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Apr 21, 2012 08:02 PM

Is Congee inc on bowery good cheap fare in chinatown?

I've just been back and the food still is pretty good. My friends and family style of butterfish, which is in a black beans and sauteed onions (chow chung yuh), snow pea leaf with 3 kinds of eggs (sam don shong tong dou mei), congee of course, special garlic chicken (sung houng gai), gold yolk crab, and sauteed razor clam (see jie doo heen). Pretty decent serving sizes and free soup for starters and sweet soup (dessert in end of meal).

Any other good cheap and family oriented Chinese places and anything else I should try next time I go back?

Will try to post pics on yelp as my friend took the pics, not me.

Congee Inc
98 Bowery St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. I haven't eaten in there for a few years but did get takeout within the past couple of years, and the food has always been good. One thing that disappointed me is that there was never duck on the menu, but as you say, their house special chicken with garlic was always good.

    When you say family-oriented restaurants, would you exclude Great NY Noodletown because its bathrooms are filthy? Because in terms of clientele, almost any restaurant in Chinatown is family-oriented. And except for the bathrooms, I recommend Noodletown, and when you go there, try their congee, which is thicker than the style at Congee, and also the unrelated Congee Village, which also has other worthwhile dishes. I haven't been to Noodle Village lately (a low carb meal there is pretty much impossible), but I had one or two very good meals there. But there are many other places. Some of the restaurants on Grand St. (which I never remember the name of) have some very good dishes. And if you are interested in Sichuan food, Famous Sichuan on Pell St. is quite good.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      Thanks Pan for the heads up. Yea your right, NY noodle town does have some thicker congee but I think they use too much MSG. I tried Famous SIchuan and it was pretty good, Your right about the bathrooms especially at most chinese restaurants. I find that Congee village has lost a couple steps since a couple years ago.

      1. re: smiley4life25

        Interesting. I've been getting takeout and delivery from Congee Village recently, and it seems the same to me. In which dishes have you found a dropoff in quality?

        About MSG: It's never bothered me, and I don't really notice it as a separate taste.

        1. re: Pan

          Congee Village is one of my favorites for delivery, but my last order of steamed crab pot in country style was underwhelming - the crabs were fine, but the sauce was thin and skimpy, not enough tofu (or whatever that stuff is). I hope it was an anomaly.

          1. re: small h

            It might have been. I've gotten delivery several times in the last few weeks and haven't had any complaints except that some of the seafood in the mixed seafood and fried tofu casserole could have been a bit fresher.

            1. re: Pan

              That's heartening. Because I had to X Buddha Bodai after three lousy meals in a row, and then 456 got all popular and stopped delivering to me, so I would be very distressed to lose Congee Village. I love that seafood casserole. And the bean curd with seafood royal style, which is kind of like baby food (in a good way).

              1. re: small h

                Yea, I agree with you guys about congee village. I went with some friends recently and the seafood casserole could have been fresher but not too bad. Service could have been better as we felt we were ignored at times. We also ate the razor clams and some crab and we felt the flavor could have been better.

    2. Bitter melon and spare rib casserole and salt fish fried rice were both very good. Also watercress with furu.

      1 Reply
      1. re: swannee

        Yes swanee, those are pretty good. The salt fish fried rice is a pretty good portion and not too expensive. I've been eating here often as its pretty close to me and not too expensive and portion sizes pretty great. I would say most of the vegetable dishes are pretty good as I either eat the watercress or snow pea leaf in broth. I've been noticing during the weekdays that I go that its not as busy, I wonder where else in ctown thats new or has new dishes that would be exciting to try. Any place guys?

      2. Wanted to give a shoutout to this place which we used to go to more frequently. We had dinner there on Saturday night and all our dishes were excellent - the waterspinach in fermented beancurd sauce was very well seasoned with green chile along with the garlic etc. the silver fish - celery-dried squid sautee, which is really about half garlic chives - was excellent as always, and the special fried chicken was very well done, not exciting but very good. Need to get back and start working through the menu, saw plenty of good dishes when I walked through the place. and it was much less crowded than I remembered.

        1. The chicken congee with black mushrooms is also quite good. Had a take-out order after this year's lion dances.

          Could have sworn these guys used to also have a small menu of medicinal soups, black chicken and the like....