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Phoenix Garden (E. 40th) - nice first visit

Simon | Apr 10, 201506:21 PM

hi...i've seen this place mentioned here over the years once in a while, but never gave it too much notice either because i was laser-focused on the many Sichuan options and/or because i somehow had confused it w/ Peking Park...

Anyway, i went there tonight early-eve w/ my Guangdong-born/Cantonese-speaking gf, mainly because we were in the area and craving Cantonese cuisine...

Yum...a few thoughts:

-- because of the East-East 40th location, previous CH posts (as well as the actual drab entryway) had led me to think it was a bare-bones dive: actually it's a pleasant vibe w/ dark wood tables and sweet staff and......a jazz duo (Friday at least -- upright bass and keyboardist)...at least 50% Chinese customers including some tradtional banquetting tables...all in all, a good vibe

-- lobster w/ ginger and scallion...delicious...much better than Chinatown versions i've tried recently at Cafe HK, etc

-- fried fish dumplings -- highly recommended: delicate dumpling wrapper, large pieces of fish (not just paste)

-- and 3+ other dishes that worked just fine...duck, winter melon soup, snow pea leaves...

-- Oh, how could i forget: it's BYOB, no corkage...

This was just a first visit, but am sure to retry, because of the combo a) passes muster w/ my very particular Guangdong-born gf, b) BYOB, and c) fine lobster -- all guarantee a return...

Interested to here other thoughts, fav dishes, etc...

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