Category Archives: Chinese

King’s Co. Imperial

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My photos of this meal aren’t that great, because I forgot my light. My video is fine, however, because the built in video light for the phone is nice. Flash photos, not so much.

This place has a retro vibe, with a Polynesian, pu-pu platter and tiki drinks old school feel to it. The cocktails were great.

We started with crispy fried mushrooms, pork ribs and shrimp toast. All of these were good. I think the mushrooms were my favorite of the entire meal, actually.

Next up, short rib beef chow fun, dry fried string beans, and crispy Szechuan calamari. Of these, the string beans were best, with the calamari close behind. They just needed to be a bit more crispy.

There’s a lot that looked nice enough to try here, so we will most likely be back.

KINGS CO. IMPERIAL
168 1/2 Delancey St.
New York, NY 10002

Ye’s Apothecary

Ye’s Apothecary is a cool downstairs spot in the Lower East Side that serves great cocktails and some tasty Szechuan food. The Szechuan old fashioned was a great way to start the meal. It IS spicy, so beware.

Our favorite dish was “husband and wife,” which was a chilled appetizer of beef tripe and tendon in a spicy chili oil.

The egg noodles with char siu pork was also a nice dish, but I wouldn’t get it on a second trip.

The crispy squid was excellent. Slightly salty, but I didn’t mind.

With everything being so spicy, the chairman’s pork belly was a great way to sneak in a bite of sweet every so often. Only downside here was the thick rubbery external skin that sometimes still seemed to have the texture of stubble/hair on it. Otherwise really tasty and tender.

The mushroom salad was a bit misleading, as it was a hot dish. Tasty though.

YE’S APOTHECARY
119 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Little Pepper

We hitched a ride out to Little Pepper in Queens with another foodie couple who has been there a bunch of times. We tried a lot of shit, so I’m gonna just get right into it.

This Szechuan style pork sausage was packed with flavor and ate like dry salumi with a kick!

The sliced pork belly in chili garlic sauce was probably one of the best items of the night. That sauce was dynamite.

My favorite item of the meal, though, was the shrimp. “Prawn with chili pepper” is what to order on the menu. The lightly fried crisp batter on the outside gave this such an amazing texture. I could eat buckets.

The lotus root was a great veg item for the side, as were the string beans.

The tea smoked duck lacked smoke or tea flavor, and was a bit on the dry side. But it was really flavorful and still very tender.

The scallion fried rice doesn’t look like much, but it’s a meal in itself for sure. It’s really delicious, and it sure as fuck beats regular white rice. So get this for all your rice eating needs (to soak up the ma-po sauce).

Speaking of ma-po, their tofu dish was excellent!

Another classic done well are the dan dan noodles. Get these.

One of the more surprising dishes was the pork meatballs. These were tender, soft and gingery flavored. A little more on the sweet side when compared to some of the spicy items we tried.

Finally, the spicy and tingly cumin lamb dish was really nice. The lamb is thin sliced and tossed with tin slices of veg and onions. Really earthy and flavorful.

This place is definitely a banger. With the abundance of spots nearby in Chinatown, however, I’m not sure how often I would be back here in Queens. I do highly recommend it though.

LITTLE PEPPER
18-24 College Point Blvd
College Point, NY 11356

Hakka Cuisine

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife and I just walked by this place a few weeks ago and we were wondering if it was any good. Then, a few days ago, some friends of ours organized a lunch here. We were psyched to go.

This place is really known for their “blossom chicken,” which is basically a chicken that has had all the meat removed, chopped up, and mixed with shrimp paste to form a sort of chicken-shrimp sausage. Then it’s stuffed back into the skin and cooked until that skin gets golden crisp. It’s amazing!

We also had a really tender, delicious and savory braised pork belly dish. Make sure you order some rice to soak up those amazing juices.

The stuffed tofu (stuffed with pork sausage, I think) was good, but it was my least favorite of the main dishes. It just didn’t have the powerful punch of flavor like the others.

This stir fried white fish or bait fish dish was really tasty. I think this would benefit from a pop of spice, but the ginger in it was really refreshing.

If you’re looking for a big shared appetizer, get the sliced conch on ice. It’s heavy on the wasabi, but if you’re like me, that’s a good thing!

Last, we had some pea shoots with fried baby shrimp on the side. This was more soupy than I expected, as opposed to stir fried. It was still delicious though.

I will definitely be back here to try more dishes. Our waiter showed us a few more items that they consider specialties as he was bringing them to other tables (egg custard with clams, and lobster fried rice).

HAKKA CUISINE
11 Division St.
New York, NY 10002

The Dolar Shop

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This is easily one of the better hot pot joints I’ve tried so far. I would definitely go back!

THE DOLAR SHOP
55 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Ping

I haven’t been to Ping in almost 20yrs. I was glad to see nothing has changed for the dim sum experience. Here’s a little Zooz bike “Ride & Review” video I put together:

If you like that bike, you can get $150 off with code JOHNNYPRIME at checkout, www.zoozbikes.com.

Also – here is a nasty little outtake from the video:

My favorite bite was the rice roll with crispy cruller inside.

Also worth getting: the pork wrapped in bean curd skin – top right on my plate here:

PING
22 Mott Street
New York, NY 10013

Cafe China

This place was really good! I forgot my light, and I didn’t take a lot of pics, but this Michelin starred Chinese joint really delivered the flavor! My favorite was the crispy fish filets (last pic), but over all everything was high quality. I would definitely go back for more.

CAFE CHINA
59 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018

Fried Dumpling

Tucked away in a Chinatown alley near the back of NYC’s Civic Center is a little hole-in-the-wall dumpling spot that’s simply called “Fried Dumpling.” I discovered this place while frequenting joints like Wo Hop and Peking Duck House during law school, in the very early 2000’s.

I’ve been coming here for over two decades now, and although my visits are infrequent, every time I go it hits the spot. They aren’t the best dumplings you’ll eat – the dough is a little thick, and the fried crust is inconsistent – but for $5 you get about a dozen, and they’re pretty damn tasty for the price. You can choose steamed or fried. I always go with fried, because they seem to have more flavor from the griddle/flat top. A squirt of sri racha and a shake of vinegar dumpling sauce and you’re all set.

Just a note: There’s no place to sit here. It’s really just for either standing at the small shelf along the side wall, or taking your plastic clamshell to go.

My wife and I used to buy the bags of frozen dumplings they offer, so we could cook them at home ourselves. This place is a gem.

My last visit was during a @NYCZoozClub food crawl. Check out the video below if you’re interested. And use code JOHNNYPRIME for $150 off your Zooz bike at www.zoozbikes.com.

 

FRIED DUMPLING
106 Mosco Street
New York, NY 10013

New Spicy Village

My wife and I finally got over here to try the noodles.

But first, we put down some pork dumplings.

Despite being a little bit soupy, the dry hand-pulled noodles were awesome. We tried the spicy chicken and spicy oxtail. I give the edge to the chicken, mainly because the oxtail wasnt stewed or slow cooked long enough. The bones were cut very thin so that they cook faster, but that unfortunately means the meat will be a bit less tender. Still great though.

Will definitely be back to try the lamb noodles.

NEW SPICY VILLAGE
118 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002

Essex Pearl

This place is incredible!

My wife and I have been dying to come here ever since we saw them setting up shop at Market Line soon after we moved in. It’s a beautiful seafood bar, done up really fancy as a place you’d love to just sit and have a cocktail, but also with open view to the kitchen and prep stations for all the delicious food.

We tried a lot of shit, so let me get right into it.

Raw littleneck clams topped with crispy shallots and a fish sauce mignonette. Perfect way to open up the meal. Pair this with their pickled ginger, shochu and gin martini.

Dry aged rib eye tartare, coarse cut. So tender and flavorful! The shrimp chips make for a perfect vehicle for mouth entry, and they add a great textural crunch.

Cumin lamb belly skewers. I really loved these. If you love cumin lamb noodles at places like Xian Famous, you need to try this. It’s LAMB BACON!

Tiger prawns. You’ll want to drink the sauce! This item was the whole reason my wife wanted to go, and it really delivered. It was her favorite dish (along with the hamachi collar).

Crispy baby octopus with Thai lemongrass curry and fried Thai basil. Ask for a small bowl of rice so none of that curry goes to waste!

The grilled pork jowls were next. This was probably my favorite of the meal. It comes with a lime pepper sauce that acts like a Carolina style vinegar BBQ sauce, almost, but Asian style as lime and pepper are common in places like Vietnam and Cambodia. It cuts the fat of the jowls so perfectly I can’t even describe it properly!

Turmeric dill hamachi collar. This is so delicious and large, it’s enough to share among two people. Light, flavorful, and amazingly aromatic.

Laotian ginger pork sausage over garlic noodles. WOW! The sausage is made in house and it’s so fucking good!

We washed it all down with this watermelon and lychee slushee. So refreshing and just the right amount of natural sweetness.

I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu, especially their surf and turf!

ESSEX PEARL
88 Essex Street
Cellar Level
New York, NY 10002