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Sensation Neo Shanghai - Great Chinese in Williamsburg!

t
tkny123 Oct 21, 2012 07:42 PM

The food is excellent.

I've taken out from here on multiple occasions. The food is clearly 2+ cuts above any other Chinese restaurant not in a Chinatown. It is also better than any of the few restos I've tried lately in the Chinatowns on Canal St, in Sunset Park or in Flushing (generally after + reviews on CH). But I've not really tried too hard in those areas and the efforts I have made haven't been so rewarding.

There is a real chef back there, which I think is very rare at a Chinese resto. The guy must have some training and skills. I think the names of the dishes and basic recipes are the ones people are used to. But the execution is surprisingly different and better. The hot & sour soup is a good example (free with lunch special).

I've never eaten in, and have never seen too many people eating in. Decor is ok, darker but clean. Just seems like not too many people eat in at Chinese restaurants so much any more (outside of the Chinatowns). Lunch special is a crazy good value, weekends too!

There are a ton of detailed reviews on Yelp. Thought I would kick off a thread on CH.
Give it a try, maybe eat in too.

I have generally found Chinese in Manhattan and Brooklyn (outside of Chinatowns) to be terrible and never worth repeating.

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Sensation Neo Shanghai Cuisine
208 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

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  1. scoopG RE: tkny123 Oct 22, 2012 12:05 PM

    tkny123, I think more specific information would be helpful here. Yelp reviews are notoriously unreliable IMO.

    How and why is this place "2+ cuts above any other Chinese restaurant not in a Chinatown?" What Chinese places in Sunset Park or Flushing have you eaten at that you are comparing to Sensation Neo? The "execution is surprisingly different and better." Can you explain how that is so? What dishes have you had?

    1. b
      BrickPM RE: tkny123 Oct 22, 2012 02:31 PM

      not bad, but it's definitely been toned down for the neighborhood. thus, dishes aren't very spicy and there's no tripe, tongue, chicken feet, fish heads, etc. anywhere on the menu. nor is there at m shanghai or brooklyn wok shop, unfortunately.

      1. chompchomp RE: tkny123 Oct 22, 2012 07:06 PM

        No way Jose. We got 3 dishes for delivery about a month ago. They were uniformly bland, gloppy and indelible.
        There's some pretty decent Chinese food outside of Chinatowns these days, but it's not to be found at Sensation.

        1. t
          tkny123 RE: tkny123 Oct 23, 2012 07:00 PM

          AubWah: pls check my posts. I clearly don't work there.
          chompchomp: What's a better Chinese resto within the same delivery radius?
          BrickPM: This is a local Chinese takeout kind of place. No one should be looking for fish head or tripe at a place like that.
          scoopG: I've eaten at many many places in all 3 Chinatowns. Ex's of places that are hyped on CH but I find to be "ok" are Noodle Village and that I think are overrated are the Xian food court in basement of the Flushing mini-mall, NY Noodletown, Spicy & Tasty. I'm not as good as a lot of people on CH at writing about the particulars. Let me be clear, when I say "2+ cuts above", I am not saying it is EMP in Chinese form. I am saying its Kung Pao Chicken tastes much better than all the other crappy Kung Pao Chicken on offer all thru-out NYC by places that could deliver to your home. Prob bc their chicken tastes like chicken, the sauce is somehow more than just soy + corn starch, I can't articulate why I feel that.
          The lunch special is $7.50 guys. Let's be real. If you're in the hood and feel like Chinese, take a chance with the $7.50. Not saying its worth a trip from Manhattan just for it. But I don't think I have found any Chinese place in Brooklyn or Queens to be worth a trip from Manhattan.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tkny123
            p
            Pan RE: tkny123 Oct 23, 2012 11:25 PM

            I've found quite a few Chinese restaurants in Brooklyn and especially in Queens to be worth a trip from Manhattan. For example, I had a fantastic meal at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant in Flushing on Sunday, including possibly the best spicy beef tendon cold dish I've ever had, a really delicious chicken dish, and a great beef tongue and tail in brown sauce (and that's not a completely list, just the highest highlights). There were 7 of us, we stuffed ourselves, and we spent $23/person for dinner including tip. If you don't think the place you recommended so highly above is worth a trip from the East Village, it just ain't very good. And by the way, the kung bao chicken at my local, non-Chinatown place - Grand Sichuan St Marks - is rather good, especially since I order it extra spicy.

            1. re: Pan
              s
              swannee RE: Pan Oct 24, 2012 06:40 AM

              Could you send a complete menu of your recent dinner?

              1. re: swannee
                p
                Pan RE: swannee Oct 24, 2012 11:23 AM

                Well, we also had really good pea shoots sauteed with garlic, and hot and sour soup that was sour but not hot and just OK, I thought. Oh yeah, also very good lamb xiu mai and lamb dumplings. I don't know the name of the chicken dish. It's boneless, as I recall, and comes with fried crackers. It was something like old-fashioned Chinese-American chow mein, but in a real Chinese-from-China style, with hot oil and great taste!

            2. re: tkny123
              scoopG RE: tkny123 Oct 24, 2012 07:19 AM

              Thanks tkny123 for reporting back - the more details provided the better it is to judge whether this place is worth a visit or not!

            3. Silverjay RE: tkny123 Oct 24, 2012 01:53 PM

              I dined in here in April, not too long after they opened. I believe the chef was formally at M Shanghai down the street. They claim to be Shanghaiese food, but menu is pretty pan-Chinese. Like M Shanghai, their featured items are XLB. We ordered some along with some dumplings- maybe har gow and something else. Can't remember exactly.... Not mind blowing but certainly not bad. Definitely a couple cuts above neighborhood greasy chopstick places- not that those type of places usually do XLB.... Probably not worth an inter-borough expedition, but for W'burg/ Greenpoint, there are not many options for Chinese restaurants.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Silverjay
                t
                tkny123 RE: Silverjay Oct 24, 2012 06:27 PM

                Thanks Silverjay for understanding my humble aspiration!
                I look forward to trying Yi Lan Halal.

                1. re: tkny123
                  scoopG RE: tkny123 Oct 25, 2012 07:46 AM

                  Good luck!
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/771124

                  1. re: scoopG
                    d
                    diprey11 RE: scoopG Oct 25, 2012 05:21 PM

                    That can be a tall order. But--good luck!

              2. t
                tkny123 RE: tkny123 Dec 1, 2012 01:02 PM

                Speed bump. Had a lunch special there a few weeks ago (slow to post). Main dish was good but the egg drop soup was terrible. It looked and tasted like an egg dropped in water and stirred up. I don;t know if there was chef change or a day off or what.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tkny123
                  Silverjay RE: tkny123 Dec 1, 2012 06:20 PM

                  We had some actually pretty darn good xlb there recently, although I had some ribs that were in a kinda nasty sauce.

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