Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year: Five Exceptional Choices for Dining Out

Despite the fact that the Chinese New Year commenced on Monday (January 23rd), the celebration continues in New York as the Year of the Dragon has arrived. Unlike some cities in the U.S, New York has some of the finest and most authentic Cantonese restaurants anywhere outside of China. Therefore, 2DineOut has curated the consummate list of five superlative choices for dining out that would properly celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinatown Dim Sum:

Golden Unicorn:

18 East Broadway, New York, NY, 10002

P: + 1 (212) 941-0911

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, Golden Unicorn serves some of the finest and most authentic Cantonese Dim Sum in the city. What better way to celebrate the year of the dragon than delectable dim sum in Chinatown? Some of the favorite dishes are: Steamed Shrimp Dumpling ($3.25), Steamed Vegetable Dumpling ($2.25) and Steamed Beef Ball ($2.95).

Grand Harmony:

98 Mott Street, New York, NY, 10013

P: + 1 (212) 226-6603

Akin to Golden Unicorn, Grand Harmony also serves some of the most authentic dim sum in the city. Located in Chinatown on Mott Street, Grand Harmony serves fantastic dumplings (Steamed Shark Fin Pork and Parasly, House Special Shrimp Dumpling and Pork Shui Mai) as well as other delectable dim sum dishes such as: Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce, Beef Ball w/Watercress and Shrimp Ball with Almond. Overall, whether it is to celebrate the New Year or to just to dine out at an exceptional dim sum, Grand Harmony is a winner.

Dumplings, Dumplings and More Dumplings:

Vanessa’s Dumpling House

Although it does not have a proper dining room, Vanessa’s Dumpling House serves some of the finest and most affordable dumplings in Manhattan. Averaging 50 cents per dumpling (some are 25 cents), Vanessa’s is easily one of the least expensive Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. In addition to dumplings (Boiled Shrimp Dumplings (8) $4 and Fried Chive and Pork Dumpling (4) $1) Vanessa’s Dumpling House also serves fantastic Sesame Pancake with Peking Duck( $2.25) and Beef Noodle Soup ($3.50)

Fine Dining:

Shun Lee Palace

155 East 55th Street, New York, NY, 10022

P: + 1 (212) 371-8844, W: www.ShunLeePalace.com

While there are many venues located in Chinatown that serve exquisite Cantonese cuisine as well as authentic dim sum, who says celebrating the Chinese New Year can not be done at an upscale restaurant? Shun Lee Palace is one of the best Chinese restaurants in NYC. Among the many scrumptious dishes served at Shun Lee, the best are the Barbecue Spare Ribs ($19.50), Shrimp with Lobster Sauce ($25.95) and Beijing Duck ($45).

Mr. Chow

Quite possibly the “King of Chinese Cuisine,” Mr. Chow is one of the best, if not the best Chinese restaurants in New York. If that was not a strong enough contention, then perhaps it’s affordable $35 prix fixe dinner menu for New York Restaurant Week should do the trick. The NY Restaurant Week menu includes an appetizer (Chicken Satay, Mr. Chow Noodle, Squab w/Lettuce or Water Dumplings) entree (Green Prawns, Beijing Chicken, Drunken Fish or Spicy Pork w/Chilli) side of Shrimp Fried Rice, Vegetables AND dessert (Mixed Sorbet). Restaurant week concludes on Friday February 10th, 2012.

Golden Unicorn @ Dim Sum in Chinatown

One of the best ways to truly experience dim sum is by heading down to Chinatown. Among an abundance of “authentic” Cantonese restaurants, there are a handful of winners. One of the best is Golden Unicorn, which is located on the second floor of an office building. Despite the dubious charm from the office building’s entrance, the dining room transplants each customer to another world full of delectable dim sum, video’s of Chinese descent full of hilarity and a clientele that speaks mostly Mandarin. In addition to being truly authentic, the food is exceptional.

While ordering food a la carte is possible, the most popular is through the three separate dim sum carts that go around every five minutes or so.  Among several succulent options I went with the Steamed Shrimp Dumpling ($3.25), Steamed Vegetable Dumpling ($2.25) and Steamed Beef Ball ($2.95).

In the end, all three dim sum specialties were terrific. All three dishes were perfectly steamed and integrated fresh ingredients. However, in order to fully take advantage of the dim sum, make sure the lunch commences before 1P.M as many of the best dishes will sell out fast (and therefore may only be faced with one or two options available, such as Vegetable Dumplings).

Golden Unicorn

18 East Broadway,

New York, NY, 10002

P: + 1 (212) 941-0911

Mr. Chow @ Mr. Chow Noodle

For many, Mr. Chows is known as the preeminent chinese restaurant in New York. In addition to its delectable cuisine, the restaurant is known for its affluent crowd (celebrities, businessmen and artists) as well as its uber-cool 1980’s decor at its original location on east 57th street. Unfortunately ever since former chef, Philippe Chow, opened his own restaurant Philippe in 2005, Mr. Chow has lost some of the spotlight  (and therefore relevance) as the menu’s are nearly identical and Philippe was considered the new, more trendy player on the block (especially after opening locations in East Hampton and Miami). Nevertheless, Mr. Chow’s will always be recognized as the original that serves higher quality food.

One of the most famous and recognizable dishes over the past few decades in New York City are the Mr Chow Noodles at Mr. Chow. In fact, the Chow Noodles ($18) are so highly revered that every night the chef publicly performs an exciting and impressive show in front of the entire restaurant in which he forms the noodles from scratch. The noodles are the restaurant’s version of pasta, which is very similar to Udon noodles, in terms of texture. The noodles, which are served with a choice of pork or vegetables (I evidently chose pork) are exceptionally full of flavor and therefore are able to easily absorb the meat, which inevitably leads to a killer dish.

Mr. Chow:

324 East 57th Street,

New York, NY, 10022

P: + 1 (212) 751-9030