I had dinner at this place last night, it's located at 23 Pell Street in Chinatown. I had the pork xiao long bao, they were really good--not too big, pretty thin skin, flavorful soup and not slimy pork. Pretty balanced flavor over-all. Possibly the best ones I have had in recent memory. They kindly set them down on the table with a warning that the contents are hot and to eat them carefully :)
For my main course I had braised pork (I think it was pork belly) with tofu skin. It was served in a small cast iron pot and the tofu skin was tied into very pretty knots that were delicious, chewy-tender and flavorful the whole way through. The pork was in small chunks, the fat well-rendered and overall the whole dish had really great flavor and texture. It tasted like star anise, chinese wine and maybe dark soy? 5 spice? It was not spicy but some chili oil on the table remedied that.
Honestly, the quality of this dish was close to something I would find at one of the better places in Flushing. I hope that this is a sign that Manhattan's Chinatown is on an upswing again!
The space is clean, sparse and pretty nice actually. Think typical Chinatown non-decor but new-seeming and they have a decorative fish tank. The staff was really nice and friendly, I came in by myself on my way home and they weren't weird about a solo diner. The menu overall had a lot of interesting stuff on it, including some braised noodle soups that I would like to try. A table of tourists ordered beef with broccoli and I have to say, it looked pretty awesome so I think in future I'll try some of their more Americanized fare too, perhaps as part of a lunch special or something.
The prices are a little bit higher than some places in Chinatown. My bill was $20. But I would rather pay more for what seemed like better ingredients and more than competent cooking. Not to mention how nice the waiters were, especially compared to other nearby restaurants.
I ate the leftovers of my pork dish today for lunch and omg, so good! That's why I am posting this now.
23 Pell St, New York, NY 10013