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Jan 23, 2013 04:08 PM

Yuen Yuen 人人 冰室 in Chinatown is gone。

On the rare day I thought to look for it last week I paced up and down Bayard wondering if I'd remembered its location incorrectly. (61 Bayard btw Mott and Elizabeth)
This was the place that in chinese hand-written sign offered rattlesnake soup and other Herbal tonics, besides the old style Cantonese dishes. The place had old world charm.

Now I will always wonder if the rattlesnake soup was any good...

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  1. So sad! I only made it there a couple of times, and only one time did I order a strange medicinal soup, but was plotting a return visit recently. It was there a month or so back, but maybe it gave up the ghost over the new year.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Peter Cuce

      I don't have too many pics of Yuen Yuen, but I dug them up. I remember ordering that veg dish and being disappointed at how lame it was, but that clay pot thing was something else.

      1. re: Peter Cuce

        Thanks for the pictures! Which clay pot dish was that? Rattlesnake, per chance?!

        1. re: HLing

          No, at least when I had it, the rattlesnake looked different. I was just craving their fish with bitter melon......

    2. I am in shock. They were the quintessential old school Chinatown place with real home cooked food like fish with bitter melon, steamed pork with salt fish, fish belly with ginger, and the tonics, rattle snake, deer penis, etc. They had been there forever, any idea why they closed? It is a real loss, a sad comment on the decline of the old Chinatown.

      1. Another institution gone. Closed December 31, owner retiring.

        1. So sad. Anyone know of any similar places - maybe one out in Flushing?

          1. yah i noticed this last weekend too, i was actually going to review it fairly soon, but i guess im not going to anymore.

            The food was ok, some of the desserts were decent. However, their almond milk was really good, it's unfortunate that it's gone for that alone

            sgordon - there is nothing like this in NY now, in fact there is very little like this place anywhere. This place was really old school cantonese, but actually really old school toison, the main lady spoke toison and even her cantonese was very heavily accented. i know some places like this in hong kong (although they are much better) and I'm sure they exist in toison, but even there the world has moved on and this was kind of like frozen in time