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One meal in Chinatown?

I haven't been to Chinatown in literal ages. So, if I can have one dinner, where would it be? I'll be in town soon and want to have a great meal. My preference is Sichuan/Hunan, but I'd love to hear other suggestions. Also, a great dumpling place?

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  1. Best Sichuan in Manhattan is out of Chinatown. Szechuan Gourmet, Lan Sheng or Legend. I eat in Chinatown quite often and I am always wandering back to Xi'an, especially now that I can sit down in the Bayard shop. Now that it's a mini-chain this may not be exactly what your looking for. Best dumplings are Prosperity.

    16 Replies
    1. re: clareandromeda

      Old Sichuan and Famous Szechuan are both in Chinatown, and are as good or better than any of the aforementioned joints. Old Sichuan has outstanding dumplings too. Prosperity sells dumplings of lesser quality in styrofoam boxes for something like a dollar to people who like to eat lukewarm dumplings out of a box.

      1. re: knucklesandwich

        "Prosperity sells dumplings of lesser quality in styrofoam boxes for something like a dollar to people who like to eat lukewarm dumplings out of a box."

        Not exactly. Prosperity does a great business and as a result the dumplings are often fresh out of the wok. If you get them to go they serve them in a styrofoam box. If you get them to stay they're served on paper plates.

        I've had expensive dumplings and I've had cheap dumplings. What I've *never* had was a life changing dumpling. Assuming they're fresh out of the wok, I prefer cheap.

      2. re: clareandromeda

        Xi'an looks v. interesting. Thanks for that. And for Prosperity as well.

        1. re: the sobsister

          Unless you're on a strict budget, you're missing out on a really good thing if you don't try the tiny chicken buns at OS. These are dumplings cooked to order served at a table.

          Prosperity sells pre-cooked, gang-fried dumplings.

          1. re: the sobsister

            If you've never done Xi'an, I'd highly encourage it! Theres loads of fawning reviews about the place on here and all over the internet. Chinatown Ice Cream factory right next door for dessert would be a good cool down. The lychee is their most popular flavor for a reason. Prosperity is a total dive and a bit far from Xi'an so here's a decent dumpling round up from last year. Phttp://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/02/the-best-fried-dumplings-in-chinatown-nyc-new-york-manhattan-potstickers-chinese.html
            There's also the new Panda Dumpling House that's supposed to be very good and less of a hole in the wall.

            1. re: clareandromeda

              That dumpling survey is v. useful, thanks. I'm looking forward to a hot plate of them.

          2. re: clareandromeda

            I seem to be the only person who prefers the original Grand Sichuan on Canal, especially the beef tendon, pretty much all of the dishes listed as Mao's favorites, the loofah. But not the dumplings. Has Henan closed? They had marvelous dumplings.

            1. re: swannee

              the Grand Sichuan on Canal is closed, I walked by it the other day and it says they are doing work to the building, but totally unclear what that means. Also, I thought that branch was pretty mediocre, but it's been a few years since i've been there

              I believe Henan is closed although it may re-open

              1. re: Lau

                How sad re Canal Grand Sichuan. they had the best cold beef tendon, bitter melon with duck tongues, and kung pao chicken with potatoes. Any news about a relocation for Henan?

                1. re: swannee

                  no idea re: Henan

                  supposedly were looking at some spot on Allen

                  1. re: swannee

                    I'm sad about Grand Sichuan too. I adored their Mao's Red-Cooked Pork.

              2. re: clareandromeda

                LIkewise, the best Hunan restaurant is located in Midtown, and it is very good quality. Check out Hunan Manor, @339 Lexington Ave, just two blocks from the subway.

                1. re: diprey11

                  Thanks for the tip! Any favorites from their menu?

                    1. re: knucklesandwich

                      Ditto!
                      I also liked their steamed fish head, red-braised pork, braised sliced beef with chillies, and pumpkin pancakes.
                      Please note that they are a branch of the celebrated Hunan House: the same owner and the same Chinese name, 湘水山莊..

                    2. re: the sobsister

                      Tremendous suggestion. Hunan Manor is perhaps the most accomplished Chinese restaurant in Manhattan. I frequently get take out for lunch. L6 or L11, Trust me.

                2. Did the Spicy & Tingly Beef Noodles at Xi'an. V. good. No a/c in the place. Don't know if that's usually the case, but it added to the internal/external heat.

                  The day before had an order of the pork/chive fried dumplings at Prosperity, then walked down the street to Panda for the same. The sweet dumpling sauce at the latter really threw off my a/b, not a fan of it, but the dumplings at both places were top-notch. I would prefer a more traditional sauce for both Panda and Prosperity--a dash of sesame oil, a soy-based dumpling sauce and a pot of thick red chili sauce. Sriracha is not a substitute for proper Chinese la jiao. That would level the playing field.

                  Thanks to all for their suggestions.

                  1. Hey the sobsister - I just saw this and you already went, but for next time

                    Sichuan food: you don't need to go to Chinatown to eat sichuan food as others have said
                    - Old Sichuan: I enjoyed my meal here, but I think you need to know what to order and i definitely would get their pan fried chicken tiny puns and their sliced pork with spicy garlic sauce
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/753976
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2010/12/old-s...

                    Hunan: there really isn't any hunan food in Chinatown, but as others said I think Hunan Manor maybe the best Chinese restaurant in Manhattan right now
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817996
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2011/11/hunan...

                    Xi'an: ditto what others said, but I like that place alot (they also have a branch in East Village if that is closer to you

                    )

                    Danny Ng's: if you're going to chinatown then I think it's best to go for Cantonese family style dinner and Danny Ng's is where I'd go now that South China Garden is closed (although friends are telling me Sing Kee is just as good)
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/856869
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2012/07/danny...

                    Dumplings: if you're going for dumplings
                    - Prosperity: I actually thought their quality has diminished a bit the last few times I went although they are still tasty dumplings
                    - Fu Zhou Cuisine: I like these dumplings they best in Chinatown right now although they are not guo tie (the kinda of dumplings served at Prosperity) and I'd also recommend asking them for their clear soup which they give to you for free if you ask (it's called "qing tang" in chinese, phonetically pronounced ching taang, its an aww sound not an A sound); its a nice clean light slightly vinegary soup
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848009
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2012/05/fu-zh...
                    - Noodle Village: noodle village has good fried dumplings that are different from prosperity or fu zhou cuisine; I prefer their dumplings vs prosperity (i need to write an update post on noodle village as I think its one of the better restaurants in chinatown now
                    )http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760185
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2011/01/noodl...

                    Bo Ky: this is another restaurant I think is worth checking out in chinatown as it's basically the only restaurant serving some chao zhou food in NYC (besides the dishes I have on here, I'd recommend their house special shrimp roll, which is called hae chor in teochew and is a very typical chao zhou dish
                    )http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/751160
                    http://www.lauhound.com/2010/12/bo-ky...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lau

                      Thanks for the in-depth response. I'll save those tips for my next visit.