Grub Snub: New Survey Poo-Poos NYC Chinese Food

Publication's National Analysis Puts Just 3 Eateries In Top 100

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Who would ever think of traveling to Pennsylvania to get good Chinese food?

A new survey has totally snubbed New York City’s fine Asian cuisine and tabbed a restaurant in Bryn Mawr, Pa., as the best in the land, CBS 2’s Magee Hickey reports.

With more than 6,000 Chinese restaurants in New York City, it’s hard to believe Chinese Restaurant News put only two in the top 10, including none from Chinatown, reports CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.

“This is Chinatown also, just in Queens not in Manhattan, and the food is fabulous,” said Szechuan Gourmet diner Art Garfinkel.

A survey by the California-based publication put Szechuan Gourmet of Flushing at No. 4 in the top 100 based on media reviews, readers’ votes and mystery diners’ assessments.

Customers here rave about the jellyfish, the pork bellies and the fish head cellophane stew.

“It’s very spicy,” diner Rebecca Peng said.

“In fact it’s so authentic, I’m crying right now. It’s so hot,” Perry Berger added.

So Hickey took the advice — pork bellies, Szechuan chicken dish and dumplings. And the verdict came quickly – Chinese food in Flushing is very good.

But equally loyal customers at No. 9 on the top 100 — Congee Village on the Lower East Side — tried to convince Hickey their food is best.

“Beef with noodles. I think it really London Broil,” diner Thorney Davis said.

“Chinese or American, fun neighborhood restaurant and enough to take home for dinner,” diner Yung Man Lee added.

Restaurant consultant Ed Schoenfeld said while the top 100 doesn’t reflect the height of the art of really fine Chinese cooking, Chinatown restaurants shouldn’t feel snubbed.

“Chinatown isn’t losing its edge as much as it’s expanded as Chinese population has integrated into society, so we have really nice restaurants in Queens and Brooklyn that deserve to be on the list,” Schoenfeld said.

So there no need to travel to the top-ranked Yangming’s in Bryn Mawr. Foodies say there’s fine fabulous Asian cuisine much closer to home.

The only other New York City Chinese restaurant on the list was China Sun Asian Cuisine on West 39th Street — and that was No. 98.

Do you agree or disagree: New York City just doesn’t cut it when it comes to great Chinese food?  Is our pride of all things New York just off-base when it comes to Chinese cuisine???

  • Shelly

    I’ve eaten at Flushing a few times but will never go back. Yes food is good but because I’m American, I am stared at and whispered about. It’s very uncomfortable.

  • MasterLeeMochow

  • Rik Kellerman

    NY has the best Chinese food-if you know where to eat, and what to order. Most Americans don’t really have a clue about what is real and not real Chinese food. I’ve eaten in HK, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and NY stands among the best. Most of these “food critics” don’t know their way out of a La Choy’s can when it comes to Chinese cuisine.

  • DeltaForce

    It’s not always that easy to compare different styles of Chinese cooking and dishes prepared in Cantonese, Shanghaiese, Szechuan and Northern provinces and come up with top winners across the U.S.

    Being of Asian origin, I agreed that NY’s old Chinatown has long lost its edge to Flushing as being the best. Many Chinese dishes are only found in America and catered to the Americanized Chinese consumers alike – you will not find it in Hong Kong, Taipei or mainland China.

    We travel all over and some of the best real Chinese dishes and meals can be found in Richmond, BC – Canada, the 2nd. Chinatown in Vancouver, 2.5 hours north of Seattle, WA.

  • David

    While I agree that Manhattan’s Chinatown is not the place to go anymore, Flushing’s Chinatown has some terrific restaurants. I go with my Chinese friends all the time. I also know that the rest of the world has some terrific Chinese restaurants also.

    It’s also true that the “authentic” Chinese food in many American restaurants is geared towards Americans’ less-sophisticated desire for sweeter-tasting food. No one in China has even heard of General Tso’s Chicken. Read Jennifer 8. Lee’s terrific book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.” She tells about her worldwide search for the best Chinese restaurant in the world. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s on the second floor of a shopping mall in Vancouver, Canada.)

  • Meli

    I stopped eating in chinese restaurants years ago, after I learned how to cook some real Chinese dishes at home. I got tired of feeling like I swallowed a Gallow of grease after I ate. The chincese food here in NYC is like fast food, but worse. It’s suppsed to be fresh and light, not deep fried and processed. I’d rather eat McDonald’s which, I hate also.

  • Susan

    Nothing taste good in NYC. Buffalo wings ….. maybe, but definitely not in Chinatown. People will say, ‘Everywhere you travel in the world,you can’t go wrong with Chinese food.’ BUT NOT IN NYC!!! Being Asian blood, Chinese restaurants are terrible here. And I can’t stand the smell in Chinatown. Unbearable!

  • giemma

    nyc chinese food sucks. I ordered my favorite curry dish from one queens restaurant and the cook looked at me and used black pepper instead as if I didnt have the culinary aptitude to know difference. I make sure I tell everyone not to visit certain places. the best chinese Ive had was in Maryland but I didnt see their cooking area. I have a job which allows me to walk through kitchens, basements and storage rooms of restaurants.
    Ive learned, no matter how beautiful and clean where the food is served, where they keep food stored and cooked is disgusting!! I’ll give you the first hint. walk around the building and check for rat traps, flies and smelly, overflowing dumpster.

  • ebenezer whoopie

    about 100 years ago, chinatown had some of the best chop suey houses around

  • larry schwarz

    Im really not surprised,New York chinese food while good,Ive had as good elsewhere to.However when it comes to Italian,French,or Jewish deli nothing can beat New York.At least in the USA.

  • greedo

    Believe it or not, Jersey has a few really good places … quietly tucked away gems that few people know about. There are not many, but you can find them.

    I just don’t like the places that serve those little cat spare ribs. You’re at the counter and can hear the “meows” in the background … you order your ribs … then all of a sudden, no more “meows”. Strange … ???

  • Helene Davidson

    Having lived in New York and in London, and eating Chinese food in both places and in China as well as in Vancouver’s new Chinese suburbs, I can honestly say New York City has the worse Chinese food in the universe. Greasy, ill presented and completely unimaginatively prepared. Even going with Chinese friends and letting them order, in Chinese and from the Chinese menu in Chinatown produced a meal so poor it was a positive embarrassment for us all. Compared with new wave Chinese restaurants in London or Asia, or traditional dim sum places in HK, London or Vancouver, the restauranteurs in New York should hang their head in shame.

  • cygon

    NYC Chinese food is HORRIBLE !!!!!!! My dad used to take us for a mini- lauriat every year on his birthday in this restaurant in Manila. It was genuinely CHinese – very authentic and exotic. In fact, as a child, I used to gag on the unfaniliar flavors. But it grew on me and now I can’t find that taste. NYC Chinese food is soy sauce and oyster sauce and lots and lots of oil. YUUUUCCCKKKK.

  • Diane

    If patrons are voting on the “best” Chinese food, it probably reflects American tastes over Asian tastes, because real Asian cuisine is not what most Americans think of when they think of Chinese food or order Chinese food. So I’m sure the Chinese people in NYC’s Chinatown are preparing the real thing and not something made simply to please the American palate, though I’m sure there is some compromise made to attract business. The official menu, and the Chinese menu.

  • Lucky

    I love Chinese food I don’t care who makes it and where.

    • HUGO

      You’re not eating chinese food buddy.

  • Bobby McGee

    I have to agree, compared to Los Angeles, Chinese food in this city is the worst. The only place that I have found is Tang’s on 55th and 5th. Maybe I expected too much, as everyone kept telling NYC had awesome Chinese food, but, most of the food I have found in Chinatown and other parts of the city is slop that I wouldn’t feed to my dog.

  • AZ

    Art Garfinkel? From Sumon and Garfinkel?

    • David

      You’re thinking of Art Garfunkel. I too misread his name at first.

  • Nick

    Shoddy reporting by libs as usual: so what’s the publication responsible for this list?

    • jcap17

      Chinese Restaurant News. Are you blind?

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