Man. This sucks. I loved Good Luck Café. That was probably in my top 3 of lunchtime restaurants in Chinatown. Everything I ordered was always good. When I popped my head in over Christmastime the place was closed but one of the guys told me they were just cleaning and itd be reopening soon. Weirdo that I am, I actually popped my head in again a few days later and was told the same thing (language was a factor). Now, those people are gone and now its, Duo Lai Asian Cuisine. The food is all Fujian, which means lots of soups, lots of well done seafood, but an emphasis on clean, subtle flavors. This was evident by what I ordered. I had the fried oyster cake which was oyster, cabbage and bean curd wrapped in a cakey crust topped w/ a few peanuts. Pretty tasty, hadnt had it before. The clam in white noodle soup was really all about clean flavors of the sea. Plain white (kinda boring) noodles came in a very pleasantly clammy broth, really had that clean, taste-of-the-sea thing going on. In addition to the noodles and clams the soup had celery and cucumber (though most bites tasted like cucumber, its possible there was some melon sneaking in there) cooked until tender. The flavors if the vegetables were so mild that it was a bit too lacking in flavor at times. I found myself not wanting to eat the veggies and just wanting to slurp up the broth.
I had a pleasant conversation with the girl whos working there now (I was the only one in the place when I arrived, one more guy walked in after me). She says she heard the Good Luck Café people are moving to a new restaurant but shes not sure where (Ill follow them, which isnt to say Ill abandon this new place completely). The girl said the new Duo Lai people were once somehow affiliated with Ting River but we had a bit of a language barrier so Im not sure on the details. She says business is slow and they might have to start putting stuff like chicken & broccoli on the menu. Man, if I knew Good Luck Café was struggling Id be on here singing there praises everyday as well as eating there a whole lot more, but I feel like this place needs a shot too, Ill probably go back and try some of the other stuff.
The fabled, Buddha jumping over wall is a Fujian dish. And if they can make it, Im definitely gonna make some sort of event of ordering it one day (its not on the current menu). You take a bunch of delicious things and boil them together in a Shaoxing wine jar (with the wine) over an open flame, sealed with a lotus leaf, and theres some other stuff too, Ive heard of it but Ive never had it. Definitely on my to eat list. Though yes, thats partly because I like its name.
220 N. 10th Street.
Oh, and I'd be eternally grateful if anyone with some Chinese-language skills would give them a call to find out where the Good Luck Cafe people moved to, 215-574-8300.