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Feb 13, 2010 05:51 AM

Joe's ginger house?

Any opinions on this restaurant? How does it compare to Joe's Shanghai, it's sister restaurant? How is the atmosphere? (Planning a small birthday dinner). thanks.

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  1. I have been there a few times (not in the last few months though) because a friend of mine likes it a lot, but I think it's just ok. And I always thought it's not as good as Joe's Shanghai. However it is much less crowded and the wait is much shorter.

    The atmosphere is similar to Joe's Shanghai (i.e. typical atmosphere in Chinatown with a high % of tourists and non-Chinese customers) but with newer, more modern decor and brighter lighting. I also remember the service was pretty good and the dining area was pretty clean. In terms of menu items, I think Joe's Shanghai and Joe's Ginger offer pretty similar things and soup dumplings are their specialty. However, I think both of these restaurants serve somewhat Amercanized food (probably to accomodate the tourists?) so if you don't mind that aspect of it, it may not be a bad place to go for a B-day party considering the shorter wait, decent service and relatively pleasant dining area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bearmi

      thanks for your reply! do you have an opinion of whether we should go there or ny noodletown? i've never been to either. 4 kids 6 adults for a birthday dinner. thanks!

      1. re: bewitched

        Neither. You should go to Congee Village (100 Allen St) or Congee Bowery (207 Bowery) or Congee (98 Bowery). They can all accomodate a group of 10 at big round tables, they are all family-friendly and nice to sit in. And the kids would especially like Congee Village or Congee Bowery - fun decor (they have the same owners).

        All of them are better than either of the Joe's and NY Noodletown, and a lot more pleasant for a group dinner.

        NY Noodletown is a rushed, diner-like experience and not ideal for a group of 10. Both Joe's are mediocre.

        1. re: bewitched

          No problem. It depends on what type of cuisine you like. NY Noodletown is a Cantonese-style restaurant and Joe's Shanghai/Joe's Ginger are Shanghainese so there will be a difference in terms of flavor and cooking style. You can check out their menus on-line and see which one you prefer.

          NY Noodletown, just like Joe's Shanghai, is quite popular with locals as well as tourists, so you may have problem getting in with a party of 10. In that respect, you might be better off at Joe's Ginger so you won't have to wait too long, especially with kids. As you probably know, Joe's Shanghai, Joe's Ginger and NY Noodletown are not that far apart from each other. In case you and your party are still debating which place to go, what you might be able to do is to arrive a little early (like 5 PM) and take a look at each and see how long of a wait it is and check out the menus as well as the restaurants to make your final decision. I hope you are not planning to go tomorrow nigh because with Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year on the same day.. Chinatown will be very crowded!

      2. Are you aware that Joe's Shanghai has a midtown location on 56th and 5th? It's larger, cleaner and with better service than both JS & JG in Chinatown. There's rarely a wait unless you go during weekday lunch.

        5 Replies
        1. re: coasts

          Joe's Shanghai in midtown is seriously not good.

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            And significantly more expensive than the other Joe's.

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              It's no better or worse than the Chinatown location, and definitely better than Joe's Ginger. Would Congee Village be better, yes, but that's not what the OP asked.

              1. re: coasts

                The Midtown branch s significantly worse then the Chinatown location at least it was the one time I ate there several years ago.

              2. re: gutsofsteel

                I second your proposition. The Chinatown branches have to work to attract Chinese and non-Chinese patrons. Not so in midtown--that's why it's several cuts below.