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?
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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)
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
- 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
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