Tag Archives: chinese food

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

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

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

Wo Hop

How have I never reviewed this place in all my years living here, and all my times eating here – especially from way back when I went to Law School and lived/worked nearby for years after?

Wo Hop is a NYC institution. They’ve been serving up excellent and affordable Chinese food in their iconic downstairs location since 1938! I have to say, the fried wontons are some of the best I’ve ever had.

On this visit, my wife and I had the sliced chicken with baby corn. I was expecting this to be much spicier, being printed in RED on the menu and under the spicy Szechaun section, but it was still delicious.

We also had the 4D chow fun, which has 4 different proteins (shrimp, beef, chicken and roast pork). This was the better dish.

They’re still keeping prices very low here, which is great. Even the t-shirt prices haven’t changed since I purchased one back in 2000 – $10!

If you’ve never been, you definitely should go at least once, even if it’s just to say that you’ve been there.

WO HOP
17 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Jing Fong

Jing Fong on the upper west side might be my new favorite place for dim sum. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive than the old, storied downtown haunts, but the food is markedly better. In addition, while the classic dim sum joint will have rolling carts of tasty goodness meandering throughout the floor of the restaurant (which is a big part of the fun), those carts often smell like sterno, chemical flame or leaking natural gas. That smell always ruins the experience for me.

This place brings everything out that you order, sans carts. No smell. I liked that change-up, though admittedly there was a little less fun and intrigue to the experience. But over all, I really loved this place. Some favorites below:

Peking Duck Dumplings – probably one of the best dumplings I’ve had.

I usually hate these pork buns. Always too “bready” and almost always too sweet. Not the case here.

Take a peek inside the vagina slit below. Great ratio of bun to meat, and the meat wasn’t too sweet. Perfect.

Always important to eat your veggies:

Especially when there’s minced pork inside.

Very nice steamed rice rolls (though I wish they offered the ones with fried crullers inside too).

This crispy fried chicken with roasted garlic (entree dish, not dim sum obviously) was really nice too.

I’ll definitely be back here again.

JING FONG
380 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

Green Garden Village

I recently went to Green Garden Village with a group of 12 people for a massive “Friendsgiving” dinner. This was a big meal so I’ll get right down to what we tried.

1) Whole Suckling Pig

This needs to be ordered in advance, so make sure you call ahead. It was delicious. They serve the crispy skin with the meat still attached in about 15 bao buns, and then a platter is filled of the rest of the pork.

I’d say if you just ordered this with a veggie and a noodle or rice dish, you’d be good for 4 or 5 people.

2) Grouper Three Ways

These were all light but really flavorful:

A) We had the fish filleted and steamed with scallions and ginger near the end of dinner.

B) The head and bones were used to make a milky-white fish broth that was served at the beginning of dinner (I didn’t take a photo of it).

C) This plate of grouper and cabbage is what was used in the soup (aside from the fish head and bones), along with tofu and Chinese mustard greens. They just strained it and served it on the side with the soup.

3) Alaskan King Crab Three Ways

These massive crabs are pricey, but they will serve it a few ways for you if you so choose:

A) Steamed w/ Garlic Over Ho Fun:

This was my favorite preparation. The ho fun noodles were awesome, and the garlic was just the right kind.of flavor to really make you appreciate the sweetness of the crab.

B) Fried Crab w/ Salted Duck Yolks:

Not sure why the shells get battered and fried, but I’ve certainly seen this before. The salted duck yolk was nice though.

C) Crab Brain Fried Rice:

This rice was delicious. Anything that isn’t large crab meat gets fried up and mixed into it.

4) Stir-Fried Fresh Eel

I’m not a huge fan of eel but this was nice.

5) House Special Stir Fry (mixed seafood with sugar snap peas)

This dish contained a lot of interesting stuff in it.

6) Mixed Mushrooms w/ Japanese Tofu

Whatever Japanese tofu is, I love it. Crispy outside and creamy custard-like interior. Awesome mix of mushrooms too. Wow. I liked the fucking tofu dish.

7) Peking Pork Chops

I wasn’t crazy about this one. Not the best chops, dogged up breading and the sauce was too sweet.

8) Sauteed Snow Pea Sprouts

Mandatory greens. These could’ve used a bit more pan heat and some more garlic flavor (no photo).

9) Crispy Garlic Chicken (half order)

This was delicious. I also appreciated that it wasn’t hacked into shitty, difficult-to-eat, bone-in bits and pieces, as often happens with Chinese poultry preparations.

10) Rack of Lamb (double order)

These were deliciously spicy, super tender and perfectly cooked inside. I was very happy with these.

Definitely give this place a shot. I think I like this a little place better than Wu’s Wonton King [link].

GREEN GARDEN VILLAGE
216 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013

Hoi Ming

Hoi Ming has been feeding Long Islanders in the Oakdale/Sayville area since the 1960’s as far as I can tell.

The earliest notation I could find online about this place was something about it opening in 1971, but my folks seem to remember it being there in the 60’s. In any case it’s borderline ancient. There’s even a New York Times review of the place from 1976. Click the image below to view the article.

Not much has changed inside the place from what I remember back when I was there in the 80’s. Wood paneled walls. Lots of red. And an awesomely dim and cavernous tiki bar of sorts.

My whole family came here again recently to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. Basically, we just ordered a bunch of apps, but I was surprised that everything was actually pretty good.

Here’s the famous pupu platter – nothing has changed about this from my childhood memory of it.

Inside the foil was minced and spiced chicken.

The boneless spare ribs are generously portioned and delicious. My nephew calls them “red chicken,” not to be confused with the actual chicken that’s red in the pupu platter tinfoil.

And the shrimp toast is tasty as well. Pardon the blurry photo. My dad grabbed the plate and asked if I needed him to hold it for me.

I didn’t shoot anything else, but the menu is pretty standard. This place keeps its prices fair and provides a level of certainty and consistency for the locals who frequent the establishment. I guess that’s why it’s been there for 50 years.

HOI MING
469 Main St
West Sayville, NY 11796

Hwa Yuan

I went to Hwa Yuan with my wife and a group of friends to celebrate Lunar/Chinese New Year. We had a massive feast, but the very first bite of the meal was the clear favorite for all of us: crispy tangy beef.

This shit was like meat candy. So good that I wanted it by the bucketful.

Next up, Peking roasted duck.

Look at this fellow up close:

Our waiter sliced it up table side:

Here’s a short video of the slicing, set to American New Year music:

I also really liked this plate of sliced mountain yam with ginger, snow peas, goji berries and wood ear mushrooms. The yams tasted like giant water chestnuts.

This plate of eggplant was really tasty too, and I typically don’t love eggplant.

This dish was called “Amazing Chicken.” I really liked the sauce, but I wish the chicken had a bit more texture on it.

This was a roasted and stewed Barramundi fish.

And this bowl of ma po tofu was perfect. Just the right amount of silky texture and numbing spice with heat.

These pea sprouts were tasty too – almost like a cross between spinach and collards, simply steamed with garlic and soy.

Get your asses down to this joint and dig in. The food is really great!

HWA YUAN
42 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002