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May 23, 2013 04:04 PM

"Manhattan’s Chinatown Renaissance"

I was alerted to this article in the "NY Magazine's 'Sichuan Belt' in midtown Manhattan" thread:

Here's a list of the places mentioned:

Cha Chan Tang at 45 Mott Street

Mottzar Kitchen at 70 Mott St.

Full House Café at 97 Bowery

Lee Chung Café, located at 82 Madison St.

Noodle Village at 13 Mott St.

Cutting Board, 53 Bayard

Spicy Village at 68B Forsyth St. (formerly He Nan Flavor


Diamond Hill Café at 147 Canal St. (for want of a better description is the “Asian Chipotle,” and therefore probably not worth our attention)

85 Chinese Restaurant at 85 Chrystie St. (formerly Yogee)

Xi’an Famous Foods at 67 Bayard St.

Poon Kee at 39 Monroe St.

Xian has been covered extensively and doesn't need to be covered in this thread. Spicy Village/He Nan Flavor has also been covered pretty extensively and is a very good and worthwhile place to visit if you have a reason to be in the neighborhood.

I've been to Noodle Village, though not recently, and found it very good. I went to the old Yogee and was very underwhelmed. I haven't been to the rest of these and would love to hear your opinions on whether they were well picked for an article by this title.

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  1. Interesting article. I haven't been to most of these restaurants and so I'm adding them to my list.

    Another worthy addition is Cafe Hongkong from the owners of South China Garden.

    1. Haven't been go to C-Town in a while... looks like I'll have to pay a visit. I wish I could visit as frequently as I did so many years go

      But I'll always miss the long gone (like, more than 25 years gone) Lin's Garden. It was an 'old school' Cantonese place on Bayard Street. The food was simple, inexpensive, and quite good...I've not had truly great Chow Mei Fan...probably my very favorite noodle dish... since they closed. Even Paul Simon gave Lin's and their Chow Mei Fan a shout-out in one of his songs.

      The character of their food absolutely _defined_ "wok hee", that elusive "something" I grew to crave before I even finally learned that it had a name.

      1. Cha Chan Teng has been around for at least two years, so maybe not *that* new by NYC restaurant standards? I like their breakfast special, which costs something like $3.50 and comes with a hot drink. You can get a Chinese breakfast where you choose two of either congee, fried noodles, or cheung fun. They also have Western-style breakfasts with eggs and ham.
        They do a good strong HK-style milk tea and I like their house special fried rice; the rest of their menu that I've tried is so-so. Good place for a quick late night meal if you live in the area, and they have this cool monitor setup on the wall that loops video of a Hong Kong street.

        Cutting Board - I actually really like this place for what it is! They serve mostly Western food with a Chinese touch - pastas, hamburgers, katsu. It's really inexpensive - average entree around $6. Pasta tends to be a touch overcooked, but I like the place for a tasty, fast, and cheap meal and its unusual menu. They have a nice moules marinieres appetizer that we usually get.

        Also new in Chinatown is Aux Epices, a Malaysian restaurant on Baxter street. There's a thread about it on CH.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pravit

          Yeah, and it doesn't sound promising. Have you tried it?

          1. re: Pan

            Yes I have, and I like it! I think the food is better than the Malaysian place in the Bowery/Elizabeth tunnel, although it's a tad more expensive.

            This Lee Chung Cafe place sounds interesting. Has anyone tried the Myanmar fish noodles? I rarely get down to the part of Chinatown...

            1. re: Pan

              I don't usually post second-hand reactions, but Iron Frank, an original Chowhound who isn't active these days but whom I often eat with, tried it a couple of times and proclaimed it mediocre at best, so I've written it off as anything I plan to try anytime soon.

            2. re: pravit

              Note that my reference in the article was to restaurants that had opened in the past couple years. That was the time frame that I used.

            3. I noticed a new Malaysian restaurant on Division St.between Bowery and Market, "CM Malaysian Restaurant." Haven't tried it yet.

              In addition looks like two of the seafood restaurants on that stretch of Division St have been newly renovated - there's one at 31 Division with a big picture of a hotpot, and another further down the street at 49 Division.

              1 Reply
              1. interesting it is true that there have been alot of restaurants opening up recently

                re: ones that ive eaten at

                Noodle Village - i think its one of the better restaurants in chinatown. I need to write an updated review as I have more thoughts on this place after going here quite a few times.

                Spicy Village - i like this place

                Xi'an - still good, but has gone slightly downhill from the original in flushing

                85 - i need to go back, but Yogee had quite a bit downhill and even their beef noodle soup which is what they were famous for had gotten pretty mediocre

                Poon Kee - while obviously very limited menu, this is one of my favorite places in chinatown. It's not very different from what you get in HK

                3 Replies
                1. re: Lau

                  Lau, I forget whether you've been to Mottzar. Is that a place you like?

                  1. re: Pan

                    i have not been to mottzar, i wanted to try it, just haven't gotten around to it...have you been?