A Day in Chinatown

I really love going into neighborhoods around NYC and eating my way through it.  My friend Liz and I went on a seriously gluttonous walk.  It was wonderful. 

We started in west of Soho at Liz's office and began our walk until we got to Mulberry where we turned right and ventured in.  As much as Little Italy has shrunk down to a few streets we walked through the middle of the street because vendors were beginning to set up for the San Gernaro festival.  Once we passed through it we entered into Chinatown starting with a few fruit and vegetable stands that are definitely carrying products for the local market. 

We made our way down to the very end of the street to Tasty Dumpling located at 54 Mulberry.  A small shop with a few random tables.  We knew that we should pace ourselves so we split the steamed vegetable dumplings.  They were good but not great.  The vegetables were crisp but the dumpling skin was a little thicker than I like. 

On the walk to our next destination we stopped in New Beef King at 89 Baynard Street.  All they make there is beef jerky.  Oyster flavored, spicy beef and pork, fruit flavored and wet.  Never had seen the wet before and of course it was essential to have a taste.  Really good.  You can buy their products online. 

Our next stop was Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles.  A store front where the windows are pasted with paper and then one lone door that you walk through at 1 Doyers Street.  Another small place with just a few tables.  These noodles were delicious.  We did a vegetable noodle dish.  You can get noodles in all different sizes.  These were medium sized.  The dish was hard not to finish.  Just clean and fresh.

Here is the noodle maker himself.

En route we stopped by by Yunhong Chopsticks Shop.  The most beautiful chopsticks.  Great gifts.

I admit I was a bit full at this point but continued on.  The next stop was Bassanova Ramen at 76 Mott.  Japanese not Chinese transported as an off-shoot from the original in Tokyo.  The pottery alone in this place is insane.

The combination of flavors in these dishes were amazing.  Very layered and rich.  I felt a little bit like Violet in Willy Wonka where she experiences different flavors as each of them open up in her mouth.  I told Josh about this place and he has been back twice this week.  Liz went with the vegetarian ramen that is soupless and covered with a black truffle oil mixed with peppers, baby corn, roasted onions and greens.  The noodles are covered with a sharp salt that is divine.

I went with the Green Curry.  Thinly sliced grilled pork over the of the rich coconut pork broth mixed with okra, red peppers and coriander.  Insanely delicious.

Taro bun
It seemed like the time for a dessert.  We walked across the street to Fay Da Bakery where they are known for their taro buns.  The breads are very light and I am sure loaded with sugar.  The flavors are very typical of sweet Chinatown buns I have tasted for years.

It was time for a soup dumpling.  Shanghai Cafe Deluxe is known for them although there are plenty of other dishes there as well.  We had the pork soup dumpling.  The key to eating a soup dumpling without burning your mouth or not geting liquid all over yourself is simple.  Take the dumpling and let is sit in the black soy vinegar they serve with the dumplings.  Let it sit for a few seconds to cool and then pop the whole thing in your mouth.  Yum. 

Dried abalone
Have to say these odd things that you see in the stores just makes me wonder how they are used.  This is dried abalone.

Vanessa dumplings
One of my favorite places in Chinatown is Vanessas Dumpling House which when I first went it was simply called Dumpling House.  The place is a little nicer than it was then yet still frenetic.  The food is delicious.  My favorite is actually the deep fried sesame dough that is shaped into a large round loaf used for sandwiches.  I am a fan of the tuna sandwich.  Tuna mixed with carrots and cilantro.  There are other sandwiches including sliced duck and sauce.  Cost is roughly $2.25-2.75 a sandwich.  We also had some dumplings which have a much thinner dough than the Tasty Dumpling.  The cucumbers were amazing made with chili sauce, white wine vinegar, chili sauce, sugar and salt.  Might have to make these at home.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Thanks for letting me take a stroll with you.Hadn’t been for awhile till last Spring. Frank Cornelissen, one of my favorite winemakers from Etna was in town, and he choose somewhere in Chinatown to have his wine dinner for a group of friends.Worked perfectly.

  2. Brandon Burns

    Oh man, if there’s anything I miss about living in China, its the food. Though you managed to pick a lot of the NYC spots that come close to making stuff like it is back in the motherland. I also recommend trying a couple of the few Yunnan restaurants in the city (http://nymag.com/listings/r…. That province’s food isn’t so popular in the States, but it’s universally known in China as one of the best (probably next to true Sichuan food, Shanghai dim sum, and western Chinese halal fare).Another soup dumpling trick: put one in a chinese soup spoon, poke it with a chopstick and let the soup pour out into the spoon, then slurp up the liquid (it’ll be cool once it hits the air) and then gobble the drained dumpling. That’s the Chinese way!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Ah. Good to know. Have yet to get to Yunan but want to go

      1. pointsnfigures

        My daughters miss Chinese food too after living there. A couple of places are decent in Chi, but not like NYC or SF or LA.

  3. takingpitches

    As a vegetarian, my favorite place down there is Vegetarian Dim Sum house.