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Jan 7, 2010 02:54 PM

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

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!

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

      2 Replies
        1. re: samiam123

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

      1. "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

          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

            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. 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

            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. 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

              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?