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Oct 7, 2010 09:40 PM

Favorite Chinese places in Chinatown? Not bakeries, not dim-sum, not Thai/Burmese/Fusion

I keep striking out in Chinatown, walking into places that look alright on the outside, but ending up with uninspired, same-old same-old faux American overly salty, otherwise flavorless, too greasy Chinese food for the most part.

So - what are your favorite Chinese places in Chinatown?
I'm already covered on bakeries, Dim Sum, and other Asian (Vietnamese/ Thai/ Burmese/ Japanese/ Korean, and mixed - i.e. Sakura), and just looking for Chinese places in Chinatown. Preference for cheaper places, but okay with a few higher end places as well (just indicate that they're higher priced).


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  1. If I ever go into Chinatown during the day or reg hrs (if late night after bars, its David's Mai Lah Wah), I try and go to Sang Kee and Wing Wong (across from David's). Both my friend and I did a Chinatown restaurant review a couple years back on almost all the restaurants down there and those two came up on top.

    Both are cheap and I consider them pretty good and not too americanized in both taste and selection.

    Shao Lan Kung was also up there too, but I was told the main cook there passed away and food hasn't been the same since.

    6 Replies
    1. re: paychecktoday

      the food dipped for a little bit at shiao lan kung, but it is v close to how good it used to be and it is still my number one (though sang kee is great too) biggest complaint since the old chef passed is that they don't stay open until three on the weekends anymore. :)

      andrewlee - what were your conclusions on the top bakeries and dim sum joints (esp the dim sum)?

      1. re: mazza3

        Mazza3 - Apologies - on DimSum I simply wasn't looking for any. Hit DimSum in NYC with friends, and not usually in the mood for DimSum without a large group here, so I was simply looking for non-DimSum places. I think I've seen a number of other posts here on DimSum though...

        Bakeries - almost too many to mention. On the attributes - Price - pretty much all the same.
        Then atmosphere (yeah, right - not a consideration). Staff, quality/amount of filling in steamed pork bun, quality/amount of filling in other items.

        I'm pretty content with Bread Top House NE corner of 11th and Race -- friendly family, will engage you in English, and more welcoming than some of the others.

        oops.Gotta run. More later.

        1. re: andrewlee

          all good! yeah, there are definitely a lot of dim sum posts on here, i just wanted another perspective. :) thanks for your bakery observation though......

      2. re: paychecktoday

        do you mean Wong Wong? We love that place. 9th and race. love their salt baked squid, wonton soup, and hong kong noodles with pork and duck.

        1. re: rocknroll52

          yeah whatever the place is across from david's. that place is awsome, and funny you mentioned those three items from the menu. that is what i always get when i go there.

          my friend and I did a tour of chinatown and based them all off of their salt baked squid and hk wonton noodle soups. Wong wong came in 1st for my friend in the sbs dept, while my fave was at sang kee. lee how fook's sbs came in second in both of our lists. and we both had shao lan kung's hk wonton noodle soup as the best, with wing wong's 2nd in both lists.

          if anyone wants to know anything about chinatown or viet food, lemme know.

          1. re: rocknroll52

            Wong Wong - yup - their salt baked squid are really good, as is the duck!

        2. Have you tried Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House at 927 Race St?

          1 Reply
          1. re: scoopG

            I second hand drawn noodle.... but you gotta be looking for either soups or lots of noodles to go there. I went there and was practically comatose from the food afterwards (in a good way)

          2. for Chinese in Chinatown I like Lee How Fook & Szechuan Tasty House. David's Mai Lai Wah is pretty good, too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jessicheese

              Szechuan Tasty House is my favorite lunch spot in Chinatown.

              1. re: jessicheese

                How long has it been since you were at Lee How Fook ? They changed chefs many months back and had lost their stride badly. Would be super if they have returned to greatness again.

              2. I would say Four Rivers rates high- great pork, veggie, seafood, appetizers, really everything.

                1. I fancy Ken's Seafood for the just-killed items (I'd make a meal of scallops in the shell with XO sauce and nothing more), and also Dim Sum Garden, which isn't really a dim sum place and hence deserves a place on your list. Horrible decor, great food. My go--to for soup dumplings, and I love the hand-cut noodles in a five-spice heavy brisket gravy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nwinkler

                    agree 100% with Dim Sum Garden's soup dumplings and Szechuan Tasty House for pretty much everything.