Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 25, 2014 06:59 AM

AYCE Hot Pot and BBQ Opens in Manhattan Chinatown

As unusual as a brand spanking new building in Chinatown is the tenant of the building at 285 Grand St., 99 Favor and Taste, the new branch of a Brooklyn based restaurant. It's like a sleek spaceship up and landed in the middle of the hood. 99 Favor and Taste has both hotpot and bbq options, and their all you can eat deals are clearly the main attraction. $21.99 for hotpot, $25.99 for bbq, or $30.99 for the works. What I'm wondering is if they really meant to name the restaurant 99 Flavor, but got it wrong.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have you been? It's been open since the first week of March. I keep meaning to get over there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      I wasn't hungry enough so I just perused the menu and had one of their drinks. Interesting that the announcement sent out by the NY Chinatown partnership calls the restaurant 99 Flavor Taste, but it's clear that the signs and menus say Favor.

    2. these type of places are the rage in brooklyn and flushing chinatowns lately - i like'm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mrnyc

        I think the significance of 99 F(l)avor Taste is in the demographics. Manhattan Chinatown is historically Cantonese and more recently Fujianese, neither of which is partial to hotpots. Hotpots are more associated with Taiwanese and Sichuanese eaters. This is another indication of the waning influence of Cantonese food.

      2. I went for lunch a few weeks back and did the full thing. It was fine, but it just wasn't my thing, so I doubt I'd be back. I think the focus was more on quantity than quality, so the meats and prawns were not as good as you might get in K-town. Not bad, mind you. The veg options were better. I loved the enoki mushrooms, tofu and winter melon in the spicy broth. I probably liked the hot pot better than the bbq. The dipping sauce station was an interesting idea, as they had everything, but in practice, there is a reason that certain recipes work and others don't.

        1. Finally made it over to 99 Favor Taste, now that it's freezing out and hotpot seems like the best idea ever. The place is doing a booming business, and reservations are essential. I chose the Spicy Style broth*, which was very good. The sichuan peppercorns definitely made their presence known, but not at the expense of the garlic and the chiles. It was a bit milder than I would have liked, so I compensated with some hot oil from the sauce buffet. Since we were only two, I tried very hard not to over-order. And failed, because, man, 99 believes in volume. The expensive stuff, the crabs and the shrimp, is served in normal-person (but hardly skimpy) portions, but order the tong hao and a bushel of the stuff arrives. A serving of enoki mushrooms, confusingly called "straw mushrooms" on the menu, is the width of Meghan Trainor's thigh. I thought the quality of the seafood was quite good, considering the place is all-you-can-eat, and the service was fantastic. A horde of energetic young people sporting blue plastic gloves dashes around adjusting the temperature of the broth, emptying shell bowls, filling water glasses - we wanted for nothing. Except a little more time to digest, as we definitely got the bum's rush after about 90 minutes. Which was fine, all things considered. Loved this place, overall.

          *I'm all about that (soup) base.