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Phoenix Garden on E40th? Somewhere else in the area?

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We are kind of tired of Wu Liang on Lex and Evergreen (38th, I think? Btwn Madison and Park). How is Phoenix Garden? We are looking for something tasty and relatively quick, although not quite Wu Liang quick, where they basically present you with a bill along with the entrees, which are almost invariably served while we are still eating our soup. If not Phoenix Garden, any other suggestions for somewhere nearby? We would like to stay in the upper 30s to mid 40s, 5th to 1st.

Thanks so much!

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Phoenix Garden Restaurant
242 E 40th St Frnt Frnt, New York, NY 10016

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  1. Are you only looking for Chinese restaurants? I would say Phoenix Garden is OK, not great. But it's probably the best Cantonese in the area. On 39th between 5th and 6th is Szechuan Gourmet. Many posts on this board if you search.

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

    Phoenix Garden Restaurant
    242 E 40th St Frnt Frnt, New York, NY 10016

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      Miss Needle, what is the food at Phoenix Garden like? Do they have anything that's worth ordering? I have heard good things about their food but not their service... still haven't been there yet.

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      Phoenix Garden Restaurant
      242 E 40th St Frnt Frnt, New York, NY 10016

      1. re: bearmi

        I haven't been there enough to order enough to find anything that I really liked. Overall, I thought it was fine but really lacked wok hay (breath of the work). And about the dishes that weren't cooked in the wok I found kind of flavorless (and I understand that Cantonese cuisine is on the blander side). Some things I have ordered in the past: snow pea leaves, jellyfish, winter melon soup, lobster with ginger and scallions, young chow fried rice. The food is fine for what it is, but the options in Chinatown are much better. Even though I live closer to Phoenix Garden, it's very difficult for me to justify eating there when I can take the Q train two stops to Chinatown. But if one is intent on staying in the area, it's not a bad option.

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        Phoenix Garden Restaurant
        242 E 40th St Frnt Frnt, New York, NY 10016

        1. re: Miss Needle

          I see. Thanks for the comment. I guess I will check it out when I get to it but I won't go out of my way to make a special visit!

    2. Chinese specifically, just because it is one option that folks generally will accept as a lunch option. Szechuan Gourmet might work. I'll see if people are willing to walk that extra half block :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Olive123

        Oh, you can send them links about the wonderful food there to convince people to walk that extra half a block. ; )

        I didn't realize you would be going for lunch. I will say that it can get pretty crowded there. I would try going earlier (like around 12) as opposed to 1 for minimum wait times. They've got some good lunch specials going on. The place specializes in Szechuan food so I'd concentrate on those items, though I have had good sauteed spinach with garlic and beef chow fun there as well.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          We got there closer to 20 after 12 and had a bit of a wait (a little less than 30 minutes, I think) but the food was fantastic! That was the best garlic sauce I have ever had, by far. Everyone was pleased with their choices. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

          1. re: Olive123

            You're welcome. I'm glad that you guys enjoyed it. Wow! A half an hour wait around 12:20! I've only eaten at the restaurant during dinner time. During lunch, I've always done take-out.

            Some of my favorites there on the lunch menu are:

            Mabo tofu
            pork belly with chili and leeks
            braised fish filets with chili miso
            sea scallops with peanuts
            shredded beef with green chili

            If you want to order off the lunch menu, I love their cumin lamb.

      2. Phoenix Garden is pretty bland. Glad you found something better.

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        Phoenix Garden
        242 E 40th St, New York, NY 10016