New York City — Chinatown | Delicious Eats

Food adventure is my favorite type of adventure. Sometimes I hate myself for loving food so much that I know not how to stop eating. However, that hate only last 2 seconds. I love food and I love what food has to offer. Food is one of the main gateway to introductions between cultures. When wanting to connect with friend from completely different background it could get difficult but I feel that if there are food involves it could make it easier.

In my previous post I posted view pictures of NY that I went to recently. On this one I will post about the food adventures side of it. This food adventure focuses mainly the Chinatown side of NY. One of the culture that has embedded itself in with America.

Jing Fong Restaurant

20 Elizabeth St
New York, NY 10013

From what I know Jing Fong is a popular and known dim sum restaurant. However, like most dim sum restaurant they also sells other Chinese dishes. Dim sum is the Chinese version of brunch, it typically starts from 10am to 2/3pm. Jing Fong does not live up to the hype of this place does not match the quality of their food or service. All this place is HYPE. The wait was an hour long and it was not worth it and on top of it they have a fairly confusing system.

If you have been to Jing Fong multiple times the system may not be that confusing but for a first timer it was. My friend was given a ticket with a number (I believe it was 21) and was told wait is about 30min – 45mins, which was fine to us. Not long after that they called numbers and 21 was called. My friend went up and the lady told us it was not our turn. As a first timer that was mind boggling; we clearly understand English but when she called 21 and we and up she said it was not us. SO apparently there was 2 numbers on our ticket: 21 and 3, and the 3 was in circle. Those numbers meant different thing; 3 was for round and 21 was for the place in that round.

From what one of their customer told me is that a typical round has about 90-120 numbers; as for how would you know which round they are calling? Beats me, I didn’t find out the girl I asked just told me that they are currently calling round 2. How did she know? I am not sure, I don’t know if they said something before starting round or if it is written somewhere? I am not sure. My best advice is just be shameless, make friends and ask questions. With the amount of people that go to that place, one of them bound to know which round they are calling.

Now lets talk food? Not great. Fried food were cold cold upon arrival. Hot food? Our favorite was the bean curd wrap, har gaw skin were too thick, tripe was normal, siu mai was luke warm and the rest were forgettable. Overall it was mediocre. It is nothing special and nothing that you can’t find in another dim sum restaurant. With HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people they have waiting you would think that it was something special. It is really not and the wait was not worth it.

Service? Everyone were so cold. Ambiance of that place was ridiculous. The place was insanely pack, everyone shared a table with each other. Food does not come to each table/section, as a customer you would have to chase the cart down for food and bring it back to your own table. It was insanity! When we needed the check and we were ready to leave the lady told me it wasn’t her job. Ha? Depending on what ‘uniform’ they are wearing it determined their job so if it was not your job they will tell you and move on. They will not even try to get the person for the right job. Again for a first timer, that is really confusing and I was not used to that.

Disclaimer though, I did go to this place on a Sunday so I am not sure if this is typical for the restaurant or if it is just a Sunday thing.

Price was decent. I don’t think it was higher than Philly but they do charge for tea, when usually Philly does not unless you go to a dim sum parlor instead of just a restaurant that offers dim sum in the morning.

Would I go back? Heck no. Would I recommend? Heck No.

Chinatown Original Ice Cream Factory

63 65 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013

This place I have nothing bad to say about. All the flavors we tried were so good and we wanted more. I personally got the durian and black sesame, yes, I am that person. I love durian, the king of stink food. The sesame ice cream was the best sesame ice cream I have ever tried and I have tried A LOT of them. Even my friend wanted to take a pint of the sesame home, if only it wasn’t warm that day. The durian was also very durian, when I burp I felt like I was stinking up the room. It was delicious! Consistency was smooth and flavor was on point. My friend got their special, green tea oreo which was also good. It was smooth and has a nice richness and flavor profile.

I would go back to this in a heart beat!

Tai Pan Bakery

194 Canal Street
New York,NY 10013

Famous for their dan tat, which is egg tart. Tai Pan makes different varieties of the dan tat and I want to say I got to try them all? I am not sure how many they really have but I bought each of what they have. I don’t have all the pictures though because I took most of them home and it was already too ugly to take a photo. I got their original, Portuguese style, match, egg white and cheese. That list is also my list rated from favorite to least. I love their crust, I am a big fan of a flaky soft egg tart crust.

Original is so delicious, my fried tried it for the first time and was addicted immediately and she had to buy some to take home. The custard was very soft and had the right amount of sweetness.

The Portuguese seems to have been torched? I am not sure else the are different beside the fact that it had a bit smokier flavor and the custard is darker on top. The Portuguese seems slightly sweeter to comparing to the original.

Green tea was also good. It was very infused in green tea from color to flavor. It was not overly sweet because green tea has its own bitterness which balance out what may have been a sweet egg tart.

The egg white style was not a favorite of mine. It was very sweet and with the lack of the yolk, it was less creamy in comparison to the original egg tart. The consistency does not have the consistency of a custard.

The cheese was also very sweet but the down fall for me was that it was just so heavy. I am not a huge cheese person. I only can eat a lot certain kind and this was not that kind. I felt like after awhile, if I keep eating it, I may throw up. If you are a fan of cheesy thing give it a go. The consistency thick custard? It was like custard but it was also not…

Would I go back? I would for a box of original dan tat! Recommend? Oh yes, dan tat is a classic snack and I feel that they did a good job.

Taiyaki NYC

119 Baxter St
New York, NY 10013

A place of fish. This was also delicious. A new take on the original taiyaki. It was an open taiyaki filled with custard or red bean with choices of soft serves and toppings. The place and the fish is very instagrammable. I was so glad that the taste was also good. I would eat it quick though, white the fish is still warm. It is the best sensation ever. I do feel though it was a bit pricey, not an every day snack. Order, take a picture, eat and that is it. I got their unicorn which was veryyy cute! the The soft serves was strawberry and original, red bean stuffing, cotton candy sprinkles, and chewy candy/ sugar for the ears and horn. It was delicious.

Would I go back? Not for myself, maybe if I take a friend around. Would I recommend? I would, I feel that going there once is ok. It’s worth that instagram shot.

Joe Shanghai

9 Pell St
New York, NY 10013

A famous xiao long bao restaurant with multiple locations. Prior to visiting this place I read some reviews which claimed that only their xiao long bao is good so I went to the restaurant with that in mind and only ordered xiao long bao; well, and an order of water spinach because I felt like I was lacking consumption of vegetables that day. The water spinach was normal, nothing special. It’s season in garlic and it tasted just like garlic and oil. The xiao long bao on the other hand was delicious. We ordered an order of pork and an order of pork and crab meat and both were delicious. The broth was so rich comparing to the one I tried in Philadelphia. The skin was soft and chewy and the meat was juicy. I would recommend it for the food.

The atmosphere, it was like Jing Fong; too busy, too crowded and too much table sharing. I was not a fan. I like to eat in peace and this place did not give me peace. Everyone was in a hurry, both dinners and servers. AND again, I did go to this place on a Sunday, so I am unsure if it would be this insane on a week day.

Binki Cafe

42 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002

To end Sunday night my friend and I went to Binki Cafe. We wanted some cute dessert and Binki Cafe was it. Binki Cafe specializes in soft serve and fruit drinks with cute cotton candy characters. We originally wanted their soft serves with their cotton candy characters but they were cleaning their soft serves machine and was not selling it that night. It worked out though because my friend and I already had so much dairy that day so ordering a drink was all we needed. We went with their specialty drinks which were the galaxy drinks. To be honest I don’t remember what flavor I ordered but I do remember that it was good but too sweet. The excitement of the galaxy drink is the fact that the drink changes colors with a little help from a mechanical “ice cube”. It was so neat!

The price was not cheap but I don’t think you go to this place for an every day drink, rather for its novelty. Therefor, I expected to pay for it. Cotton candy was sweet and the eyes were made of m&ms. The line on Baymax and Kitty whiskers were made of seaweed which was a horrible idea! Not for presentation wise but taste wise. Cotton candy and seaweed together have the most disturbing taste ever! I would never want to eat those two together ever again.

Would I go back? Yes and would I recommend? YES! It is so cute that it is worth a visit.

Cha Chan Tang

45 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

First visit of Monday was a breakfast at Cha Chan Tang, a place specialized in Hong Kong traditional breakfast but with a modern twist. I personally have never tried any other Hong Kong breakfast therefor, I have nothing compare it to. I am judging the taste based on my own taste buds. We originally ordered congee, a macaroni soup, pineapple bun and the special Hong Kong milk tea, however what we received was congee, omelet, pineapple bun, and Hong Kong milk tea. I am not one to create problem so I just kept it, as long as the didn’t charge me for the item did not receive I was fine.

The congee was simple, I did wish it was a little more seasoned but it was good. The did not skim on the fermented egg. The omelet was simple and delicious, the butter toast that it came with was the unexpected part for me. It was buttery but it had a sweetness to it as well. It was nice and soft. Pineapple bun was my favorite dish of the bunch. Pineapple bun is something I see at the bakery often but never buys because it is just a plain bun with a sweet crunch on top but without any fillings. It was too plain of a bun for me, but this place completely changed my opinion of pineapple bun, I feel in love and all the restaurant do was add a slab of butter in the middle! Why have I never thought of that?? I am not sure if the butter was a special butter but man, that butter elevated a normal pineapple bun! The bun is now sweet, soft, and salty; it gives off a croissant flavor but better. The Hong Kong ice tea was also good, the presentation of the drink made the drink. Having the ice on the outside instead of the inside kept the drink cold through out the meal and undiluted.

Overall the simplicity of this place was what made the place. I love the simplicity of the food and I love their modern and clean take on it. Next time I stay overnight in NY, I feel like I need to go back there again.

Would I go back? In a heart beat. Would I recommend? Oh yessss!

Keki Modern Cakes

79 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

After breakfast was a pit stop at the bakery to pick up some jiggly cheese cake. The cheese cake was not jiggly as it is advertised. However, it could fairly be my fault because I did not open it right away but I walked with it to the get Boba Guys (spoiler for the next location). The consistency could have changed in that period of time but by the time I opened it and took it out it was not jiggly. As for the taste? It was delicious, a Japanese cheesecake is much lighter than American cheesecake. I typically can only eat a few bite of an American cheesecake but with Keki’s cheesecake I could finish the whole thing in one sitting because it was light enough. I finished the cake in the span of three days and I felt that a the day progress the cheesecake actually taste better and better. I definitely think it is worth a try but don’t expect it to jiggle otherwise you would be disappointed.

Boba Guys

Canal Street Market
265 Canal St
New York, NY 10013

I have been looking to try Boba Guys since my trip to San Francisco but I didn’t get a change to go then (which is 2 years ago) and somehow I saw that NY had one so I had to make it a mission to go to the NY location and I did. I wanted to try the Instagrammable drinks but I had too much sweet from Sunday and just wanted to try something simple, so, I went with their coffee milk tea. I never thought that coffee, tea and milk would all go together will but it did and so well at that. Their drinks we definitely good drinks and their boba was perfection. Not too sweet and the perfect chewiness. One day I will go back and try their instagrammable drink.

Would I go back? Yes, to try other ones. Would I recommend? Sure, why not!

Sweet Churros

Food Gallery 32
11 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001

Last place of visit was for some churros. It is known for intagrammable style churros on a cup soft serves. I can’t say what their soft serves taste like but their churros were mediocre. I have had much better and more authenthic churros. The hype is more of how good it looks on pictures because the churros are covered with different topping. I went with their sample box which came with the original, chocolate almond covered, matcha covered, and stawberry covered. The best one was the chocolate almond but overall it was just mediocre. To be honest the churros does not taste like a traditional churro. It taste more like fried though covered with sugar and cinnamon or whatever else toppings.

Would I go back? Probably not. Would I recommend? Not for the churros. More for if you want something to take a picture of.

Overall trip was quite pleasing. Hopefully my visit will benefit you and help you decide to go or not to go to some of these places. If you have any recommendations, please let me know! I am always looking for new restaurants to visit!

Love,
Jule

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