242 E 40th St
(between Tunnel Exit St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 983-6666 www.thephoenixgarden.com/
serves Cantonese food. Most of the entrees are about $10 to $15. Appetizers are almost as much. If you think of Cantonese food as the stuff you ate in the 1960s – egg foo young and chop suey and so on – you in for a surprise. Real Cantonese food is unfamiliar to most Americans, and is fairly exotic. The key here is to order real Cantonese food, not the restaurants attempts at Chinese American food, or Sichuan food, or even Shanghaiese food (such as soup dumplings). My favorite dishes here are the casseroles – especially the oysters with bean curd and pig – and the “pepper and salty” dishes (shrimp, oysters, scallops) but if you haven’t heard of the dish, if you haven’t seen it on every takeout Chinese menu, then your odds are good of finding something delicious.
Wu Liang Ye
36 W 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
212 398 2308
If you like spicy Sichuan food, you won’t do much better than Wu Liang Ye, up a fligh of stairs on this side street across from Rockefeller Center. My favorites include dan dan noodles with minced pork and chil, ox tongue and tripe with chili oil, tea smoked duck and double cooked spiced bacon. Entrees range from $10 to $20 (more for lobster).
10 E 38th St
New York, NY 10016
To round things out, here’s a Shanghaiese restaurant. The best known Shanghai food is soup dumplings. These are dumplings that have hot HOT soup inside. Be sure to order them, but be careful! Don’t bite into the whole dumpling, or you will either burn yourself or make a mess (or both). Instead, bite off the top of the dumpling, drink the soup, then eat the dumpling. (The soup dumplings are called ‘steamed little juicy buns’ on the menu, and available either with crab and pork or just pork). For a main course, try stewed pork, braised fish, or sea cucumber. Most entrees are about $20.
Sources: www.yelp.com www.menupages.com