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Good non-spicy, northern Chinese in Manhattan?

Dave MP Sep 23, 2013 04:41 PM

I'm looking for a restaurant in Manhattan that would fit the following requirements (some more negotiable than others)

1) Can accommodate a group of 10 or 12 people, probably at a round table. Takes reservations for the group.

2) Serves interesting Northern Chinese food and/or Taiwanese food. One of my favorite places in SF right now is House of Pancake, which specializes in various Chinese pancakes (beef pancake, egg pancake, sesame pancake), hand pulled noodles (great zha ziang mian and beef noodle soup), and dumplings (a variety of boiled dumplings). Add in a few veggies, and this is the type of menu I'm looking for in Manhattan. Especially good dumplings.

Any thoughts? Unfortunately, wouldn't be able to travel outside of Manhattan (unless it was extremely close across a bridge into Queens or Brooklyn), and am definitely not looking for a restaurant that specializes in spicy dishes (though it's okay if some dishes on the menu are spicy). I think this means no Sichuan, though, and I think probably places like Xi'an Famous Foods are out, too, though maybe it could work if I order right?

This meal wouldn't be taking place until December, so no huge rush, but would appreciate any ideas.

  1. s
    swannee Sep 27, 2013 08:37 AM

    I think Shanghai would work best----456 or S. Village. Spicy Village just won't seat 12!

    1. p
      Pookipichu Sep 24, 2013 11:35 AM

      Hakkasan makes excellent dumplings and likewise has excellent noodle dishes, all of which are made fresh. They can easily seat 10-12 and take reservations, but there are no round tables. The menu is not specifically Northern Chinese, it's pan-Chinese.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Pookipichu
        Chandavkl Sep 26, 2013 08:37 PM

        And it'll cost you $1,000

        1. re: Chandavkl
          ipsedixit Sep 26, 2013 08:42 PM

          Only if you drink tea and eat nothing but steamed rice.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            scoopG Sep 27, 2013 05:34 AM

            Only if you drink tea and eat nothing but steamed rice.

            Really now?


            1. re: scoopG
              ipsedixit Sep 27, 2013 07:44 AM

              Obviously my sense of humor failed to translate.

          2. re: Chandavkl
            scoopG Sep 27, 2013 05:33 AM

            The OP did not mention any price considerations.

            1. re: Chandavkl
              plf515 Sep 27, 2013 05:35 AM

              The menu doesn't even have prices!

          3. Dave MP Sep 24, 2013 09:33 AM

            Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm sad to hear what I'm looking for might not exist, though I guess that explains why I have never heard of such a place.

            A place with a nice variety of dumplings would do the trick, though I guess this might not exist either? I remember that Ollie's used to be a pretty good choice for this, though their dumplings were more Cantonese/dim sum-like IIRC.

            Lots of the dumpling places down in Chinatown seem like they have good food, but are there any places that could fit 10-12 people?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Dave MP
              small h Sep 24, 2013 09:48 AM

              Red Egg can definitely fit 10-12, and they have a lot of dumplings since they specialize in dim sum. Shanghai Pavilion, which is on the Upper East Side, would work, too. Both are better than Ollie's.


              1. re: Dave MP
                plf515 Sep 24, 2013 10:30 AM

                Maybe different branches of Ollies are different, but the ones I've eaten haven't been good.

                1. re: plf515
                  Dave MP Sep 24, 2013 10:31 AM

                  I haven't eaten at Ollie's since about 1999, and I remember it being good, especially their veggie dumplings. I've heard from various people that its not as good these days though

              2. p
                pravit Sep 24, 2013 05:15 AM

                Spicy Village(formerly Henan Flavor) is northern Chinese (I consider Henan part of the cultural North) but good luck fitting a group of 10 in there; maybe if you call in advance?

                Not all their food is spicy despite the name. I'm a spice wimp and I can eat all of their food no problem.

                1. a
                  AubWah Sep 23, 2013 06:57 PM

                  Does not exist

                  1. ipsedixit Sep 23, 2013 06:44 PM

                    Joe's Shanghai (Midtown branch).

                    Yes, I know it's not "Northern Chinese" per se, but given the options it comes pretty close to meeting a lot of your criteria.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      coasts Sep 23, 2013 08:12 PM

                      unfortunately it's by far the worst of the locations. i work nearby and regret every time i decide to give them another shot.

                    2. scoopG Sep 23, 2013 05:46 PM

                      There are no northern or northeastern Chinese restaurants in Manhattan that I know of. There was one Taiwanese place (Jobee in Chinatown) but that closed a few years ago.

                      I don't think there is one Chinese restaurant (like House of Pancake ) in NYC where all of these dishes are available under one roof or that will meet these requirements. Many of these dishes you are talking about fall into the snack category and are ideal for solo diners on the run.

                      456, a Shanghainese restaurant in Chinatown serves an excellent beef pancake; there are 5-6 Fujian hand pulled noodle houses that also serve dumplings (Fujian style) but they don't meet your other needs and are not suitable for large groups.

                      Xian Famous Foods main focus is on street foods. They are light on the vegetable dishes in my opinion. I am not sure a large group would do well there, space-wise.

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