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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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CHINESE
 
Red Farm: Chinese/Asian Fusion. 2170 Broadway @ 76th-77th; 26/19/$54; 792-9700; Ultra fresh greenmarket ingredients;  Awesome cocktails; Try the pastrami egg roll; Dumplings are the way to go; No Rez; Chicken Soup Dumplings; Chicken lollipops with shrimp; Shrimp wontons & Ramen noodles; Steamed Sea Bass; Diced lamb with Broccoli; Dungeness Crab & Wild rice noodles; 12 Dim Sum items including 2 kinds of shrimp dumplings; Crispy Oxtail Dumplings; Crab & Pork soup dumplings.  In other words – best Chinese menu ever. West Village location as well.
 
Shun Lee West: Chinese. 43 W 65th @ Columbus-CPW; 21/16/$54; 769-3888; Excellent Dim Sum, complete with carts; Large selection but pricy for Dim Sum at $7.50 an order.  Traditional dishes; Large lunch and dinner menu as well.  Great Upper West side option.  Not a fancy scene but always reliable. Always solid lunch specials as well. Upscale Chinese.  Orange beef is excellent. 
 
Tang Pavilion: Chinese. 65 W 55th @ 5-6th Av; 22/17/$38; 956-6888; Roomy quarters with spacious seating; Upscale, different types of selections; Shanghai style; Excellent service; Eight Jewelry Duck – Mmm; Can’t go wrong here. Better for dinner; They are an ‘upscale’ place with normal prices; Soup Dumplings available; Popular business  lunch place; Décor and service is average. General Tso Shrimp. Endless menu. 
 
Wu Liang Ye: Chinese. 36 W 48th @ 5-6th Av; 24/14/$37; 398-2308; Inventive food; Unique Chinese choices and the classics; Great spices and hot dishes are hot. Beware of iffy service and not the greatest décor; Upscale Chinatown; Try the pan seared pork dumplings; Tofu and go for an amazing lunch special. Prawns in garlic sauce and the tangerine beef also stand out. Awesome choice for affordable Chinese outside Chinatown that doesn’t fall into the trap of overpricing the food.
 

Ping’s Seafood: Chinese. 22 Mott @ Pell; 22/12/$32; 602-9988; Known for Dim Sum and fish served whole; Weak service and dated décor but the weekend Dim Sum is magic (for NYC); The menu contains the usual huge number of selections including many seafood entrees and noodle dishes; Eat cheaply, though not as cheap as competitors in genre.  Shrimp Dumplings are to die for.

 

Peking Duck House: Chinese. 28 Mott @ Mosco; 24/15/$36; 227-1810; Crispy Duck; Get the signature dish skillfully carved at your table; Has all the usual Chinese dishes as well; Select the 3-way duck- they make a soup & stir fry with leftovers. BYO with no fee; Great service for the genre; Large portions and reasonably priced to boot.  Great for larger groups. Not fancy, nor is it a dump.

 

Mandarin Court: Chinese. 61 Mott @ Bayard; 21/9/$21; Used to be some of the Best Dim Sum in city; Dirt cheap; Dinky place; Weekends is best! Pushcart authentic classics; Shrimp dumplings. Heavenly tidbits. Nothing fancy and often crowded on weekends; New ownership has resulted in below average reviews since then. I have not  been since ownership change. Cheaper than most & carts come fast.

 
Shanghai Café: Chinese. 100 Mott @ Canal-Hester; 23/12/$21; 966-3988; Competes with Joe’s Shanghai for the best soup dumplings in the city; Endlessly long menu of anything you could possibly crave as well; No dim sum carts but they have Dim Sum on menu; Incredibly cheap – as is the décor; Cash only; Scallion pancakes also stand out; You will have trouble spending $20 here.  Authentic Chinatown experience. 
 
Joe’s Shanghai: Chinese. 9 Pell @ Bowery-Mott; 25/12/$25; 233-8888; Famous for Soup Dumplings; Dim Sum like; Well-known; Large menu of all the other usual classics; Dirt cheap pricing. Most popular place in Chinatown; Have uptown location at 24 W 56th; Food is addictive; Go for the Soup Dumplings (crab or pork) and try another dish as well and you will be full… all for under
 
Jing Fong: Chinese. 20 Elizabeth @ Bayard-Canal; 22/14/$20; 964-5256; Huge ballroom Dim Sum Palace; Famous and always packed on weekend; Dim Sum Cart central; Massive menu for other nights; Dirt cheap tabs; Best for the “Disneyland” of Dim Sum – go early; Great for parties; They even have Dim Sum M-Ffor $2.50 an order- no matter what type (of the 75 selections or so). NYC Institution – famous spot.  
 
 
Oriental Garden: Chinese. 14 Elizabeth @ Bayard-Canal; 24/14/$31; 619-0085; Seafood doesn’t get fresher; Way better than anything in area; Dim Sum is outstanding;  Simple Chinatown-esque décor and very mixed service quality;

Crab with ginger and scallion; Shrimp dishes.  Chow fun and other noodle dishes amazing; Not the cheapest C-Town eatery but they have a huge following;  One of the best options in area.   

 

Great NY NoodleTown: Chinese. 28 Bowery @ Bayard; 21/14/$23; 349-0923; Massive menu of every variety of noodle dish; Multiple rice dishes to choose from and even standard Chinese fare; Even soft shell crab;  Tons of soups- under $4 so prices can’t be beat; Open until 4am daily; Known for an amazing roast pork; Imagine what you want to eat Chinese wise – they have it. Cramp set up.

  

Deluxe Green Bo: Chinese. 66 Bayard @ Elizabeth-Mott; 26/7/$16; 625-2359; Best Chinese in City; Flat out awesome Chinese in a dump; Authentic. Soup dumplings are the masterpiece here; Dim sum, noodle, & rice selections; Huge menu; Steamed crab & pork steamed dumplings;  Service is fast but quarters are cramp;  Once won USA Today award for Top 10 Chinese in the country. 

 
Fuleen Seafood: Chinese-Seafood. 11 Division @ Bowery- E-BWay; 23/12/$29; 941-6888; Epic good seafood; Fish straight from the ocean; Prepared wonderfully; So cheap for seafood; Piss poor décor but worth it for crustaceans swimming into your mouth. Has non-seafood dishes galore; Best for lunch or mid-day weekend meal; Especially excellent are the crabs.  Great for larger parties – family style available. 
 
Golden UnicornChinese. 18 E B-Way @ Catherine; 24/13/$25; 941-0911; Dim Sum genius; Giant spot- 3 levels & huge assortment of Dim Sum selections; Authentic food; Shrimp Dumplings; Probably the most established Chinese I’ve had in Chinatown; Not a ‘scene’ by any means; Go for Dim Sum or even dinner; True Chinatown experience. Gets packed on weekends. No service to speak of. 
 

Nom Wah: Chinese/ Asian Fusion. 22 Orchard @ Hester; 25/21/$58; 219-8785; Artful dishes and excellent service; Delicious cocktails ($12); Upscale Chinese and best in Lower East Side; Nice setting but they even have booths available; Try the braised beef cheeks; Roasted Duck;  There is a $60 6 course tasting menu; Menu is unfortunately quite limited but it is worth a splurge.

 

Café China: Chinese. 13 E 37th @ 5th Av-Madison; 24/18/$37; 213-2810; Earned 1 Michelin star and remains extremely affordable; Sichuan fare featuring outstanding specialties; Try the lamb with bell peppers; Soup Dumplings; 3 Pepper Chicken; Smoked Duck; Kung Pao Chicken; Pork Dumplings in Chili Oil; Crystal Shrimp Dumplings; Great lunch specials; 

 
Peking Duck House: Chinese. 236 E 53rd @ 2-3rd; 23/17/$42; 759-8260; Crispy Duck; Get the signature dish skillfully carved at your table; Has all the usual Chinese dishes as well; Select the 3-way duck- they make a soup & stir fry with leftovers. BYO with no fee; Great service for the genre; Large portions and reasonably priced to boot.  Great for larger groups.  Nicer than Chinatown sibling. 
 
Lychee House: Chinese. 141 E 55th @ Lex-3rd; 25/15/$32; 753-3900; Shanghai classics as well as Malaysian curries and Dim Sum; High-end, Semi-elegant, yet casual (jeans fine); Overall, winning sit-down quality Chinese food. Try the Duet Prawns- 8 of them, half in Grand Marnier, half in salt/pepper; Replaced “Our Place”; Full Dim Sum available weekends- though far pricier than Chinatown. Huge menu. Dumplings galore; Cocktails! 
 
Shun Lee Palace: Chinese. 155 E 55th St @ Lex-3rd; 24/21/$54; 371-8844; Upscale Chinese; Silky service; Gourmet dining; 5 different Duck entrees; Top of the line in the city; Expensive for genre but amazing quality; Silky smooth service. Been around 4 decades; Truly, if you want a ‘fancy’ Chinese experience, give this one a try; Creative menu with unique dishes & also the usuals – spruced up.  Open daily for lunch/dinner. 
 

Wa Jeal: Chinese. 1588 2nd Av @ 82nd; 24/16/$30; 396-3339; Nothing fancy but the food is outstanding; They clearly ‘try’ with every dish; So affordable for the area and even the genre outside of Chinatown; Ultra fresh and spicy food; Try their “Chili Oceanic” Diced Fish with crispy Tofu or Wok roasted Chili; Huge menu as with any Chinese restaurant.  Most dishes are spicy and the ones meant to be carry a punch. Steamed Shrimp Dumplings, Dan Dan Noodles. Tons of soup options (16).

 

Chef Ho’s Peking Duck: Chinese. 1720 2nd Av @ 89-90th; 23/15/$33; 348-9444; Asian at very affordable prices; The duck is indeed succulent. Service is sharp. Semi-upscale;  One of the better sit-down Chinese places. Signature dish might be the crispy orange beef after the duck; Endless menu; Mid-level Chinese at extremely affordable rates for the UES. Chicken Fried Rice heaven.