Back to NYC Eats… and Drinks!
A-Wah, 5 Catherine St [CHINESE]
– A-Wah specializes in Hong Kong-style Chinese cooking, notably clay pot Rice dishes. Of the 3 our group ordered, the Three-Mushroom Hot Pot was the best. As an appetizer, definitely get their Peking Duck sandwiches, which are excellent and you’ll probably end up ordering a couple more! Portions are generous and everything is ridiculously cheap! Service can be a little sloppy here, especially when it gets crowded.
Apothéke, 9 Doyers St #1 [COCKTAIL BAR]
– In keeping with the trend of NYC’s speakeasy-style cocktail bars, Apothéke gives Chinatown a post-dinner destination, and an awesome one at that! Repurposed from an old pharmacy that once existed there, this is an exquisitely designed space, with a beautiful ceiling, luxurious couches, stunning old lamps and a gorgeous hand-carved bar in the rear. True to its name, the apothecary details are everywhere, from the lab coat-totting mixologists to the antique medicine bottles, down to the minutest details on the menu, which itself reads like every cocktail enthusiasts’ fantasy! From the extensive list of offerings, The Catcher in the Rye is my pick of the lot.
Aux Epices, 121 Baxter St [FRENCH – ASIAN]
– A cute little space, this eatery serves a mashup of French and Asian cuisine, true to the lineage of the husband and wife team that run it. Minus some of the seafood items on the menu, the French influence is hard to tell, but the mostly Malay influence is evident enough, and they do a solid job of the staples, Nasi Lemak and Chicken Rendang. Services is friendly and prices are fair.
Cafe Noir, 32 Grand St [BISTRO / TAPAS BAR]
– More SoHo than Chinatown really but since its only a block away from the Canal St stop, I consider it part of the latter! Cool spot with a lot of atmosphere at night.
Chatham Square Restaurant, 6 Chatham Square [CHINESE]
– Run down old bakery cum restaurant with awesome pork buns and throwaway prices!
Congee Bowery, 207 Bowery [CHINESE]
– Again, more SoHo than Chinatown but since its a Chinese place, I’ve clubbed it under the latter. Besides, its not far from it! There are two locations (the other one on Allen) but this is the one I’ve been to and suffice to say that everything we ordered was phenomenal! From the crabs to the jellyfish (first time for me!), to the shrimp, beef, everything!
Dim Sum Go Go, 5 East Broadway [CHINESE]
– Their Steamed Dumplings are great, as is their Fried Rice.
Forgtmenot, 138 Division St [BAR / AMERICAN]
– The interiors appear really compact at first, but there’s a larger room at the back. No matter the size, the bar area is still the most fun place to hang at. The decor is surf-shacky; the drinks are reasonably priced, and the place definitely has a fun vibe to it. I’m told the food is pretty good too. It’s also just a great watering hole when your stuck somewhere between Chinatown and the overwhelming side streets of the LES!
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers St [CHINESE]
– Its rumored to be the oldest Dumpling house in the city, and the ambience within has probably changed very little since the 1920s. Prices are down to earth; service is efficient; the choice of teas on their menu is countless; and last but not the least, they do an amazing job of their Dim Sum offerings, and especially, those Steamed Pork Buns! This place is a true classic, and I hope it remains so forever!
Nyonya, 199 Grand St [MALAYSIAN]
– Awesome and spicy Malay food at hard to beat prices!
Paris Cafe, 113 Mott St [VIETNAMESE]
– Essentially a bakery, their spicy Vietnamese Pork sandwich on freshly baked Baguette is a must have on any visit to Chinatown!
Peking Duck House, 28 Mott St [CHINESE]
– The modern makeover – almost unbecoming of Chinatown – and the late night hustle is the first thing that greets you as you enter. Service can be a little chaotic but the food arrives quickly enough and is guaranteed to satisfy even the staunchest of critics. The menu is extensive but just focus on their core competence – Peking Duck, with all the trappings – they do a stellar job of it!