Cantonese Newcomers and Other Chinatown Tips

Brian S, intrepid explorer of Chinatown, has been checking out some of the newer joints in the ’hood.

One of the newest is Delight 28 on Pell Street, already a popular banquet destination for Chinese families. Casseroles (listed only on the Chinese menu) are well above average. One standout is fish with bean curd. “In most restaurants,” Brian S notes, “it’s a few pieces of fish and many big chunks of dofu, but here it’s mostly fish, a tender white fish neatly battered with a flavorful brown broth.” Other winners are smoked duck with taro and stewed chicken with mushroom, onion, and ginger.

On the other side of Canal is the curiously named Dining Room Management Group (the Chinese name is something like Cantonese People’s House). From the vast illustrated menu, Brian has tried only pan-fried fish “Dia Luang Style”: a heaping plate of cubes of carp belly, seared to a crisp and infused with a subtle, sweet soy-ginger flavor. “It had a sort of country flair to it,” he adds. “You could imagine a guy catching a fish and cooking it that way over a fire by the riverbank.” Also on the menu: seafood and meat standards, noodles, rice casseroles, congee, and Chinese breakfast fare.

Roasted Delights, tucked into a short block of Catherine Street, sounds and looks like a Cantonese roast meat house. But beyond the pork and fowl hanging in the window, you’ll find a brightly lit dining room and a surprisingly large menu—including a very good fish head casserole, full of mushrooms and chunks of pork, in a wine-scented brown sauce.

Two older restaurants, both Cantonese seafood houses, remain in top form. At Fuleen, Miss Needle endorses geoduck two ways: raw and salt-and-pepper fried; the spicy fried dish makes a nice counterpoint to the sashimilike slices of raw clam. Also recommended: braised sea bass in casserole, crab with ginger and scallions, and perfectly steamed carp (strewn with scallions, ginger, and cilantro).

If you’re going for dinner, Brian S advises, get there by 6:30; by 7:15 there might be a line out the door. And if it’s lunchtime, check out the $5.50 special: your choice of 61 entrées plus rice, soup, and fruit for dessert. TMWeddlle feasted on shrimp with peanuts and garlic sauce plus pan-fried mixed seafood (shrimp, scallops, squid, and more)—two dishes that could have fed four: “Everything was fresh, correctly seasoned, just excellent!”

Just up the block, Sunrise 27 offers a long list of elaborate seafood dishes, as well as simpler ones like a commendable stewed chicken casserole, loaded with succulent meat plus sausage, mushrooms, onion, and just enough sauce to coat the chicken, Brian S reports. Like Delight 28, this six-year-old restaurant is often booked for banquets. But if there’s room, walk-in diners are seated at tables off to the side, where they can observe the festivities and maybe feel like part of the party.

For a humbler nosh, many hounds go for a bowl of congee from Big Wong. Better than those at Congee Village or Congee Bowery, it’s denser and boasts a more intense rice flavor, says kobetobiko. claireness also recommends Big Wong’s wonton soup and (with a caveat) dry beef chow fun. The latter is inconsistent, but when it’s on, “it’s light, delicate, not oily, and a great example of simple, tasty Cantonese food done right.”

And Lau puts in a word for the unfairly overlooked Wing Huang, whose jook he judges the best in Chinatown. First-rate noodle soups and barbecued meats, too.

Delight 28 [Chinatown]
28 Pell Street (near Mott Street), Manhattan
212-285-8686

Dining Room Management Group [Chinatown]
102 Mott Street (between Canal and Hester streets), Manhattan
212-925-1118

Roasted Delights [Chinatown]
5 Catherine Street (between Division Street and E. Broadway), Manhattan
212-966-6558

Fuleen [Chinatown]
11 Division Street (between Catherine and Market streets), Manhattan
212-941-6888

Sunrise 27 [Chinatown]
27 Division Street (between Catherine and Market streets), Manhattan
212-219-8498

Big Wong [Chinatown]
67 Mott Street (between Canal and Bayard streets), Manhattan
212-964-0540

Wing Huang [Chinatown]
111 Lafayette Street (between Walker and Howard streets), Manhattan
212-274-0690

Board Links: Delight 28 Restaurant, Pell Street
Dining Room Management Group—a new Chinese restaurant at 102 Mott
Roasted Delights, Chinatown (short review)
Chinatown–Fuleen Seafood Restaurant -
Chinatown: beyond GNY Noodletown
Sunrise 27—a Cantonese contender in Chinatown
I Want to take my parents to Chinatown
Good Cantonese Roast Pork Wonton Soup

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