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Recommend a trendy or upscale family style Asian restaurant in Midtown?

We have a special occasion in Mid-town and were looking for a restaurant to accomodate a party of 16, where we'd like to serve family style Asian food. I am hoping it can be a lively place, but not terribly expensive. Asian Fusion, traditional Chinese...doesn't matter.

We're from Seattle, so we're sort of shooting in the dark. Any restaurants come to mind?

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  1. Do a search for Koreatown or Korea town and you'll find some options that suit large groups.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chow_gal

      Are there any K-Town restaurants that are really trendy or upscale?

      1. re: kathryn

        Not 'upscale' but Mad for Chicken is trendy. And i love it!

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        Mono+Mono
        314 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001

        1. re: chow_gal

          just want to say that has to be the worst name change ever in the history of places changing their names.

          that said, i wonder if they could accommodate 16 people - i dont know that they could

          1. re: chow_gal

            Mad for Chicken or any of those fried chicken places wouldn't be good for what sounds like an informal banquet.

      2. If you're looking for something similar to Wild Ginger in Seattle, perhaps Buddakan downtown - decent food, fusion, lively, big enough for 16, not terribly expensive.

        Can't think of any place midtown, except Ruby Foo's which I haven't tried (not sure if it's known for its food). For traditional Chinese in more modest surroundings, search Szechuan Gourmet, Wa Jeal or Peking Duck House on this board.

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        Buddakan
        75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

        Ruby Foo's
        1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

        Peking Duck House
        28 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        Wild Ginger
        380 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

        Wa Jeal
        1588 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

        1. I should also say that the folks we are celebrating with are from Alabama...not a lot of exposure to true asian food, as us Seattle-ites (and you New Yorkers :-) ) have been blessed with. Case in point, they love PF Changs and consider that upscale and exotic. So something along those lines would be appropriate for this function.

          The Korean suggestion is a good one. A little familiarity with the BBQ aspect, but also still stretching their idea of safe asian food. Any specific recommendations?

          2 Replies
          1. re: kgreig

            Madangsui is good Korean BBQ but is not upscale or trendy. They do handle large groups pretty well, but the service can be brusque and you may feel as if you are being rushed in and out.

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            Madangsui
            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

            1. re: kgreig

              How about Chin Chin? It's very much "PF Chang"-ish but more upscale. You might have to call ahead to confirm if they can take 16 people but from what I remember it's not a small restaurant so it should be do-able if they combine a few tables together.

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              Chin Chin
              216 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

            2. Only five blocks from midtown, SG might fit the bill:

              Szechuan Gourmet:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/459240

              http://events.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/...

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

              1. While I've never been inside it, it seems to me that Mr. K's fits your upscale version of PF Changs.

                mrksny.com

                It's right in "midtown" at 51st and lexington

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                Mr. K's
                570 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022

                1. Asia De Cuba but that would be a bit pricey. I would recommend Won Jo for a great Korean barbeque meal with many options for fish as well. Study up on what to order prior to your arrival and when you get there order soju rounds for the whole table-that should make for a fun time! Call ahead and reserve table for 16 upstairs-

                  1. I'm not sure if it's too pricey or far from where you are but I took my parents to China Grill and they were quite happy. Also, Tao might be an option but I'm not a big fan of their food.

                    If you're considering Korean.... now you're talking! I love Madangsui but the last time I went on a Friday night, it was a little crazy with a lot of people milling about in or near the entry way waiting for a table. Korean restaurants are not the best at running reservations and big groups. There might be a Korean restaurant in Ktown that has private rooms for larger groups. Another place that I would recommend as "trendy" in Ktown is Don's Bogam. The specialty there is wine-marinated pork but they have other meat for barbeque and a longer wine list than what you would typically find in a Korean restaurant. Whatever you do, don't go to Kun Jip and call ahead to any of these places to make sure they can handle 16 people.

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                    Madangsui
                    35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

                    Don's Bogam
                    17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

                    China Grill
                    60 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                    Tao
                    42 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: casskous

                      I love Madangsui, but I agree that Don's Bogam is a little more trendy/upscale than Madangsui. And their BBQ is very good too.

                      For generic Asian fusion, there are Buddakan and Spice Market, both in Chelsea, a quick cab ride from Midtown. Pretty trendy, beginner-friendly menus. Don't go to Tao or Mr. Chow for any reason!

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                      Buddakan
                      75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                      Madangsui
                      35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

                      Don's Bogam
                      17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

                      Spice Market
                      403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

                    2. Wow, so many great responses, thank you so much! I am going to research them all for sure. FM1963 hit it right on the head about the atmosphere I was hoping for, as Wild Ginger in Seattle. I will do some research and let y'all know! Thank you thank you thank you!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kgreig

                        Mr K's on Lexington has an upscale atmosphere and they can accomodate large groups. It's basically high quality Cantonese style food and a bit pricey for my tastes. I like the hole in the wall Chinatown joints but would reccomend Mr K's for your party of 16.

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                        Mr K's Restaurant
                        570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022