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Apr 19, 2011 01:03 PM

Advice for walking/noshing through Chinatown

Was hoping to get some advice on eating through Chinatown this weekend. I'm looking to walk and eat at the same time so looking for portable food. I've got either Prosperity or Vanessa's for dumplings. Was thinking of hitting Xian Famous Foods but need some recs on what to eat? Hoping to throw in a banh mi somewhere in the vicinity and some grocery shopping, I normally hit Kam Man but that seems to be off to the other side of Bowery and I'm not sure my partner in crime will be as accomodating on wandering all over Chinatown.

Anything else that I should be looking for?

Thanks for the advice!

Kam Man
200 Canal St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. get your bahn mi at bahn mi saigon on grand. i get a #1 spicy

      1. re: kathryn

        I think best dumplings are at Tasty Dumpling on Mulberry. 5 for $1.25

        Tasty Dumpling
        54 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: AubWah

          Dumplings at He Nan Flavors may be worth a try, especially boiled dumplings. I ordered from them quite a few times (although at their Queens location) and they were great.

          He Nan Flavor
          68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

        2. re: kathryn

          Kathryn, thanks for the link to scoopg's tour, that is perfect. With a few adjustments, it's what I was looking for.

        3. Xian's act is wearing thin. They use MSG in their soup, and I don't appreciate it. Head to nearby Henan on Forsythe instead and opt for the #1, inhaling the pure lamb goodness in every spoonful. If you want the "pork burger" Henan's got a better version of that too. They call it a pancake

          He Nan Flavor
          68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

          5 Replies
          1. re: AubWah

            Thanks for the tip about Henan. Looks promising hopefully. Is Banh Mi Saigon the one in the back of a jewelry shop?

            Banh Mi Saigon
            198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

            1. re: AubWah

              If I were a betting man I would say Henan uses MSG as well.

              1. re: MVNYC

                Have you had a bad reaction there?

                1. re: squid kun

                  Not at all, but I would imagine most places use MSG. For the record I fall on the side of believing the MSG reaction to be a myth.

                  1. re: MVNYC

                    For better or worse, most Chinese, Hmong, and I think Vietnamese restaurants and cooks use MSG. It's a traditional ingredient that enhances flavor. I don't think that reacting to it is a myth, as I am one who does, but I just decide to feel crummy now and then for deliciousness.

            2. The best bahn mi in chinatown is on Lafayette a block south of canal on the east side of the street. place has a yellow awning and mostly sells tapes, cds, lotto, and cigarettes. get a number 11. it is awesome.

              Sau Voi
              101 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

              1 Reply
              1. re: nmprisons

                which one is the #11? I have tried a few other sandwiches there and been unimpressed. Bahn Mi So 1 on Broome is still the king in my book

                Saigon Banh Mi 1
                369 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

              2. Does anyone have a recommendation for a great bakery that does "Old Wives Cakes" really well? Light flaky, shattering pastry surrounding a tender, slightly chewy, not too sweet filling of winter melon paste? I miss going to Hang Heung in Hong Kong and hoping to get a bit of nostalgia in.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bdachow

                  Lau, an esteemed poster here, has recommend Ka Wah bakery in the past for wife cake:

                  Ka Wah Bakery
                  9 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                  1. re: bdachow

                    There's a bakery (sorry I don't remember the name) right at the Grand street B/D station on the corner with the fruit stand and sort of across the street from Nam Son. The outside is flaky and the filling that's inside has that distinctive chewy yet springy texture that a good wife cake should have.

                    Nam Son
                    245 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

                    New Wing Wah
                    246 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

                    1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                      Thanks very much for the advice. I tried Ka Wah yesterday and have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the wife cake there. The pastry just wasn't flaky enough and I found the filling to be a bit more chewy than I like. The mini egg tarts were fabulous though.