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Jan 29, 2013 01:09 PM

chinese banquet recommendation

any recs on replacement for Cantoon Garden for a 50 person Chinese banquet style lunch round tables , good prices if so also would appreciate rec for which are best dishes for this if you know. thanks

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    1. re: diprey11

      thanks .any favoriite dishes that might be recommended for a large group , 10 course meal?

      1. re: willtravel

        Here's a somewhat recent review of a meal I did with some friends:

        In general with Fuleen - the geoduck two ways is a must. It's a dish you see at a few of the better Cantonese places, but Fuleen is especially known for the quality of theirs. It is expensive, though.

        I'm fond of some of their casseroles - the chicken & salted fish with eggplant (or with tofu) is great, as is the taro & preserved duck, although those might be the kinds of things one tucks into solo on a cold winter evening rather than orders for a big celebratory group.

        Get an assortment of seafood - they make some of the best conch in Chinatown, if you've an adventurous group. Make sure to get some whole fishes with ginger-scallion sauce, lobsters (country style or with XO), etc. I'd shy away from deep-fried stuff, personally, and probably not do any noodles (noodles aren't really their specialty...) - maybe one noodle and/or one rice dish per table for those that want it.

        Many say their Peking Duck is surprisingly good for a Cantonese place, as well, so that could be a good land-meat option.

        I quite like their water spinach with fermented bean curd (think a Chinese version of spinach & feta, taste-wise, though a bit funkier)

        1. re: willtravel

          make sure to order their clam soup, its very good, probably the best thing ive had there

          their peking pork chops are decent, their whole chicken is decent as is their crab with scallion and ginger

          1. re: willtravel

            If you are planning a 10-course dinner for 50 people, you are going to have have a long, detailed conversation with the owner and, maybe, the chef, and the sooner you do that the better. The banquet menu is usually somewhat different from a regular menu, its' more sophisticated, so there is no point in my recommendations of everyday dishes.

            You've got some great advice from other members. Fuleen is a very decent, if somewhat conservative, Cantonese seafood place, so I'd assume the menu will be fish- and seafood-centric. They are the best seafood specialist in Chinatown, mostly because their chef is better than the competition.

            1. re: diprey11

              thanks Diprey , I am actually quite familiar with the process I have been doing this for friends for over 30 years but now for the past 3 years I am volunteering at a senior center and am doing it for them as a chinese new year celebration which we do way past when all the noise is March
              it will be a mix of banquet and more common dishes if appropriate and should come in at between $300 to $450 per 10 person table. I am concerned about the sanitation at Fuleen based on I have been reading and will go out to see it. . how bad is it? should I consider Pings instead or another place, as this group did not like the dinner at Wing Shoon because it was a greasy spoon. thanks

              1. re: willtravel

                i didn't think it was particularly dirty, but the restaurant does look a little old like wing shoon (but the food is def better than wing shoon)

                i mean if you want something a little more upscale then just go to OG, its pretty clean and definitely among the lower culture shock since they speak english very well. their ingredients are pretty decent, i just dont think their cook is very talented

                1. re: Lau

                  Looking at OG, we got comments from diners who discovered a bad smell in the basement vents and also near the fish tanks. Something like gas and sewage and septic tank smells, did you experience this?
                  Esp in the basement.banquet room.
                  Thanks Lau.

                  1. re: willtravel

                    hmm weird, i didnt smell anything there, but its always possible?

                    also ive never been in the basement banquet room

                2. re: willtravel

                  Ping's is definitely cleaner - on the surface. You never know what's going on in the kitchen, though. Fuleen kind of has a Chinatown gangster hangout vibe - though that's partly because it's on one of the less-travelled non-touristy streets. OG will usually be about half Western faces. They used to get a lot of hype from Western chefs - Davids Bouley and Chang were both avowed fans, although that was back when Chef Wong was still running the kitchen. His name is still on the menu, but I'm 90% sure he's not involved in the day-to-day anymore. There's been too great a change in the food over the years.

                  OG, like I've said in other threads - they're solid, and there's a few dishes they do particularly well, but the last year or two I've found some dishes have gone beyond subtle and almost into bland territory. I recall a scallop in XO the last time we went that didn't taste XO-y at all. They're still overall pretty decent, mind you - I don't think you'd have a -bad- meal. I just think Fuleen and Ping's are superior.

                  Their pre-set banquets are fairly reasonable, though, which is surprising given that a la carte they're easily the most expensive place in CTown. Here's the list from the website:


                  - all are adjustable, I'm sure.

                  Ping's I'd do for a banquet if I wanted to really go all-out, and were I with a group of foodies I'd request that Chef Ping himself oversee the meal - even if it meant going to the Elmhurst location. He's the "cheffiest" of the Cantonese chefs in town. Think whole suckling pigs, 10-pound lobsters, even foie gras and such if you like. I'm sure they do more standard banquets as well, though. There are no banquet menus on the website, as they tend to cater things more specifically to each event. Here's a gallery of the kinds of things he does, though:


                  1. re: sgordon

                    When we last ate at Fuleen, there was distinctly a gangster/ mob feel. And I feel comfortable anywhere. think Congee Village is underrated by CH, maybe because it looks like a Karaoke club. the private rooms are perfect, and the best dishes---garlic chicken, bitter melon with spare ribs, eggplant with tofu and nam yu, delicious pork belly with mei cai, quite decent XO dishes, good seafood. Avoid the congee, however, in spite of the name, it is much better at NYNoodletown.

                    1. re: swannee

                      I kind of like the gangster / mob feel, personally...

                      1. re: swannee

                        yah i never understood why they called themselves congee village as their congee is whatever and they don't offer you tiao which is like a sin in congee land for me

                        there food isn't bad, its actually reasonably decent...i mean it's probably one of the better places in chinatown now although that's partially a function of chinatown's better restaurants are just shutting down really fast unfortunately

                        1. re: swannee

                          Understandable, but I personally doubt that bad guys would want to show up at a dinner of fifty seniors who would probably overrun the place. Not because the mobsters are shy or anything... well, I am not speaking from experience. ;-)

                        2. re: sgordon

                          hi s gordon
                          re OG reports from readers re gas , other odors in basement private room and fish tank area do you know any thing? thanks

                          1. re: willtravel

                            I don't think it's an issue. You say "reports" but after doing a few google searches I think that should be singular - just one report, at least that's all I was able to find. There's one yelp review (out of 235) that mentions an issue with odor. Probably just a fluke that night. I wouldn't take any one single incident as meaning anything.

                            1. re: sgordon

                              it was in yelp under banquet conversation

                              1. re: willtravel

                                No idea. I searched yelp forums for "Oriental Garden" and nothing came up about smells, only that one single review. Do you have a link to the forum / conversation?

                                1. re: sgordon

                                  why dont u just go in there and check it out? if it smells you should notice

                        3. re: willtravel

                          I still think Fuleen is the best option. Here is why.

                          It doesn't look dirty, just a little shabby. :-0 But as an intended replacement to Cantoon Garden, the atmosphere is just fine. Both Ping and Oriental Garden have a better ambiance, but I sincerely believe that the quality of food at Fuleen is a notch or two above.

                          I also expect OG to be the priciest of them all, and I don't see what may warrant that. Seniors are not the richest part of the population, nor do they like to splurge, not even on a holiday; the money is best spent on tasty food and a good story. And you can probably find an article in a paper somewhere saying it's the best geoduck in the world. :-)

                          Both ABC and Feng Cheng Yuan are just so... meh. Besides, neither is a Cantonese restaurant, they serve a different kind of food. I can see Ping as a distant second choice although I am not a big fan of their Chinatown branch: somehow Ping without Ping is not doing as great as Fuleen without Wong. JMHO.

                    2. re: diprey11

                      Pin Pin has also recommended Feng Cheng Yuan and ABC . anyone know of these and what is good there?

                      1. re: willtravel

                        feng cheng yuan: pretty whatever when i ate there; wasn't horrible, but just nothing stuck out all sort of just ok; only eaten here once with one other person, so possible i just had an off day or didn't order the right thing, but i wasn't very impressed

                        ABC: i haven't been to ABC is a really really long time so i can't be much help there

                        1. re: Lau

                          Haven't been to FCY. ABC I found kind of "meh" - the menu is mostly generic Chinese-American stuff. Went once, no urge to go back.

                          Another place possibly worth checking out is one of the Congees - Congee Village or Congee Bowery. They may not be the "foodiest" places but they're big, fun, colorful crowd-pleasers. The menus are ridiculously huge, from your typical Americanized sesame chicken to, I dunno, frog's liver stew and such, if someone prefers to go that route.

                          Something else to consider, since your party is going to be all older folks, is walking distance. Fuleen is a bit off-the-beaten-path down on Division St - maybe a ten-minute walk from the nearest subway, which could mean twenty minutes for someone a bit older who moves slowly. Congee Village on the other hand is only three blocks from the J/M/F/Z stop on Essex / Delancey. and Congee Bowery only half a block from the Bowery J/Z. Something to consider if you're not hiring busses or something.

                    3. Congee village. They have private rooms, too.

                      1. Hee WIn Lai - Delight 28 , 28 pell St. Used to be 30 pell st Hong Gung years ago.
                        88 Palace Restaurant does Banquet dinner.