Went last night with 4 friends (2 from out of town) and my wife. Place was jam packed, but after about a 20 minute wait were sat in the back with a group of three at one of the large, circular tables. Instead of drink orders, we were asked immediately how many orders of the soup dumplings we wanted. Now, I know they are known for their soup dumplings (just look at all the reviews on the front window), but wow! So of course we placed an order for 2. And they were great. Very flavorful once you get past looking at how gross the "soup" actually looks. Quite nasty, but mm mm good, and not as difficult to eat as its been suggested. Then we went ahead and ordered some dishes for sharing. These included:
Chicken Fried Rice: Good. Have had better at my old local place in NJ (Bamboo House, Ridgewood, NJ).
General Tsao's Chicken: Great. Delish. Possibly the best version of this I've ever had. Quite different than what I've had before...not the crispy kind...more like a glaze on top. Nice looking, perfect texture and taste. Tops.
Sesame Beef: Quite a dissappointment. Nearly impossible to bite into. Avoid this dish. I actually thought it was General Tsao's at first glance (the way I'm used to seeing it). A no-no.
Breaded Pork Chops??: I think this is what they ordered. I skipped these. Didn't look too appetizing.
Scallion Pancakes: Below average. Didn't come close to the ones at Ivangie Tea House (also in Ridgewood, NJ)
Beef with String Beans: Very good and with a large amount of food. A safe staple for anyone's group.
Oh, and the tea was quite good as well. Better than I've had at some places. Flavorful and just the right temperature.
Total bill, with 4 sodas and a beer, before tip was $77. Not bad at all. I'd go back for my Chinese fix, but will first have to remember how to get there. (It's right off of Bowery, so I'd suggest taking that route).