HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Where have all the good, reliable UWS Chinese restaurants gone?

ZooZooB Jan 7, 2010 02:54 PM

I'm researching an article on the demise of the UWS neighborhood Chinese--think Empire Szechuan Gourmet (the larger one on 96th) or even Dynasty in Morningside Heights. Robert Seitsema sites the trend of Thais taking over the role of the neighborhood "to go" place over the past decade. I'd like to explore particular restaurants and find out which ones are still worth a visit or a takeout from between 72 and 110th or so from Riverside to CPW. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. coasts RE: ZooZooB Jan 7, 2010 04:54 PM

    i'm on 72nd & Amsterdam and can tell you that your options are few. Ollie's is decent, but not great. i go between there and China Fun on 71st. i haven't tried Cottage yet, but i've seen it mentioned here on CH.

    i don't care for Ivy's or La Dinastia too much.

    1. f
      FrankieLymon RE: ZooZooB Jan 7, 2010 05:59 PM

      nothing but garbage chinese on the upper west side. i wouldnt waste my time or money

      2 Replies
      1. re: FrankieLymon
        samiam123 RE: FrankieLymon Jan 7, 2010 07:31 PM


        1. re: samiam123
          RichardMW RE: samiam123 Jun 27, 2010 03:00 PM

          Pearl's was good when it opened (10 years ago??) but the quality has dropped significantly.

      2. y
        yebo RE: ZooZooB Jan 8, 2010 04:37 AM

        "good reliable Chinese restaurants on UWS"? From my years living there in the 70s and 80s, I remember continued commenting by people about how bad the UWS Chnese restaurants were - maybe a mysterious positive exception up near Columbia.

        2 Replies
        1. re: yebo
          Pan RE: yebo Dec 7, 2010 10:42 PM

          Really? Chun Cha Foo was good for a few years - or so I thought when I was a kid, anyway (but that was before my education in great Chinese food in Malaysia) - Empire Szechuan's flagship on 97 St. was good back in the 70s, and their dim sum (but only that) was still passable into the early to mid 90s (that's pushing it, perhaps), and there was a very good restaurant on Broadway between 109th and 110th Sts. in the 80s. It was on the 2nd floor of the building on the east side of Broadway, and I believe it was Sichuan-style, not sure.

          1. re: Pan
            penthouse pup RE: Pan Dec 8, 2010 07:20 AM

            The 70's were the peak for the UWS: Szechuan on 95th and Broadway; the first Empire, on 97th and Broadway; House of Tsai on 109 and Bwy; Chuan Hong, 107 and Bwy; even Moon Palace on Bwy and 113 (or 112) had its share of decent dishes...and there was Harbin Inn, 100 and Bwy, and many others...

        2. f
          FattyDumplin RE: ZooZooB Jun 27, 2010 07:56 PM

          i just tried canteen 82 this weekend. it's been written up in a couple places for their xiao long bao, so i had to try it out. fantastic wrappers. perfectly thin, yet still al dente. tons of soup. not as rich and aromatic filling as some of the better renditions in flushing, but i gotta say that for the UWS, and hell, for the island, it's a pretty darn good alternative. the rest of hte food we tried, dumplings, stir fried udon, vietnamese roll, sesame noodles, ranged from mediocre to blah at best, but hte xlb were worth it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FattyDumplin
            MotoEater RE: FattyDumplin Dec 7, 2010 06:13 PM

            Canteen 82 looks closed. They haven't been open for like 2 weeks

            That didn't last so long

            Canteen 82
            467 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

          2. j
            John Francis RE: ZooZooB Dec 8, 2010 02:22 AM

            In the Lincoln Center area, Shun Lee Restaurant and Shun Lee Cafe are still open on 65th Street and still good. The last I looked, the Empire on Columbus Ave. at 68th was still there - nothing wonderful but OK; they've done Japanese as well as Chinese for years. However, the Chinese on Amsterdam near 65th, I forget the name, is gone because they took the building down.

            1 Reply
            1. re: John Francis
              mow mow RE: John Francis Jan 20, 2011 12:32 AM

              Does Shun Lee really count as good? It's expensive and perhaps even clean so you may call it classy. But the food is neither authentic nor good value. I thought that's the consensus?

            2. a
              AubWah RE: ZooZooB Dec 8, 2010 06:55 AM

              No one has mentioned an acceptable restaurant in this thread yet. It does not exist

              5 Replies
              1. re: AubWah
                MotoEater RE: AubWah Dec 8, 2010 07:22 AM

                I agree with you. I've lived on the upper west side for years and have nearly tried them all. The best chinese restaurant you could hope to find is simply mediocre. The rest are downright bad

                1. re: MotoEater
                  mow mow RE: MotoEater Jan 20, 2011 12:40 AM

                  I thought East dumpling house is pretty good. They only do dumplings and a couple of noodles dish though (and a couple of unspectacular rice dishes). But my impression is they are owned by a Taiwanese-Korean couple. (and they have some korean dishes on the menu too)

                  I don't find it that hard to understand the lack of decent chinese on the UWS. If we're talking about Cantonese food, which apart from Szechuanese is probably the main thing we're talking about, the standard in Manhattan is pretty bad. there's even a recently revived thread where people complained that we can't even beat Philly. you may disagree but truth is cantonese food in new york is nothing like japanese food, where there are plenty of good to acceptable places, even by japan standard. so given that UWS restaurants are weaker than downtown ones in general, i'm not surprised that you can't find decent Cantonese here.

                  1. re: mow mow
                    Pan RE: mow mow Jan 20, 2011 01:15 AM

                    Where's East Dumpling House? [Edit: It's at 248 W. 106 St., I see.] Do you like any of the Korean dishes there?

                    East Dumpling House
                    248 W 106th St, New York, NY 10025

                    1. re: Pan
                      mow mow RE: Pan Jan 20, 2011 04:53 AM

                      they're not really korean. they have this bulgoki soup noodle which is just a kind of bbq beef with soup noodle, and that's very nice, though not particularly korean. and the dumplings are in general pretty good.

                2. re: AubWah
                  Pan RE: AubWah Dec 8, 2010 07:39 AM

                  I agree. There hasn't been an acceptable Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side for a long time.

                3. DaveCook RE: ZooZooB Dec 8, 2010 11:09 AM

                  I've never been a big fan of Columbia Cottage, but Chinese students at the university think much better of it. Reportedly, the ability to do without the English-language menu, if not order in Mandarin, makes all the difference.

                  Columbia Cottage
                  1034 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

                  Show Hidden Posts