erica allowed my wife and I to join her group of 10 there last night for dinner (thank you) and I was very impressed with this place. Having spent most of the last several years eating mainly Szechuan (and similar) food in Flushing, Manhattan and Bklyn C'towns, I've managed to eat at Cantoon Garden and Congee Village Bowery in the last few months and have had very good meals in a style I had forgotten how much I like. At any rate, IP was actually a bit better than either of the other two on all the "serious" dishes. Each of these dishes were more skilled and contained better ingredients. Although all 3 restaurants are very good, this is a difference that is sometimes lost to non-Asian diners at Cantonese/Hong Kong places since everything is so understated. At least, for me that's been true. The seafood dishes had more and better quality seafood, the noodles and greens had more fresh taste, etc & I found it significant.
We followed posts from Lau, Peter Cherches and others in ordering, and erica had been there before herself so she was skilled at picking out the good stuff... basically, I/we left the ordering to her (something I am just about never willing to do with others). The highlights included clams in broth with scallions and some heat, gigantic oysters (8-12" long) w/XO sauce (I loved these, othes didnt), a squid dish, lobster w/sticky rice, mei fun (rice noodles) w/seafood, greens (what kind?) w/lots of tasty things in it (more than just egg whites and yolk, but I'm not sure exactly what), a whole nicely fried meaty flounder & sable w/black bean sauce. Each of these were outstanding. Good enough were the lamb chops and the pork (in orange sauce?). Only the chicken w/broc. was absurdly not worth it. It's absolutely a seafood place.
The menu is definitely deep enough that another 10-12 dishes recommended on the boards or sighted going to other tables are still to be tried. Next time. Including tip, this all cost around $35pp. I know, this is not cheap in C'town standards but we drank beers & had major seafood dishes (oysters, lobster...) that a substantially more $$. Well worth it.
Link to other thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/543625
136-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354
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