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Hunan Manor: real Hunanese in Murray Hill?

Some Chinese news: Hunan House in Flushing ( http://www.chow.com/restaurants/50064... ), a big favorite around here ( http://www.chow.com/digest/7642/in-fl... ), just opened a branch called Hunan Manor on Lexington near 39th. Didn't try it but took a menu, which includes authentic dishes.

Hunan House confirms the opening on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hunan-H... ). Chinese-literate hounds can read all about it in the World Journal ( http://nyyp.worldjournal.com/view/ful... ). Looking forward to fish head with mashed peppers in Murray Hill!

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Hunan Manor
339 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

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  1. wow very interesting. a real hunan restaurant in murray hill would be revelatory

    1. Thanks squid kun, closed today and tomorrow but a welcome addition indeed!

      1. wow this would be awesome, thanks for the heads up!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lau

          we should organize a chowhound dinner here

        2. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! This is the best news in ages. Thanks for pointing it out.

          1. I passed it the other day and wondered what it was like. The spot used to be a Thai restaurant. Look forward to trying this new place. Recommendations???

            12 Replies
            1. re: comiendosiempre

              Same owner (Alan Li) so I assume he has the same menu as his Flushing Hunan House. Here's the OB thread on HH that might give you some ideas:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/612697

              1. re: scoopG

                i ate here last week. it actually was pretty terrible. i much prefer mapo tofu across the street.

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                Mapo Tofu
                338 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                  1. re: jon

                    Terrible? Why was that? Can you compare it to other Sichuan restaurants you've been to?

                    1. re: jon

                      I think it's unfair to expect a Hunan restaurant to excel at Sichuan dishes as your response seems to imply (something akin to expecting a French restaurant serve great Spanish food). However, I'm also curious about what dishes you actually tried.

                      1. re: Cheeryvisage

                        apologies for conflating the two cousines, but considering that the menu for mapo tofu and hunan house are nearly identical, down to the same pictures, font, and menu items on both of their menus, we actually thought we had walked in to a standard chinese restaurant just trying to catch the overflow lunch crowds from mapo tofu by offering the same food.

                        in any event, i had ordered shredded beef with spicy green peppers and what they brought out instead was pepper steak with onions, which was a gloppy starch-ified mess. my pal's chicken with spring onion was no better. in addition, the soup dumplings were gummy and off-tasting and didn't even contain any soup. add to that very very slow service and a lunch menu which, for some reason is $7 on the takeout menu but $8.95 on their in-house menu (again, mimicking mapo tofu for price), and this was disappointing, not that i was really expecting much to begin with, especially since i did not know the lineage of the restaurant.

                        perhaps we ordered wrong and perhaps you can't make assumptions based on a set lunch menu, but frankly, based on our two dishes and the subpar and frankly embarrassing soup dumplings, i wouldn't go back.

                        1. re: jon

                          Wow, they do sound awful. I generally find if you order things from Chinese restaurants that are not of their regional specialty, all bets are off in terms of the tastiness of the dishes.

                          But, both shredded beef with green chili peppers and chicken with spring onion sound like general "pan-China" dishes. Any place worth their salt should be able to serve up their own interpretation of these dishes with decent results. It's strange that an off-shoot location of a well regarded restaurant messed them up so badly.

                          I'd forgive them on the soup dumplings though, not at all "Hunan" or "pan-China". This is a Shanghai specialty dish.

                          1. re: Cheeryvisage

                            If Hunan Manor is anything like Hunan House in Flushing (both owned by Alan Li) there are no pan-Asian, American-Chinese or non Hunan dishes on the menu. That said, the special lunch menu might cater to a quick-bite midtown crowd.

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                            Hunan Manor
                            339 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                          2. re: jon

                            Stopped in and this place is the real deal Hunan - in Manhattan anyway. And the menu is not "nearly identical" to Mapo Tofu across the street. Mapo Tofu's menu is actually much more extensive.

                            The owners are connected by family to Alan Li's Hunan House in Flushing. Alan's sister (Diana) and cousin (Nancy Xiao) are behind the till here.

                            They only opened on August 16th. I did notice that yes, there do seem to be some dishes with two different prices on the in-house vs take-out menu as well as different wording.

                            And jon - soup dumplings can vary widely. Different Chinese cuisines seem to offer their own versions (Henan, Fujian) without any soup!

                            Will be back here ASAP to check it out in more detail - and I suggest avoiding the set lunch menu and order instead off the main menu. Perhaps at lunch they want to cater to the select office workers, main dish lunch crowd: #19 please, then choose: soup or soda or egg roll.

                            1. re: scoopG

                              no offense, but what is a soup dumpling without any soup?

                              what did you end up getting and what do you recommend?

                              1. re: jon

                                These dishes can easily morph into something different when they leave the home province. Henan Fengwei claims that American pork is so much leaner than Chinese pork and that's why their dumplings have so little soup. Amazing 66 in Chinatown does a Cantonese version of Kung Pao Chicken that has celery in it - a sacrilege to a Sichuan purist. At HM I had Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork. Am returning with a larger group and will report more fully later!

                          3. re: Cheeryvisage

                            I beg to differ. Beef shred with hot green pepper is as authentic as it gets. The problem was is that it was somehow replaced with a generic pan-Gaean dish (pepper steak) of unknown quality.