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Oct 3, 2009 07:29 AM

Real Chinese for Mid-Autumn festival "nice" meal - what is the current situation?

Searched around here, but have not come up with a current status of good, authentic Chinese restaurants suitable for a "nice meal" either in Manhattan or Queens.

Today is the mid-Autumn festival and I want to take my (very authentic Chinese!) girlfriend out for something really good. Seems every time I go to one of the old standbys (Fuleen, Amazing 66, etc,) I am disappointed. Watered down tastes for Chinese-Americans or worse.

Had some hopes when I heard Shang was opening, but that is NOT what I'm looking for.
And not really interested in anything above Houston Street if you know what I mean.
Queens if fine. Pacificana in Brooklyn was pretty good, but such a long train ride!

Would greatly appreciate suggestions, links etc.

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  1. two recs:
    - Cantoon Garden: if you must stay in the city, then go to Cantoon Garden, definitely the best cantonese (seafood specialist) in the city, here's my review:
    - Imperial Palace: i highly suggest you go here (take the LIRR to flushing, takes 15 mins), this is definitely my favorite chinese restaurant in NYC

    1. Depending on what your definition of "nice" is, although I like the food at Cantoon Garden, I don't know if it will fulfill your expectation in terms of decor and ambiance. (The tew times I went there with another friend, I had to share tables with other parties, which I really hate! But I am sure not everyone is bothered by that.) You can always peek in from the outside before you go in to see if it meets your expectation in that regard.

      I think Ocean Jewel in Flushing is "nice" but I have only been there for lunch/dim sum... not sure how their food is during dinner time. Another "nice" place I can think of in Flushing is Gala Manor. It's also Cantonese.

      For Manhattan Chinatown locations, I personally like Dim Sum Go Go. I was there a couple of weeks ago for my birthday dinner and my meal was great. However, there are a lot of folks here who do not like it for one reason or another (perception of their authenticity, depending on what part of the Chinese world they are familiar with, and also its higher prices). If you decide to go, I suggest that you look up their menu on line and do a little more research to get more opinions. I have learned that everyone's perception and expectation of "authenticity" can vary quite a lot so you should visit a place that's more suitable to your own preference based on your assessment prior to dining at a restaurant.

      I hope you guys will have fun. Please let us know where you end up going.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bearmi

        that is a fair point on CG, the decor is not that great....also i suggest going with 4 or more people, i dont think the restaurant is really set up for small tables

        1. re: Lau

          Totally forgot about Cantoon Garden. Will go there tonight and post a follow-up. When we called, they said that on account of the holiday, unlikely they will be sharing tables.

          By nice I mean a regular restaurant with more than a passing bit of attention to quality, presentation, decor, service, as opposed to an equally delicious but plain noodle joint, etc. Also the kind of place that a Chinese family would likely go for a celebration.

          By authentic, I mean simply tastes that one would encounter in whatever region the restaurant's cuisine was, so Cantoon Garden, I hope, would taste somewhat close to a meal in Guangzhou/Hong Kong.

          Having eaten Cantonese in places like San Francisco and Vancouver, I know that New York is still without a really first class Chinese restaurant. I never made it to Wakiya before it crept away back into the hole it sounded like it had crawled out of. Too bad, as it showed promise. But what a sad state of affairs for a Japanese chef to open a high-end Chinese restaurant in NYC. And while I thought Suser in Toronto was excellent, I would not call it "authentic" and it sounds like Shang is the same.

          I also totally forgot about Imperial Palace in Flushing. I've been for Dim Sum, but never dinner. Will try it soon.

          Actually our favourite new spot is M&T in Flushing. My GF is from Qingdao and we had a great meal there. In fact will try to organize a Chowhound group dinner soon if folks are interested....

          1. re: mlondon88

            are you sure you've been to imperial palace? i'm pretty sure they don't serve dim should really try, i think its the best chinese restaurant in NY

            1. re: Lau

              I walked past it last night when I was in Flushing.. it was so packed with people. I should check it out one day. Looks like a nice place to dine!

        2. What exactly did you order at Fuleens?