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Sep 1, 2012 07:11 AM

Best in Chinatown to wow out of town visitors?

Hello! Early next week we are taking our family and some out of the country visitors to dinner in Chinatown so we are feeling some pressure to find the "best" place with the most delicious food. Where would you take special visitors in Chinatown for something great?

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  1. My first choice would be Rangoon for something memorable. The menu is enormous, allowing you to share a number of dishes that meld Chinese, Indian and Thai flavors into one exotic cuisine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo

      ChefPaulo is spot on... Rangoon is Burmese food, something you do not find everywhere. I guess the other wow would be Peking Duck. Sang Kee would be where I would recommend for that. Impresive performances making hand drawn noodles can be found at Nan Zhou, or Yummy Lan Zhou, but you have to be in the mood for Soup.

      1. re: Chefpaulo

        agree, we had visitors from the New Orleans area and they loved there are plenty of non-meat options if anyone is looking for that. Just some really interesting flavors overall.

        1. re: BeeZee

          I recently brought an out of town guest to Rangoon and they loved it too. Outside of that and maybe peking duck, I don't know that any place in Chinatown is going to "wow" anyone unless you are an expert and can order the right dishes at any particular restaurant, or want to wow them by being weird and ordering stuff like jellyfish and frog at Tai Lake. The problem is that the menus are just too big and full of lots of mediocrity or worse, even at the best restaurants. And many of them hide the best dishes on "secret" menus you have to ask for. This is true of Rangoon as well (not the secret menu, but they have probably 100 items you can order, some of them are just ok).

          Has anyone been to Banana Leaf (Malaysian) recently?

      2. No question, Lee How Fook. Incredible Salt-baked squid, Corn and Crab soup, Peeking Duck, Fish Hot Pot, Snow Pea Leaves with Crab. Noodle dishes and fried rice are also quite good. Avoid standard Szechuan fare and try the above.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ese

          When's the last time you were there? The long-time chef there is gone now (I can't remember whether he moved away or passed away), I haven't heard much about Lee How Fook one way or the other since that happened (I don't know the whole story, I think it was a year or so ago?)

          1. re: Buckethead

            Long time chef retired about ten years ago, his sous chef died about two years ago. For 18 months or so it was really dreadful. It is getting back to it's good earlier days except this chef does not fry properly so all fried dishes are extraordinarily wet with oil, major yucch. Hot/sour, lemon chicken, fish hot pot, salt baked scallops, are still better than most other places l have tried in Chinatown.