From the monthly archives:

July 2009

Attack of the Banh Mi’s

by Peng Li on July 31, 2009

There have been a recent explosion of Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwiches around the city. They even opened a sandwich shop by my school in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.

I’ll be honest, my first experience with these scrumptious sandwiches was merely two years ago. My friend suggested that I should try a Vietnamese sandwich because he had a Vietnamese ex whom introduced him to it. Ironically the place we went to in Flushing, Queens ran out of sandwiches that day. The same day I picked up a Maxim magazine where they had a full page feature on Bahn Mi Saigon. Hell I’ll try anything on a Maxim full page ;-)

Keep in mind this place is CLOSED on Mondays, I had countless attempts to have banh mi sandwiches on Mondays only to forget that they’re closed. Located in the rear of the store they share a space with a Chinese jewelery shop. These pork sandwiches are so delicious and crisp, and best part is they’re only $3.75 take that five dollar foot-longs.

The best part of these sandwiches is the fresh cilantro and pork bits. Each place makes them differently (more reviews to come) but Bahn Mi Saigon have very fine bits of pork. The pickled carrots and cilantro is made just right and the fresh slivers of cucumbers give it a nice crunch. All this is neatly wrapped and cut in half then nicely brown bagged for you. This is the best banh mi I’ve had in New York. How can you not try one?

Positives: Price, taste, best banh mi in the city
Negatives: Strictly a take out place, unless you want to sit on the few benches. Sometimes the baguette can be too hard.
Banh Mi Saigon Bakery on Urbanspoon


by geoffrey on July 30, 2009

Hello All!
So this is a Shanghai restaurant off of Mott that serves a variety of shanghai foods. The main being the famous siu lung bow or tiny steam buns (translation: small dragon bun). The food is relatively cheap. For two ppl we had two orders of the the steam buns (16 pieces) and a scallion pancake 5$ including tip. If you include a main rice or a noodle dish it comes to around 20-22$ so i think its worth the price

This is the main star of the show. Pork filled siu lung bow. The special part about these are the pouch like shapes that contains a soupy part of this delicacy. Its a literal explosion when you bite into these guys but you have to be careful because the soup is HOT! and you can burn your mouth easily. So take caution let it cool or eat it slowly.
They also have different variety of the steam pouches filled with crab. It cost 2$ more than the normal but well worth it with a totally different taste. Hotness still applies tho..

Scallion PANCAKES!! are flaky flour, wheat based stable with oil and scallions for taste. It comes with a soy vinegar ginger dipping sauce that may or may not suit your taste but the cakes are fine by themselves. Usually pan fried, these are fried a little longer as many people have different ways of making these. Very good and very filling.

Overall the food is very good and cheap for me at least. The place is clean especially compared to other places. The service however is …um …. relative. Let me explain. The food is fast and the servers are “Chinese”. They might be considered rude by people and normal by others. If you are eating in Chinatown never expect courtesy, good manners or great service, you are here for the food, thats it!! I’m not being racist (Im Chinese myself) but you have to understand the difference between upper Chinese immigrants and ABC (American Born Chinese) courtesy and manners are not in there habits but the food is awesome.

location:good ( not far from subway or other attractions)
service: AAL( angry asian lady) speaks engrish tho
Shanghai Café on Urbanspoon


Maiden post… Dedicated to dumplings!

by Peng Li on July 21, 2009

I’d like to start off the Chinatown Eats blog by what else than to write about dumplings?

This place defines the classic hole in the wall experience. While its meant as a take out store, there are a few chairs for customers to dine on. I had $2 worth of dumplings and let me tell you, these 10 dumplings filled me up well.

The price of $1 for 5 dumplings is quite common in the Chinatown area. There are a lot of dumpling houses in this city, some good some bad. Almost any Chinese person can make dumplings, even my parents do. Just because you can make flour, chop chives and mince pork doesn’t mean you can make a great dumpling. Prosperity Dumpling tastes really good and the pork is not too salty nor fat but very tender. The typical Vietnamese hot sauce was available on the counter and it was not watered down, so it got quite spicy. For my next trip there I will try the sesame pancake and some soup items because its too hot in NYC right now.

Positives: Price, taste
Negatives: Location (not the heart of C.Town), cleanliness, selection
Prosperity Dumpling on Urbanspoon


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