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Early Evening 40th Bday with 2 little ones- UWS Chinese- is it all awful?

Help! Read the boards and it all sounds bad... 1 & 3 year old and have to dine early. I don't mind "okay", just don't want terrible or food poisoning. Is it too much to ask of UWS? I'm on 73rd.

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  1. Yes, it's too much ask. There is plenty of mediocre available - I guess that's a step above awful! - Cottage, China Fun, Ollie's etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: harrison

      Moved to UWS two months ago and have yet to find anything decent. Usually go with the cottage but it is honestly not so good. Went to Iveys to eat there once and it was dirty and nasty. DO NOT GO THERE

      1. re: harrison

        Agree to all - how about Saigon Grill for Vietnamese instead? Amsterdam & 90th.

        Saigon Grill
        620 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        1. re: gnocchicroissant

          At Shun Lee you pay double for mediocre!

        2. W73 is a very short cab ride to 50's and 9th where there are better options.

          Of the mediocre, I like China Fun and Cottage best

          1. Hunan Balcony. 98th and Broadway. Excellent food, good service. Check it out... Their General Tsos is my favorite. The food is far and away better than any other Chinese in the area, though I tend to only look at the places in my hood (96th St-Morningside). But it's really good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: btsmith23

              Oy, oy, oy, excellent food? It sucks. Sorry.

            2. The neighborhood is terrible for almost all Asian cuisines in general. As msny98 recommends, Szechuan Gourmet is a very short cab ride away.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JungMann

                There are a few non-spicy items on the menu, but the OP should probably make sure there are enough dishes the 1 and 3 year old could eat on the menu, first. Some dishes I've had at SG had me (sheepishly) asking for milk.

              2. The stirfries and other entree offerings I've had at UWS Chinese places have been uniformly bad IMHO, but a few places do have passable dim sum / small plate type dishes. China Fun and Pearl's Chinese are usually okay for egg custard tarts, curry puffs, daikon radish cakes and that sort of thing (items that are almost certainly outsourced). The folks at both establishments are very nice and would probably welcome your children.

                Re: Shun Lee, the food is not to my taste, personally, though I give the restaurant major kudos for having more adventurous offerings on the "traditional menu" (i.e. lion's head meatballs; cold, seasoned jellyfish; dong po rou; sea cucumbers, etc..) than most other places in this part of town. But if decor is important to you, you should know that Shun Lee is far nicer on that front than other places on the UWS. On the flip side of the coin, nicer decor often = less child friendly.

                Happy birthday! Wherever you end up, I hope you have a wonderful time.

                1. Yep, it's too much to ask. Chinese food on the UWS has been bad for at least 15 years if not more.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pan

                    Okay, while I readily agree that UWS Chinese food options are lacking, I just want to note that China Fun prepares very good shredded pork with dried bean curd and winter bamboo shoots (#125 on the take-out menu I'm looking at). Fwiw, it has become a staple of our limited take-out standbys.

                    With respect to OP, I would think you should be able to have an acceptable birthday celebration at China Fun. I don't find the food "terrible", and I've never got sick from the food.

                    Happy birthday! And as cimui said, hope you have a wonderful time wherever you go