

                  1. re: Pan

                    Plenty of what Cantonese items are on the menu specifically then? Fujian and Canton both are coastal provinces and both feature seafood. Northern Canton borders southern Fujian province so there is a melding there at some points. Then we have to see who the owners truly are and where they are from.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      Besides, everybody loves Cantonese food. Even in Chinese communities like those in St. Louis and Atlanta which don't have much of a local Cantonese population, the biggest and most popular authentic Chinese restaurants serve dim sum, Cantonese seafood, etc. (Fujianese proprietors from New York, I'll bet!) Given the geographic proximity of Fujian and Guandong, plus the heavy Cantonese influence in NY Chinatown, there's nothing wrong with mixing Cantonese items on the menu at a Fujianese restaurant.

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        I didn't say there was anything wrong with it.

                        scoopG, look at the menu yourself and give us your expert opinion on whether the dishes not listed as "Fuzhounese specialties" that sound just like Cantonese dishes are actually different.

              2. expense account taiwanese food?!?!? that would be awesome; say . . . oyster omelette made from the finest freshest oysters flown in this morning or maybe fancy organic chicken for the 3-cup chicken. at least you're semi-downtown so you've got somewhat easy access to chinatown. good recs so far in this thread.

                46 Replies
                1. re: bigjeff

                  THANK YOU EVERYONE! This is great info! I can't wait to go to NY, too bad I still have another month. Will definitely report back.

                  1. re: calalilly

                    I hope you will have a good trip and enjoy the food in NYC. I am originally from SF and Taipei too:)

                    If you like Oyster Noodles (蚵仔麵線) or Pork Chop with Rice (排骨飯), you can check out Flushing Mall's Ah Chung Noodles (阿宗麵線) in Flushing, Queens. It's located in the mall's lower level food court.

                    Also, not sure about your preference, but I know a lot of fellow Taiwanese love Sushi and Japanese food (probably from the Japanese colonial days in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). You can check out the threads on this board for Sushi/Soba/Japanese cuisine if you are interested. There are quite a lot of Japanese places in East Village and I think some maybe in the Financial District too.

                    In addition to Szechuan cuisine, Manhattan also has quite a few Shanghainese restaurants. A few of us here on this board, including myself, like the Soup Dumplings (小籠湯包) at Shanghai Cafe (喬家柵) on Mott Street in Chinatown. Their entrees can sometimes be hit-or-miss, but the dumplings are definitely good. You can check out the threads on soup dumplings if you are interested.

                    1. re: bearmi

                      hey bearmi - ive been meaning to try ah zhong mian xian for a long time...how is their mian xian?

                      i love that place in ximending in taipei...actually going to taipei in december, cant wait

                      1. re: Lau

                        I think the one in Flushing is pretty decent for what you can get in the US. These days there are fewer and fewer restaurants here that serve oyster/intestine noodle soup. The one at Flushing Mall was generous with ingredients and I believe you can get different combinations of toppings (i.e. intestine only, or oyster + intestine combo).

                        I didn't know you have been to the original Ah Chung Noodle in Taipei! I have been there only once. I remember feeling very uncomfortable eating there because there was no seating available and I had to stand! But I suppose that's why he was so unique. There are a lot of mian xian places in Taipei and I usually go to Ah Xin Mian Xian (阿鑫麵線) in the Shida (i.e. 師大 or "National Normal University") Night Market. Here is an article about that place. You can check it out if you get a chance to go. There are a lot of other good food/snacks in that night market.

                        http://mag.udn.com/mag/happylife/stor...

                        1. re: bearmi

                          wow that looks delicious...i cant wait to go, i havent been in a few years, i plan on eating like 5 times a day

                          i always wonder if these ah zhong mian xian places are real or fake...there are a couple in LA too...its sorta like xiao fei yang, where there are all these rip off places....although i dont really care as long as the food is good

                          1. re: Lau

                            I think the Ay Chung restaurants in the U.S. are authentic branches. Half the Little Sheeps are fakes. The Din Tai Fung in Toronto is a copycat.

                            1. re: Lau

                              Hey Lau,

                              If you're ever in Flushing, there is Ah Zhong Mien Xien in the old flushing mall soon to be defunct in a couple of years due to real-estate politics ..

                              718.762.9000

                              addy: 133-31 39th Ave.

                              1. re: panjuice

                                hey panjuice - I've eaten at that ah zong mian xian in the flushing mall, but i still haven't eaten their mian xian. it's also called like han kou steaks or something. the food i've had has ranged from mediocre to pretty decent, but i haven't had anything awesome from there, i do like their fried squid though, its pretty tasty

                                they should try to re-open at the new world mall, they were killing it when the flushing mall still had traffic, its in pretty dire straights now, i'd say 60-70% of the places shutdown in the food coury and there aren't that many people there anymore

                                1. re: Lau

                                  The best mien xIen is in Ximending cos they really put 瑶柱,柴鱼 in the stock
                                  BUT if you like intestines or oysters then you have to try that @ Chuan Zhou St before Ding Zhou rd in Taipei if you ever stop by.

                                  风水轮流转 ... Haha never fails!!
                                  The restaurant on the top floor is now discounted mon-fri starting
                                  @ $2.25 per dim sum ... The owner closed/sold all three restaurants to open this new one in the new world mall.

                                  I find the new world mall food court quite mediocre but packed .. We prefer the Vietnamese rest(Pho Hoang) nearby for the pork chop over rice is stellar and next door for the beef soup .. Keep us updated on your culinary journey when you get back to NYC.

                                  Pho Hoang
                                  41-01 Kissena Blvd
                                  Flushing, NY 11355

                                  718.762.6151

                                  1. re: panjuice

                                    Due respects, but I don't think anyone coming from San Francisco is going to be looking for Vietnamese food in New York.

                                    1. re: soupçon

                                      Haha, mayhaps, but isnt SF a hub for many Taiwanese/Asian immigrants? I think the SF/LA communities are much larger than NYC/flushing combined. At least that is what my friends and relatives say when they visit us .. They always ask us to find non taiwanese venues. And when we visit them, we have te same requests.

                                      Sorry for that digression lah^

                                      I think the best Taiwanese food is in Taiwan because of the local ingredients and the meats where in most cases the establishments buy fresh not frozen. JMHO

                                      1. re: panjuice

                                        panjuice -

                                        mian xian: yah im a big fan of the one in ximending, i eat there all the time when i go to taiwan, i hadn't heard of the other place, but will definitely keep in mind next time i'm in taiwan

                                        dim sum @ new world mall: have you tried that dim sum place yet? i heard its mediocre, but i haven't eaten there yet

                                        vietnamese food: i agree with soupcon, vietnamese food is very weak in NY, even though it is one of my favorite foods in the world (2nd after chinese / japanese which are my favorites) i almost never eat it in NY...spoiled from eating in little saigon in orange county, CA (i live in orange county about 15 mins away from little saigon, so i eat there constantly, i post alot of posts about it on the LA board / my blog)

                                        taiwanese food in taiwan - of course it's the best there! haha

                            2. re: bearmi

                              That Shida night market is really good! I will ask my cousins for their fave mian-xian shop, they took me to one at Ximending and it really was quite good. if I recall, somewhat near the borders of the ximending (not central) and of course, just a counter. very good!

                              1. re: bigjeff

                                yeah u basically eat standing up, but its really good

                                1. re: Lau

                                  I will have to check it out next time I go to Taipei!

                                  Thanks again for all of these suggestions. I don't think I'll be able to make it out to Flushings but do want to get at least two of these places in. Fuzhounese cusine does sound very interesting to me since we don't have much of it here in SF.

                                  Don't laugh because I haven't done much research on this place yet, but after watching Top Chef Masters I'd like to try Rickshaw Dumplings. Is it worth it? I have a friend that works at the bar at Morimoto's so am hoping to stop in there as well. Hmm, maybe I will just need to stay in NY a bit longer or at this rate, I will need to be eating 5-6 meals a day to check out all the places I want to go.

                                  1. re: calalilly

                                    no id avoid rickshaw, i think ull be disappointed...if u really want dumplings in the city i think you should try either:
                                    - prosperity: http://www.yelp.com/biz/prosperity-du...
                                    - lanzhou handpulled noodles: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lan-zhou-hand...

                                    lanzhou's are not typical guo tie, the skins are thinner and they are a bit more delicate, more similar to japanese gyoza...definitely get them fried

                                    1. re: calalilly

                                      Goodness gracious sakes, no. Anyplace that serves chocolate soup dumplings is going after a different demographic from what you're looking for. Same for Dumpling Man. Prosperity gets my vote, too.

                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                        Thanks for the feedback on Rickshaw Dumplings. I almost went inside the other day but since I didn't see any Asian people eating there I became kind of suspicious. Glad I followed my instinct!

                                        1. re: bearmi

                                          Flashing red warning sign!

                                          I happen to work close to Rickshaw Dumplings @23rd St. I went there once lured by a hand-written Chinese sign. What a disappointment!

                                          I am sorry to say their food is not worth the price. I can easily make better dumplings by using the frozen food section of any Chinese supermarket. :)

                                          1. re: diprey

                                            Good to know, it's off my list.

                                            1. re: calalilly

                                              Hi Everyone,

                                              I had a great time in NYC, but ended up only with one free meal to myself. I chose to go to Lan Zhou Hand-Pulled Noodles in Chinatown even though it was kind of a trek out. Luckily, the trek was totally worth it. I loved watching the chef make noodles to order. I had the beef noodle soup which was delicious. I thought the noodles were a little softer than I'm used to be very good and the broth was flavorful. I also got the pan fried dumplings which were excellent. I can't remember the last time I had dumplings that good.

                                              I also went to the following places for work dinners:

                                              Babbo - this was the best meal I've had in a long time, definitely lives up to the hype.

                                              Perilla - great neighborhood restaurant. The lamb three-way was superior to any lamb I've had in the past. Only downside was that Harold was out sick.

                                              Spice Market - decor was amazing. We had reservations and still waited an hour and a half. But the food was very good. We had the tasting menu and was so stuffed by the end of the night we still had 3 boxes of leftovers. Unfortunately, the service was horrible and the server was all over the place. Hoping it was just a bad service night.

                                              Overall, had a great time in NY and can't wait to go back!

                                              -----
                                              Perilla
                                              9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                                              Babbo
                                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                              Spice Market
                                              403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                              1. re: calalilly

                                                1 1/2 hours' wait with a reservation is totally inexcusable!

                                                What did you have at Babbo?

                                                1. re: Pan

                                                  Here's what I had at Babbo:

                                                  Pig Feet Milanese - this was totally different from anything I've ever had. All the bones were taken out of the pig feet and the meat was pounded flat. Slightly greasy but I enjoyed the bold arugula sauce on it.

                                                  Garganelli - this was my favorite dish. The pasta was perfect with the mushrooms. Sounds simple but it was so good.

                                                  Guancia Ripiena - this was rolled up pork with eggplant and pesto. The flavors were really unique, in a good way.

                                                  Chocolate Hazelnut cake - warm and delicious with the hazelnut ice cream.

                                                  Next time I will have to make more time for all the places on this list.

                                                  -----
                                                  Babbo
                                                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                2. re: calalilly

                                                  glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip; next time out you must have a long list of places you missed; I just had noodle soup at the place on Doyers and it was very good. we had the dao-xiao-mian stir-fried with beef, see this thread here [ http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6581... ] i agree it was very oily, but the soup noodle was good. I had the combo (there is a picture of it on the back of the menu) but basically, its like pho xe lua but with chinese-style beef soup and a fried egg; a monster with tripe, couple cuts of beef, some oxtail, basically the combo for I think $6 or $7. it was really good. and we also had tendon with noodles; also very good.

                                                  the place has a lot of different table sauces as well, including what tasted like a roast pepper or sweet tomato chili sauce, and also a chili powder based oil that was a kinda bitter but good. the place looks kinda ghetto but its warm and friendly inside and the food is great. Lau, I remember you ate here before, and a few others have also reported as well [ http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5043...

                                                  ]

                                                  -----
                                                  Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
                                                  1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                                    or, if you go back to Lan Zhou, apparently they serve a great pork chop with noodle soup, chop served on the side.

                                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                                      The pork chop is hands down the best soup option at Lan Zhou! Every time I stray from it I end up kicking myself. Huge portion of lightly-battered pork chop with that sizzling cinnamon-salt-&-peppery flavor. As always, the broth at this spot can be inconsistent, but the noodles themselves rarely disappoint. And I'm pretty sure I have subsisted for weeks at a time on nothing but their dumplings - I can't stand to look at my freezer without at least 1 bag inside.

                                                      The dao-xiao noodles from 1 Doyers Street are calling my name tonight, and I may steal your plan to have them in a soup instead of stir fried. I love how warm and welcoming their staff always is (in pretty stark contrast to the gruff, efficient service I've come to expect at Lan Zhou)

                                                      1. re: CalJack

                                                        consider also that combo noodle at 1 Doyers too! it's pretty gangster.

                                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                                          "Gangster" is a positive adjective? Meaning WHAT, exactly?

                                                          1. re: Pan

                                                            ummm, that it is delicious?! like . . . a gangster bowl of pho or a gangster bowl of ramen or, in this case, a gangster bowl of hand-pulled noodles with hella different kinds of meat, vegetable and garnish AND a fried egg!

                                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                                              Had the house special combo soup with knife peeled noodles last night at 1 Doyers Street. There's definitely a whole mess of different meaty bits in there, and that fried egg is a nice touch. The noodles themselves were phenomenal, but I found the broth to be a bit of a letdown on this visit - bland and salt-dominated without any of the complexity or anise notes I've come to expect.
                                                              The place was full on a Wednesday night at 8pm, so if nothing else they're seeing plenty of business (the mention in that recent NYMag Cheap Eats feature is the likely culprit, for better or for worse).
                                                              I can confirm that the sauteed noodle dishes are still oily and bland, and that any beef ordered outside of a soup was extremely chewy, overcooked and unappealing. The sliced rice cakes were fun but suffered from the same underwhelming semi-sweet sauteed treatment. Pan fried pork dumplings were delicious, though I still prefer those at 144 E. Broadway. I ended up dousing everything in dumpling sauce, hot chili oil and fresh cilantro, and waddled my way out of there fat and happy as usual.

                                                              1. re: CalJack

                                                                where the good broth at??

                                                    2. re: bigjeff

                                                      lan zhou? i eat there semi-regularly...i think it might be best of the bunch and they do have good guo tie although ive got to try the place on doyers, its the only hand pulled noodle place i haven't been to

                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                        dude, you gotta try it! it is quite good, I would call it a step up from lan zhou. the broth isn't homemade-style strong and thick, but it is pretty damn good; the noodles are good, portions generous. i may try the dao-xiao noodles in soup sometime (the dry saute too greasy/heavy)

                                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                                          Hi All,

                                                          I finally get to go back to NYC next month. Unfortunately I will only be there for a few days and only have 1 meal to venture out. Thus, I'm hoping to tackle Chinatown again for food I don't get here in SF. I only have about an hour, and not the biggest stomach (though huge eyes) so here's what I'm thinking based on reviews from CH and a few other sites:

                                                          1. Tasty-Pulled Noodles – Beef Noodle Soup
                                                          2. Prosperity – Pan-fried dumplings
                                                          3. Xi’an Famous Foods – Cumin Burger

                                                          What do you think?

                                                          Also, sidebar question. I’m staying at the W Time Square and have reservations one night at Del Posto at 9pm. According to google it’s less than 2 miles away. Is it safe to walk there?

                                                          Thank you!!

                                                          -----
                                                          Del Posto
                                                          85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                          Prosperity Dumpling
                                                          46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                                          Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
                                                          1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                                          Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                          88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                                                          Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                          67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                                          1. re: calalilly

                                                            id go for xi'an, get an lamb burger and an order of liang pi, you won't be able to finish it, but its not very expensive. fyi, they have a sit down branch in chinatown now

                                                            http://www.yelp.com/biz/xian-famous-f...

                                                            -----
                                                            Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                            67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                                            1. re: Lau

                                                              I second Xi'an. Nothing like it on the West Coast yet.

                                                            2. re: calalilly

                                                              I really think you need to save room for Henan Flavor's big tray of chicken.

                                                              You should try Xiian Famous Foods. But I've got warn you -- have been disappointed by my last couple of meals at Xi-an. Not as oily, spices tamed down. I would have thought that I got them on some bad days except some of my friends reported the exact same thing.

                                                              -----
                                                              He Nan Flavor
                                                              68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                More on Henan Flavor:
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774685

                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                  Which location? I've found no change at the St. Marks location, unless the food's gotten slightly saltier.

                                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                                    It was at the East Broadway and Bayard street locations. I've never had an issue with the St. Marks one, but it's been about a year since I've been there.

                                                                2. re: calalilly

                                                                  Seconding Xi'an Famous Foods, but I actually like the cumin lamb hand-pulled noodles more than the lamb burger. Not that the cumin lamb burger is bad. Make sure you get a fresh cumin lamb burger.

                                                                  It is certainly safe to walk from Times Square to Del Posto, but I would just take the subway. Use mta.info, hopstop.com, or Google Maps to get point to point subway directions. It is pretty straightforward.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Del Posto
                                                                  85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                  Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                                  88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                    Thank you all for the feed back, I will definitely report back.

                                                                    I'm only thinking of walking to get some exercise after all the food I plan on consuming =)

                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                      I agree with kathryn that the cumin lamb hand pulled noodles are better than the lamb burger and with Miss Needle that the spices have been toned down. You can, however, specify with the staff that you want the food at full blast spicy and they'll comply.

                                                                      Are you going to go to the Chinatown location of Xi'an? I can only base this judgment on about two recent-ish meals at each, but that location seems to be better than the one at St. Marks Place.

                                                                      It's safe to walk from Times Square to Del Posto. Crowded at times in some parts, but completely safe.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Del Posto
                                                                      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                      1. re: michelleats

                                                                        Thanks all for the great feed back. I was able to go to the following places on my recent trip:

                                                                        Tasty-Pulled Noodles – Beef Noodle Soup
                                                                        Noodles had good texture but I thought the broth at Lan Zhou had more flavor.

                                                                        Prosperity – Pan-fried dumplings
                                                                        Good dumplings but I wish I had enough room in my stomach for the thick sesame pancakes. They looked really good but I couldn't eat anymore.

                                                                        Xi’an Famous Foods – Cumin Burger and Liang Pi
                                                                        This was my favorite stop in Chinatown. The cumin lamb burger was nice and spicy and not too gamey tasting. The liang pi was such a treat. We don't get this much in San Francisco so it brought me back to my last visit in Asia. Next time I hope to spend more time here.

                                                                        Thanks again, I hope to go back soon!

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Prosperity Dumpling
                                                                        46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                        Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
                                                                        1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                        Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                                        67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                        1. re: calalilly

                                                                          The sesame pancakes shouldn't be missed. Does anyone serve them in SF yet? I prefer Vanessa's to Prosperity for the pancakes....fresher, larger, better filling.

                                                                          As for differences between Chinese in SF to NY, I'd say NY caters to more regional specialties, where in SF, there are standard dishes everyone serves to stay afloat. For something like cumin lamb, or the lamb burger, there is of course Old Islamic, and Beijing Rest which might even be better. The dumplings in the Sunset are far more expensive, but similar to the dollar dumplings in NY. Meanwhile, a place like Mission Street Chinese wouldn't garner much attention with their menu.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Vanessa's Dumpling House
                                                                          118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                          Prosperity Dumpling
                                                                          46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                                                            There are a few places in the Bay Area that have the sesame pancakes, but nothing that really stands out to me.

                                                                            I agree on the regional specialities in NY. Looking forward to my next trip!

                                  2. I'm from SF and visit NY once or twice a year and agree with Lau that you ought to try to get out to Flushing. Failing that, try to hit one of the Manhattan outlets of Xi'an Famous foods for some Xaanxi specialties

                                    1. Egads, why don't we (I) read dates on threads? Here I am responding to a question that became moot two years ago because the thread somehow resurfaced!