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Sep 23, 2013 04:41 PM

Good non-spicy, northern Chinese in Manhattan?

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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

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

        1. 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. 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

              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

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

                1. re: plf515

                  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