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List of Ultimate Chinese food dishes in NYC

Hey all, looking for some of the experts out there to provide a list of MUST TRY Chinese food dishes in this great city. Doesn't have to be isolated to Chinatown although I suspect that is where the best is. Let's break this up into categories.. we can make it kind of like a "Best of" Chinese food reference for others as well!

I must admit I do not have much to contribute to the post since I have not tried too many Chinese in Manhattan. But this is definitely an area of recent interest for me. I especially love Roast meats like duck, pork, chicken that are hard to get on Staten Island. I have heard Big Wong King does great duck. Also heard raves for Amazing 66, Congee Village, Oriental Garden, NY Noodletown, Hop Kee, Shanghai Cafe, Nice Green Bo etc. for their food. Please list the name of the restaurant and as much detail about the description of the dish as possible. But I will start off with some categories:

Best Overall Restaurant
Best Roast Duck, Pork, Chicken
Best Crispy Chicken
Best Noodle dishes
Best Lobster dish
Best Crab dish
Best Soup
Best Dumplings
Best Eggs Rolls
Best dessert
Best... Whatever your heart desires!!

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Amazing 66
66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

Big Wong
67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

Oriental Garden
14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. I am no expert here on this subject but I have found Lau's recommendations to be exceptionally good. Here is what I had recently.

    Xian Famous Foods - Lamb Noodles Cumin, Lamb Burger and Pork Burger -- note that you will need to eat the lamb noodles in one of the parks nearby as it is not easy to eat and walk with like the burger and the place is tiny so it is unlikely you will get standing room there...

    A-Wah - I loved the peking duck buns unlike Lau who found fault with them, but I did agree with his praise of the Bo Zai Fan (claypot rice)- Pork and Sausage - awesome dish - be generous with the soy sauce btw...I really liked the ginger flan they had for dessert too - great for hot weather.

    Mei Lei Wah - Cocunut Buns unbelieveably awesome.

    -----
    Xi'an Famous Foods
    88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    A-Wah
    5 Catherine St, New York, NY 10038

    1. Right now the current "must try" dish for me is the Muslim Lamb Chop served up in Flushing at Fu Run. Might even be enough for you and not found at Keens - yet!

      Best Cantonese BBQ Roast Pork: Big Wong King at 67 Mott ( NY Noodletown is a distant second as I think they cut their slices too large.)

      Best Won Ton Soups: New Chao Chao @111 Mott.

      Best Beef Noodle Soup: 88 Food Sing Corp. @ 2 East Broadway.

      Best Noodle Dishes: NY Noodletown and Yogee @ 85 Chrystie.

      Best Pan Fried Dumplings: Prosperity @ 46 Eldridge

      Best $5.25 Lunch found at Amazing 66 - some 65 items to choose from and it includes soup, rice and tea. Make sure to ask for their special lunch menu otherwise you get handed the more expensive regular menu.

      If you are seen entering Hop Kee you will be excommunicated from CH!

      Some threads that might be of interest:

      Best Chinatown Restaurant:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/531040

      Best Dumplings:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/525768
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6098...

      Favorites:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/540082

      Shanghai Café:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/583263

      Cantoon Garden (Have they changed their name?):
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5894...

      Amazing 66:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340879

      East Corner Wonton:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6113...

      -----
      Amazing 66
      66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      Big Wong
      67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      Yogee
      85 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

      2 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        Here's a photo of the Muslim Lamb Chop from Fu Run...

         
        1. re: scoopG

          Great thread! And now I understand that bank of cameras that just went up right outside Hop Kee.

          -----
          Hop Kee
          21 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        2. interesting thread.

          best Cantonese BBQ (Roast Duck, Char Siu, Roast Pork, etc): Yee Li. i still don't understand why people pay so little attention to this place. i grew up on canto bqq so I think i have some idea what i'm talking about!

          -----
          Yee Li
          1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

          1 Reply
          1. re: another_lau

            Did anything change when New Big Wang became Yee Li?

            -----
            Yee Li
            1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: bigjeff

                Wondering if mods can merge that part of the thread w/ this one? It'd be very helpful.

            1. noodles and soup i like noodletown (if we aren't including pho or ramen), dumplings-prosperity, soup dumplings-nan shian (flushing) I tried joe's shanghai in chinatown and it was a lot worse than the joe's shanghai in elmhurst which was the best i ever had but is closed now. my favorite comfort dish is a dish called gee oom gee pah it sounds something like that. its not on the menu of a lot of chinatown places but i think it's basically just salt and pepper pork chops. For duck, roast pork, and chicken my mom's favorite is big wong, make sure when you order roast pork you order it half lean\half fatty (boon fay boon sow in cantonese). for asian desserts i like kyotofu and spot. even though im half chinese and was basically brought up with food from asian bakeries i really cant stand any of the cakes from them. except maybe dan tot (egg custard), i like egg custard king because they have different flavors which is cool but their crust is too flaky to my liking. i personally would rather go to an asian grocery and buy from strawberry pocky sticks, a grass jelly drink, and mochi than get a pastry at an asian bakery. but if u do go to an asian bakery be sure to try bubble tea if u never had.

              1. I confess, I haven't spent much time in Manhattan Chinatown yet this year, but I enjoyed Amazing 66 when I tried it last year. And I've had some decent dumplings, some nice soups and some blah dim sum. And plenty of decent buns from bakeries.

                But so far, this year, the best thing I have eaten all year has been the Haus Bao at BaoHaus. (Is that a tautology?) It's spiced beef in a steamed bun and it's fantastic. The menu says "Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar", and I say divine! Totally nuts!

                The Chairman Bao is more traditionally red roast pork (char siu?), and also very good, and fantastically tender, but the time I had it it was a little fatty for my taste (I know that's part of the charm, but I like my pork lacquered and ropey.) I should try it again, but I can't stop ordering the Haus Bao, it's so good!

                http://www.baohausnyc.com/menu

                -----
                Amazing 66
                66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                1 Reply
                1. re: flower_puppy

                  i 2nd baohaus their pork buns are my favorite. the only thing i wasnt a big fan of was the vegetarian bun

                2. What? The best Chinese food is definitely * not * in Chinatown. For the best Chinese food north of Guang Dong (and that covers a large swath of China) you have to go to Flushing. I am a huge fan of Sichuan food. Nothing in the word is better than Sìchuān málà http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mala_sauce Good Sichuan eateries come and go in Flushing. The last great Sichuan place I knew about was a couple of blocks from the Queens Botanical Gardens on Main Street. However that closed up months ago. They had this incredible fish covered with ma la spices and tasted...incredible... You can find good Sichuan food in Flushing except they open and close down constantly so they won't be listed on Yelp or here. You'll have to go out there and do some exploring in food malls and basements where there are no signs in English.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: szechuancrazy

                    This is a common sentiment on this and the Outer Borough's boards, and all of the regular posters heartily agree. But since this is the Manhattan board we had to limit our comments accordingly.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Chime! szechuancrazy...real szechuan and hunan food is the best.

                    2. re: szechuancrazy

                      Chinatown has excellent Fujian cuisine - one of the eight great major cuisines of China. And old world Cantonese. What Sichuanese places in Flushing have come and gone BTW? Little Pepper, Spicy and Tasty and Szechuan Gourmet have been around awhile. In Manhattan, Szechuan Gourmet obviates the need to go to Flushing for great Sichuan food.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Szechuan Gourmet is much more expensive than the restaurants I go to in Flushing. I also have found the non-spicy items I've tried there to be uninteresting, and I frankly find their spicy items to sometimes be too aggressively spicy and oily for my taste, though undoubtedly authentically so (I felt the same way, even more so, about my one meal at Little Pepper). I have always preferred Spicy and Tasty because of the range of tasty dishes there, including non-spicy ones, because as much as I love spicy food (and I do have a high tolerance, just one with an eventual upper limit), it's sometimes good to have one or two non-spicy dishes as part of the meal, too.

                        1. re: Pan

                          As erica's grandmother says, that's why they have horse races! Midtown Manhattan rents are much higher than Flushing.

                    3. Grand Sichuan St. Marks Gui Zhou Spicy Chicken

                      1. Best dumplings: Super Taste on Eldridge. Though 99% of their menu is hand pulled noodles, their dumplings are head and shoulders above their other offerings and dumplings from other places.

                        -----
                        Super Taste
                        26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chompchomp

                          Props also must be given to thier Fujianese wonton soup proably the most interesting takes on wonton (and in my opinion one of the best) I have ever tasted.

                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                            With some sorrow I must report that, as of last wendsay whne I went and asked, Super Taste is no longer making the soup. Belgium!

                            -----
                            Super Taste
                            26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                        2. I'd love to know where I can find the best crabs in black bean sauce. Anyone have a favorite place for this dish?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: michele cindy

                            still wondering where I can find the best crabs cantonese, or crabs in black bean sauce.

                          2. A quick reply, which I may or may not add to later:

                            Great NY Noodletown is my favorite for Roast Duck.

                            So far, the best Soy Sauce Chicken I've had in Manhattan has been at Wing Shoon, but if you aren't Asian, you have to specifically ask for dark meat or you won't get it.

                            Best Crispy Chicken: Gotta go with the wonderful ones at South China Garden.

                            Best Soup: Depends on my mood. I like the Spicy Beef Stew Noodle Soup at Chow Chow, or whatever they're calling the place now - providing I add a good amount of lime juice to it (which they provide). I also like various soups at Bo Ky and Noodletown. I've found recently that Noodletown's wontons have overly old shrimp and should be avoided, though.

                            Best Dumplings: Gotta go with Dim Sum Go Go. (But don't get buns there; they've been overly doughy and soggy.) I haven't been to Chinatown Brasserie for maybe 3 years because it's too expensive, so I can't speak to their current quality, but I'm guessing they're probably still the best, if money is no object.

                            Best Overall Restaurant: I'm really not sure. It used to be Szechuan Gourmet, but I've liked them less in my last couple of visits. Maybe South China Garden, because they have a bunch of great dishes, although not everything is special there.

                            -----
                            South China Garden
                            22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                            Dim Sum Go Go
                            5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                            Wing Shoon
                            165 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

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

                            Chinatown Brasserie
                            380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: Pan

                              been to the new Bo Ky? you just go with any random soups that look good? have they improved their paper menu? I never know how to order there!

                                1. re: MVNYC

                                  Grand St., in the old Good Dumpling space.

                                  -----
                                  Grand Bo Ky
                                  216 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                                2. re: bigjeff

                                  Good point. No, I haven't been to the new location yet.

                                  I really do just get whatever soup I'm interested in. A typical order for me would be soups with different kinds of meatballs in them (cuttlefish balls, shrimp balls, fishballs) and fishcakes. If I want something else, their duck is good.

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    I usually do the same with the soups. Their hot sauce is excellent too, I think it has dried seafood in it. Also the pig intestine with pickled vegetables is pretty good.

                                    I do need to try the new location though

                                  2. re: bigjeff

                                    I tried the New Bo Ky on Grand. I got the Cambodian Noodle soup which I usually get and it tasted just as good. One of the better $5 meals in the city. That broth is really tasty.

                                    -----
                                    New Bo Ky
                                    80 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                      The old Bo Ky is still on Bayard St. Are the two locations exactly the same in terms of food, from what you can tell?

                                      1. re: Pan

                                        The menu was exactly the same but I only had the one soup. That dish, the Cambodian noodle soup was the same. Can't say for sure about the rest of the menu but the kitchen set up looked the same too.

                                        I used to work down by the courts and the Bayard Street location was a frequent haunt.

                                      2. re: MVNYC

                                        went to the new Bo Ky, it was tasty! well, I had a taste of the pho with ho fun (#17 with flat rice noodle); the broth was sorta one-dimensional but good in a brute force kind of way. good meats in the dac biet. the curry chicken over yellow egg noodles (#12) was also heavy and tasty in a good way and I had #1, teo chew with rice noodle which was my favorite; rice noodle with onion, bean sprouts and beef, topped with a very funky SE-asian sour fishy "bolognese" that was really good. served "dry" with some soup on the side that tasted like their pho broth but twice as flavorful in a bouillion-cube sort of way. we ordered by picture, but reading their menu, there is a lot of stuff that I should have got like pig intestine noodle soup, pig kidney platter and other stuff. country style mixed meat plate looked good too. this was a very pleasant meal; new place is vast improvement over old place. kitchen closes around 10-10:15pm. must work through entire menu somehow.

                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                          Vast improvement in terms of the place or the food?

                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                            Nice, glad you liked it. The pig intestine soup is pretty good, I like the pickled vegetables in it which work well with the meat. Another good hangover remedy

                                      3. re: Pan

                                        At the risk of promoting a simple vegetable dish to the top ranks of elaborate must-tries, I would recommend dou miao (pea shoot leaves) at Sichuan Gourmet @39 St.
                                        Yes, nothing inventive: this is a standard Chinese vegetable dish, and all decent restaurants have it on the menu.
                                        Yeah, braised: no wok hei, dripping with chicken stock at the bottom, somewhat salty, with a touch of hua jiao (that may be too much for some tastes). And the garlic is not crushed--a big no-no in the South.
                                        Well, quite expensive at $14 a plate: apologies to a few concerned board members. :)

                                        But the texture (silky leaves meeting springy stems), the chunky garlic, and the (almost superhuman) consistency of the rendition... In my personal biased opinion, easily the best on the whole Eastern seaboard +Toronto.

                                      4. BEST RIBS: Nancy Lee's PIG HEAVEN!!!! the very best!!! especially dipped in hot mustard!!!

                                        -----
                                        Nancy's Pig Heaven
                                        1540 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                        1. How about "Best Chinese restaurant @ 3 AM" Wo Hop, downstairs of course, 17 Mott St?
                                          I.M.H.O. the food is decent but they should charge extra for the show! Gypsies, undercover cops, hipsters, hippies, clubbers etc.. What an eyeful!!
                                          Back in the day when I drove a taxi I would stop @ Lin's Garden on Bayard St in the wee hours @ the end of my shift. They were open 24/7. Lin's Garden is long gone. Paul Simon sang of their Lin's Chow Fon. There was a special ingredient they used. I can't seem to find it anywhere else but I have not given up.
                                          Thanks for letting me share my fond memories.

                                          -----
                                          Wo Hop
                                          17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: Motosport

                                            I second that. In fact, I "discovered" Wo Hop back in the early sixties at about 3AM in serious need of a won ton soup fix. Sadly, the quality of the soup has slipped over the years, but if there is no line I'll make my way down the stairs for a bowl of it.

                                            -----
                                            Wo Hop
                                            17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                            1. re: Stuartmc910

                                              noodletown's wonton noodle soup. also available at 3am.

                                              1. re: daffyduck

                                                Was there a Noodle Town in 1963? Also their wontons contain shrimp. I don't eat seafood. Wo Hops are all pork. Also at age 75, I am not out at 3AM much anymore!!!!

                                                -----
                                                Wo Hop
                                                17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                                1. re: daffyduck

                                                  Doesn't Noodletown close at 3?

                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                    i think they close at 4. i'm usually too zooted to know what time it is. i think the restaurant 69 is 24 hours or until 6am (the one with the dollar bills all over the walls)

                                                    1. re: daffyduck

                                                      I don't think 69 is any better than Wo Hop.

                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                        I never said it was. i've only been to wo hop once (two years ago), I dont remember the food being any better or any worse than 69. I was just saying that 69 is another 24 hour option.
                                                        But I don't plan on going back to wo hop because of the attitude of the servers, at least the ones serving my table and the two around me. im half chinese and dont look chinese at all, but I can understand and speak cantonese. So I knew everything the servers were saying. I remember they made fun of a couple who asked for chopsticks and couldn't use them well and another table for beasting on a lot of food. I actually wouldn't care cause that's probably a good way to pass the time while waiting tables. But the mannerism in which they said these things really showcased that they dont like their clientele. This is probably true at most restaurants in chinatown but seeing and hearing it just makes things uncomfortable.

                                                        1. re: daffyduck

                                                          That sucks. For the record, though, I never plan on being dragged to either 69 or Wo Hop again, because the food is miserable.

                                                      2. re: daffyduck

                                                        There's at least one great off-menu sleeper at 69. I dropped in recently during a late-night staff meal and noticed the guys were eating an egg dish, among other things. So I ordered it to go. It was perfectly scrambled egg with lop cheung, bits of roast pig, scallions and maybe a bit of ginger. Really nice.

                                                        One of the waiters, the friendly bald guy, told me that one of the chefs nails this dish and another doesn't do it so well, so I'd ask before trying to order it.

                                                        -----
                                                        69 Chinese Restaurant
                                                        69 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                                        1. re: squid kun

                                                          the chicken wings are GREAT at 69.

                                                2. re: Motosport

                                                  The comment I made was not about the food but about the "sideshow" @ 3 AM. You don't go to Wo Hop (downstairs) if you are looking for fine Chinese dining.
                                                  I have never tried 69 or Noodletown. Are they just as entertaining?
                                                  Recently @ Wo Hop 3 AM a "family" of 10 Roma (gypsies) comes down the stairs with several 7 year old, or so, children. They all sit together @ the center table and enjoy a feast of just about everything on the menu while the kids play tag.
                                                  A true NY moment and we loved it.

                                                  -----
                                                  Wo Hop
                                                  17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                                  1. re: Motosport

                                                    After partying 'til the wee hours we decided to try 69 or Noodletown @3 AM. Both were packed and we decided on Noodletown because we had to wait @ 69.
                                                    The food was fabulous. We ordered duck rolls, mushroom and ?? soup, Szechuan shrimp and Chinese eggplant with ??. Sorry I don't remember all of it, 3 AM, you know.
                                                    BUT: The "sideshow" was not up to Wo Hop standards.

                                                    -----
                                                    Wo Hop
                                                    17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                                3. Short ribs in pumpkin - Amazing 66
                                                  Lamb with hand pulled noodles - Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                  Soup dumplings - Joe's Shanghai

                                                  1. Hot Chili Aromatic Pepper Salt Fish Fillet at Ollie's on 42nd Street. Never thought I could get excited about fried fish fillet, but this blends Sichuan peppercorns, chilis, ginger and scallions to make a dish we go back for.

                                                    1. I've been whining for many years since Lin's Garden on Bayard St shut down. I loved their Lin's Garden chow Fun which was unique.
                                                      I do my best to check out menus when I pass Chinese restaurants to see if they offer a similar dish. Last week I passed Phoenix Garden on E 40 ST and saw on their barely readable sun bleached menu: Chow Fun with black bean paste dry style. My taste buds perked up!! Could it be?
                                                      We tried Phoenix Garden Monday night and the Chow Fun was as close as I have had to Lin's in the last 30 years.
                                                      Otherwise, interesting varied menu and specials, nice ambience and great service. Check it out.
                                                      Next time we'll go with a larger group so we can mix and match a dozen entrees.

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

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                        Not to go too far off topic, but is this the same Phoenix Garden that used to be in the alleyway between Bowery and Elizabeth Street in Chinatown before a fire probably 20 years ago? I used to love their Fried Fresh Milk with Crabmeat -- which shows up on the current menu (on MenuPages, anyway).

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

                                                        1. re: CatoUWS

                                                          I couldn't say for sure. It looks like they could have been on 40 St for 20 years. Give them a call and find out. The manager is quite friendly and talkative.

                                                          1. re: CatoUWS

                                                            Well the 40th st does indeed serve the fried milk with crab, and that, (by Chinese standards) is a pretty unusual dish, so I'd say yes. I am also a fan of PG on most things (I don't like thier version of lo mein much, though)

                                                            1. re: CatoUWS

                                                              Yes, this is the same Phoenix Garden that used to be in the Bowery arcade. I haven't been to the "new" location for a few years, but the menu didn't change much in the move uptown.

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

                                                          2. Braised fish at Sezchuan Gourmet for the vegetarians. My pork eating friend would say the braised pork at Sezchuan Gourmet.

                                                            1. best Chinese Ive had in Manhattan is at Grand Sichuan at 2nd ave and 55th
                                                              Favorite dishes:
                                                              Double Tasted Sword Clam
                                                              Mung Bean Noodle with spicy and pepper sauce
                                                              Chendu Spicy Dumpling
                                                              Double Cooked Pork
                                                              Ma Po Tofu
                                                              Smoked Tea Duck
                                                              Pork Rib with cumin sauce
                                                              Gui Zhou Spicy Beef
                                                              Sliced Fish with red sauce soup (EASILY MY FAVORITE-MMM PEPPERCORN BURN!)
                                                              Sauteed Diced Lotus Roots With Spicy Sauce with spicy black bean sauce
                                                              Dry & Sauteed String Beans with minced pork
                                                              Sauteed Pea Shoots with fresh garlic
                                                              General Tso's Tofu
                                                              I dont really do "american" dishes here, but the orange beef and the moo shu is also very good.

                                                              Typically, I will do the spicy dumplings and the fish in red sauce-even if I finish the fish, I will take the sauce home and serve it with steamed chicken, shrimp etc.....

                                                              This is authentic Chinese food-atmosphere is so so and service can be hot or miss, but the food is really, really good.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                The cured pork with garlic shoots is also excellent (though in my personal note, it's even better at the St. Marks place branch)

                                                              2. Best douban yu (fish with chili bean sauce): Old Sichuan on Bayard between Mott and Elizabeth. Their version is the only one I've had in the city that had "zhen wei" (real taste) and was properly unsweet. Very good restaurant run by nice people.

                                                                -----
                                                                Old Sichuan
                                                                65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                1. Chengdu double-cooked pork at Famous Sichuan.

                                                                  (My thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything, who is right that Famous Sichuan's version is so much better than Szechuan Gourmet's version -- or, in my opinion, than anyone else's version, at least in Manhattan.)

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Famous Sichuan
                                                                  10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                  1. steakrules, did you you ever go out and try any of these places?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                      Unfortunately I have not but am really looking forward to going soon.

                                                                    2. One of my favorite dishes is the Chicken with Capsicam at Wu Liang Ye in midtown.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Wu Liang Ye
                                                                      36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                                      1. I'm finding this thread really useful. Would love some recent best of hit lists to check out, especially in Chinatown.

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sugartoof

                                                                          I'll try and start
                                                                          Best Dim Sum (general): Toss up between Grand Harmony (88 mott) and Oriental Garden (on Elizabeth, near the Chinatown Arcade Arch) Orinetal Garden is very small and (usually) quite quiet which may be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it (I personally relish having my dim sum in peace and silence).
                                                                          Best roast pork Bun (baked) : My vote goes for Chatham Square (the big one with the logo that looks like a cursive "H" thier hony roasted pork bun is extrememly well balaced. Other people favor both hop shing (formerly the other Chatham Square) or May May, both of whose are also good.
                                                                          Best sticky rice dumping (the fried kind not the kind wrapped in leaves) a little bakery on Mulberry (downtown side) near the park. Hon Cafe is a second, and has the advantage of also serving a very good Ginger Beef and Scallion Lo Mein (order it Hong Kong style)
                                                                          Best Pork Jerky: Lum Kee on Canal between Allen and whatever street Wing Shoon is on (Essex?)
                                                                          Best crab dish: And exception as this one ISN'T in Chinatown. My reccomendating is the Stir fried fresh milk with crab, which can be found at the Phoenix Garden in midtown (2nd and 40th)

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

                                                                          Chatham Square Restaurant
                                                                          6 Chatham Sq, New York, NY 10038

                                                                          Wing Shoon
                                                                          165 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                                                                          Oriental Garden
                                                                          14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                          Hon Cafe
                                                                          70 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                          Ling Kee
                                                                          42 Canal St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                          Grand Harmony
                                                                          98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                          Hop Shing
                                                                          9 Chatham Square, New York, NY 10038

                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                            If you mean May May on Pell (which was great, especially for zong zi), it closed in 2007.

                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                              Can't wait to try some of these out!!

                                                                              What does Hong Kong style lo mein at Hon Cafe mean?

                                                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                basically there are different types of noodles called "Lo" or "La" Mein in different areas. "Hong Kong Style" "lo mein is a very thin very yellow noodle, much thinner and yellower than the kind used for "Normal" Lo Mein. I suspect it is in fact the direct ancestor of the kind of noodle used for ramen (which has it's orgins in Lo Mein). It's also usually perpared differently. regular Lo mein is usally stir fried all together, so that the noodles absorb the sauce and everything is mixed together. With Hong kong style it's a bit more like the way noodles are usually treated in the west (such as in Italy); plain boiled noodles are put on the plate, and whatever you ordered as additions are put on top of them. You will also get a container/bowl of broth, which you then pour on the noodles, mixing the toppings and making a kind of noodle heavy soup (a lot like ramen, actually) what Hon will serve you is in fact a sort of hybrid, hong kong style noodles but still cooked like regular, so you wind up with a very powerfully flavored dish (the old now close 214 Grand street Gourmet did something similar).
                                                                                Speaking of Lo mein I forgot a warning. When and if you do go after the crab dish at Phoenix, do NOT order lo mein. Their version uses very fat, very white noodles (I think they are the kind of noodles that are supposed to be used to make Zha Jiang Mein (Noodles in Peking Sauce, or in minced meat sauce depending on whose doing the translation) and escew the normal soy based sauce in favor of just oil. It it stupefyingly bland and extremely unplesant. If you need a noodle starch there, takw the mai fun; the homestyle version isn't wonderful, but it is edible. Oh and if you legs are up to a medium length walk (and you don't mind taking food from two resturaunts). Our Evergreen, on 2nd and 48-49th makes an absolutely incredible winter melon and ham soup.

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                                                                                Our Evergreen
                                                                                913 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017

                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                  Thanks! I've always associated the thin noodles with California style Chow Mein, and the Ramen thick whiter noodles with Lo Mein, as sold in NY. I appreciate you sorting me out on it.

                                                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                    No prob. Incidentally the Grand Street Gourmet (the place I mentioned that closed, and served a similar dish) actually wouldn't have fit either of these classifications, as the noodles it used were more along the lines of fettuchine (flat but not so wide as a chow fun noodle) And no I do know if they were wheat or rice (with enough sauce, it's hard to tell).
                                                                                    I'd also love to give a rating for best Zha Jiang mein (the peking noodles I mentioned earler) and Xiamen, or as you will more often see it Ha Moon or Amoy Chow mai fun (sorta like house special or ten ingerdients mai fun, but usually without the beef and with large chunks of chinese pickled cabbage). But I can't. While I am very fond of both dishes, and have found many very good examples I am damned I I can remember which places had the good ones! Ditto my beloved rice cakes (not like our western ones, basically thick rice dough slice noodles, like the Phillipine putto (or visually, kreplach) with shredded pork and pickled cabbage. Lot of good ones don't remember whose were and were not (though I seem to recall the little hole in the wall pork chop shop on hester between baxter and mott did a good one. not the best but good. Happy Lucky on Bowery (between Grand and Hester, one one side or the other of Congee and Fu Wong (or whatever it is Fu Wong is calling itself now), where I lunched last week, did a pretty decent Xiamen. For a place that has really gotten lambasted in reviews, it's West Lake Beef Soup (like egg drop but with diced beef, cilantro and usally some other things like black mushrooms and such) is also suprisingly good. as for the Zha, If I recall while it may not have had the top performer those places around Bryant park the serve the dish (Evergreen, Dong Hai, Main Street Noodle and Heavenly Bamboo Pavillion) all did pretty good versions (Evergreen is also good at the rice cake/pickled cabbage dish) and Heavenly Bamboo makes a good West Lake (called minced beef egg soup on the menu). OH, now I remember! The Zha Jian Mein winner when I did the grand taste off was Woody Allen's(supposed) favorite Chinese haunt, Pig Heaven (givne that they stake thier rep on thier pork, so it's not all that suprising) the spare ribs there are also excellent, probably some of the best outside of Chinatown (I used to actually be in the camp that believed the Tang Pavillion did better, but ever since they changed owners and menus, thier pork has really slipped; the last order of ribs I got from them was postively incinerated!)
                                                                                    BTW, you want to keep this confined to Manhattan, or shoud I do reccomendations for Flushing as well?

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                                                                                    Nancy's Pig Heaven
                                                                                    1540 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                                                                    Dong Hai Grill
                                                                                    108 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

                                                                                    Evergreen
                                                                                    10 E 38th St, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                    Congee
                                                                                    98 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                    Tang Pavilion
                                                                                    65 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                    Heavenly Bamboo Pavilion
                                                                                    10 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                    Main Noodle House
                                                                                    1011 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                                                                                    Happy Lucky
                                                                                    96 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                      When did Tang Pavilion change owners? They were the same the last time we were there, less than 2 months ago.

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                                                                                      Tang Pavilion
                                                                                      65 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        This was a while back, around when the takeout menus stopped using the picture of the temple in favor of the one of the leaves. And to be fair I don't know definitvely that they changed owners. I often use the term "changed owners" to cover things like "changed chefs", "chef has lost his edge" etc. I tend to think it more polite to assume new ownership than "staff has stopped caring".

                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                          This is a reastaurant we have loved for years and years, I truly hope that was just an off day. The only thing i noticed was that the chicken in the chicken with yellow leeks was a bit sloppily cut the last time we were there, but everything else seemed the same. (Incidentally we have only ever eaten in, never taken out.)

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            Few more Manhattan reccomendations.

                                                                                            Full House Cafe on Bowery (basically across the street from Happy Lucky where I did the reccomendations earlier. Two of the appetizers/dim sum are worth reccomendation. First they do a very good shrimp chive cake. The secon is the thing marked sausage bun, or chinese sausage dumpling or something like that. This is not in fact a bun. It's actually closer to a pan fried glutinous rice roll or crepe, studded with fragments of lap cheong. It's certainly different from a lot of the workaday dim sum offerings, and actually pretty tasty.

                                                                                            I'm not sure if this second one(which I discovered today) counts as an "ultimate" dish, simply becuse in my book, an ultimate requires there exist in your mind some "runner up" to compare it to (i.e. if there is no second best, then being the first really doesn't mean much). Eariler in the thread I lamented the fact that Super taste had stopped making the Fujian Wonton Soup I loved so much and that with this decision, the dish had dissapeared from Chinatown. Well today I found somewhere else that does it. Tasty Hand-Pulled noodle (the little hole in the wall at 1 Doyers, across from the post office). thier broth is nowhere near as fine as the five spiced version super taste did, but the fujian wontons themselves were equivalent. And they also offer a non opener version where they combine it with their hand pulled/knife cut/etc. noodles, for those that want to try both.

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                                                                                            Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
                                                                                            1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                            Full House Cafe
                                                                                            97 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                            Happy Lucky
                                                                                            96 Bowery, New York, NY 10013