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Jewish Xmas Meal in Chinatown .

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We are a party of 8 with 4 adults and 4 kids age 5-14. Not going to NY Noodletown or Big Wong because we need somewhere we can hangout a little and not be too cramped. after doing some research I am looking at Jing Fong . Am I making a mistake or does that fit the bill for us? Thanks

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Big Wong
67 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

Jing Fong
18 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. Jing fong is dim sum, so it is good for hanging out. There ae dishes, bigger, that can be ordered. On this board, JF doesn't get much love (use search) but it has its purposes - including carts, hanging out.

    Also, I've found it's more enjoyable to go to CTown early on Xmas (noon or 1pm) - less crowded.

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    Jing Fong
    18 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

    1. Jing Fong, due to its sheer large size is a good choice......hanging out, depending what that exactly means may be reasonable or not. Lingering at the table after the meal may fall into the unreasonable category. If you plan on dim sum, once you are finished, they will attempt to turn over the table on arguably the busiest day of the year. If you plan on a dinner, they are more apt to be accommodating to your leisurely desire.

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      Jing Fong
      18 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

      1. 88 Palace for us tomorrow!!! We love the Dim Sum assortment!! Happy Hanukkah!!

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        88 Palace
        88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

        1. By hanging out I mean just not 30 mins in and out. Not going to linger but dont want to be so rushed either. Totally get that its rude to take up a table when people are waiting a wouldn't do that. i also have the issue of my family doesnt eat pork or seafood so thinking dim sum is maybe not the right choice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: beeenie

            Can anyone attest to how busy the C-town restaurants are on Christmas?

            thanks in advance!

            1. re: deabot

              I think no pork/seafood is an issue unless they just don't like giant pieces of these. Seafood and pork are used in small "seasoning" amounts in much Chinese food.

              Exception would be the vegetarian dim sum places (use search) but 1) based on one meal, not so great, I think; and 2) probably have lots of people tomorrow so not lingering - even 30min.

              1. re: deabot

                Deabot, It depends when you go, but it's manageable. Some popular places will have a line with a short wait, upwards of a half hour. Some places will be empty enough that they'll seat you right away. The turn over on tables is high.

              2. re: beeenie

                How do they feel about things cooked in lard? If you really want to avoid any pork products, you might not be going to the right place.

                Also, if you're going tomorrow (technically, later today), I highly recommend you show up as early as possible. A Google search seems to show that they open at 9:30 AM. On Christmas Day, I strongly recommend that you show up at 10:30 or earlier.

              3. Thoughts on Golden Unicorn? Not as good as Jing Fong?

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                Golden Unicorn
                18 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                Jing Fong
                18 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                1. Thanks for replies. Wound up at Cantoon Garden which now has a different name.Arrived at about 4:00 and our party of eight was seated right away. Place was half empty at that time. Service was fine, was really disappointed with the food. Cant go into too much detail but soup was awful, sent back....ordered sizzling steak which was tough and flavorless. crispy chicken was just ok, Kids really liked chicken with broccoli and i liked the salt baked squid but overall below average meal. Only positive was we didnt feel rushed. Oh well hopefully we pick a better place next year.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: beeenie

                    Unfortunately, what you described is pretty typical of all the Chinatown places, even some of the better reviewed ones. I don't doubt you can get a meal of a lifetime down there, but it's a roulette of what chef is working, and how fresh and what quality ingredients they have to work with.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      Only if you do not know what to order.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Exactly. If you are ordering chicken with broccoli type dishes you may be disappointed. many places have vast menus to accommodate everyone but that does not mean it will all be revelatory. You still need to order specific strengths from the menu

                        1. re: scoopG

                          Hear, hear.

                          1. re: scoopG

                            If it's on the menu they should be able to execute it, and in this case the poster ordered some specialties.

                            The freshness and quality of ingredients should shine through despite it being a specialty or not.

                            There's no consistent 99% of the time good meals to be had in Chinatown. It's hit or miss.

                            Feel free to disagree with that assessment with a suggestion of a place that's always a home run.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              If it's on the menu they should be able to execute it,

                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                              Just because the a patron orders a dish in a restaurant and does not like it does not mean it was not executed properly by the kitchen.....sometimes you just order the wrong dish that does not agree with you on a personal level.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                "sometimes you just order the wrong dish that does not agree with you on a personal level."......

                                and sometimes it's an off night and the food is just bad. a dish you love, at the very same establishment.

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  true.....and sometimes, maybe it was done that way on purpose for your personal experience..

                              2. re: sugartoof

                                I don't think it's a matter of consistency, but more relates to the restaurant's expectation of what the customer wants. For example, in the case of restaurants running a two menu system (which typically has more non-Chinese customers than Chinese), the Americanized menu is often total garbage according to my tastes, while the Chinese menu items can be quite good. At a place like South China Garden f.k.a. Cantoon Garden (and formerly f.k.a. New Pearl River) I don't know whether it's a similar situation or perhaps they plain don't know how to make the less authentic dish.

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

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  That would be nice in principle but unfortunately these are places of business and they need to make money. There is a large contingent of people who expect Americanized Chinese food and they will go to these places expecting it. The chefs at these places will create these dishes for the customers that want them but they are basically "dumbed down".

                                  Besides that I would say that most restaurants have some dishes that are better than others.

                            2. re: beeenie

                              Sorry to hear about your experience at Cantoon Garden. I had a feeling you might have been looking for a little more Americanized Chinese food but this place is pretty much the best Chinatown has to offer. You might be able to check out Peking Duck House or Oriental Garden next time.. They are not bad either. I think Peking Duck House will be less likely to rush you where Oriental Garden might be more likely because they have a smaller store front. Wish you good luck next time!

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                              Oriental Garden
                              14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

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

                              1. re: beeenie

                                What kind of soup did you order? I've had several meals at Cantoon/South China Garden, all of them at least very good. Did you get the fried chicken with garlic? What kind of crispy chicken was it? I find theirs the very best in Chinatown.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  If it was the freebie soup, I love it, but the appearance can be a bit offputting. Agree about their crispy chicken being best, garlic or no.

                              2. As Chandavkl has said, all bets are off when American-Chinese food is ordered in Chinatown. Plain and simple, you ordered wrong.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6795...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: scoopG

                                  I have been to Cantoon Garden many many times. Downstairs, organized private parties upstairs, over some years. And I order "right." And they know me. And it is NOT consistently good.

                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                    I can understand for attending an organized private party.......but why downstairs If it's not good......why still go there?

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      I didn't say it's not good. I said it's not CONSISTENTLY good. I have many good meals there, and some not so good.

                                      For example I am in love with their soft shell crabs preparation. I have been known to go there and order two orders of them for myself. But then one time the same dish was just badly done.

                                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                                        Gotcha.....

                                    2. re: gutsofsteel

                                      Cook's night off, probably. I remember going there once and thought the place had changed hands, the food was so unremarkable. Next time it was fine.