My Chinatown Dilemma
I don't live in NY, but visit very often, many times with a friend or relative in tow seeking the "real NY experience". Invariably, we end up in Chinatown for dinner. My wife's favorite Malaysian place on Mott street is no more, so we end up in a random restaurant and wing it. I am a Wo Hop fan but my wife refuses to go there any more.
So, my question is: Which restaurant in Chinatown do you take an out-of-town guest and what do you order there?
well depends how many people you're going with
if you're going with 4 or more people then i'd recommend south china garden, which i think is the best restaurant in chinatown: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/750220
if you're with less people NY noodletown is a decent option. i'd stick the following dishes: shrimp wonton noodle soup with cha siu (roast pork), salt-baked squid and any of the flowering chive dishes
Noodle Village is also a decent option (i'm going to write a post on it soon, which will be much more descriptive)
given that you sound less adventurous, i think these places would be good, the other places i'd recommend you might find weird, but if you want them. It'd be new chao chow and old sichuan. I can give you specific dish recs at any of the places if you want
The aforementioned South China Garden is my favorite Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown, but it's a banquet restaurant, so I think to really get a great experience there, you probably need at least 5 people.
Otherwise, my go-to places would include Noodle Village (caveat: I've been there only once so far, but I liked it a lot) and Great NY Noodletown. By the way, I hate Wo-Hop, but I find that people who like Wo Hop usually like Noodletown, which, with the exception of the often overly old wontons and shrimp dumplings, does Cantonese food the right way. Their roast duck is great and, along with Wing Huang's, the best I've had in Chinatown.
South China Garden
22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
As with the opening post my wife HATES Wo Hop. I love it. Since marrying her 11 years ago I think i've only been there two times with her. She likes NY Noodletown which I thing is overrated. Their soups are always lukewarm and their main dishes all have the same flavor. (Disclaimer: we don't eat offal or other current trendy in meats, seafood, etc.).
The only time I've been able to go to WH is the few times I was called for jury duty. However, I've reached the age where they don't call me. Oh well, perhaps I'll need a "boys' night out" and go there by myself.
17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
What do you mean by all the main dishes having the same flavor? I don't get that. The dishes with Chinese chives taste the same as those with pea shoots, and those taste the same as the barbecued items and the salt-baked items, etc., etc.?
(Aside: There's no age that's too old to be called for jury duty.)
East Corner Wonton:
Great New York Noodletown:
Other restaurants worth a visit:
Big Wong King at 67 Mott Street, 10013.
Fuleen Seafood at 11 Division Street, 10002.
New Chao Chao at 111 Mott Street, 10013.
Yogee Restaurant at 85 Chrystie Street, 10002.
Yummy Noodles at 44 Bowery, 10013.