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Great NY Noodletown

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As I am not a seafood expert by any means, I wondered if a better (food-per-value) Soft shell crab entre exists in New York. I have been continually impressed with the size and quality of Soft-shell Crabs at GNYNT for several years running. Does anyone do two huge SS Crabs better for $15, or is GNYNT the place?


Edited by mascarpone (log)

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Went there for dinner tonight at 8 ish.. There was a five minute wait for a table of four..

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They were out of BBQ Baby Pig so we ordered the roast pork.. This is just so good.. Crispy salted skin, the meat was not dry and had a sweet soy/wine flavor..The skin had a great crunch to it..

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Next, came egg rolls which are not pictured.. Actually they were duck rolls.. Please get them when you go there.. They are really good with the red vinegar also.. After the duck rolls came salt baked shrimp.. We asked for a side of ginger scallion sauce.. It also comes with the poached chicken but we think it goes very well with the shrimp..

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Poached chicken with ginger scallion sauce.. This is a white sauce with ginger scallion as opposed to the ginger scallion in oil sauce we ordered with the shrimp ..

A simple poached chicken breast..Really nice dish..

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We had also ordered snails in XO Sauce, but they were out this evening.. Finally this dish was for the little one.. Its your basic pan fried noodle.. As good as you would have it anywhere..

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The place is solid and not too expensive.. The roast or barbecued pork and duck are amazing.. The spareribs as well.. The duck rolls are worth the trip alone.. All the food with 4 beers was 65 bucks.. But thats the thing about Chinese Food or Family style for that matter.. Whether its three or six of you the price is going to be basically the same.. Its right on the Bowery, I parked in a lot outside and walked half a block to the restaurant..

For dessert we went to Blau Gans down on Duane St.. A couple of coups and I am too full to move..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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I've eaten here about a dozen times over the last few months, most recently this past weekend for dinner.

While there have not been a lot of posts in the last year or so, many of the older comments still apply. Several of the dishes are great, but others are average or worse ... while this is my favorite Chinatown restaurant, I definitely would not recommend Noodletown to someone without giving them specific advice on what to order. (For instance, despite the name, the noodles are actually not the highlight in my opinion.)

Roast baby pig is outstanding, just like others have described with the thin layers of crispy skin and fat to go with the tender meat. They didn't have it the last time I was there, and in my opinion, the roast pork is not worth getting as a substitute (although I'll admit that what I tried didn't look as good as the roast pork in Daniel's picture, so maybe there's some variability here).

Roast duck is also great, better than any of the other places I've tried in Chinatown; I think it's best with either the flowering chives or pea shoots instead of as a stand-alone. I've also tried the pea shoots with other meats a couple of times (once chicken and once scallops), and these disesh were nowhere near the same level.

Most of the salt-baked seafood is great as well, except for the scallops, which are no good. So get the shrimp or soft-shell crab.

Finally, I tried the congee last time and thought it was very good, but I'm ashamed to admit that's the first time I've had congee, so I don't have much basis for comparison.

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There's DEFINITELY variation in the roast pork. Sometimes it's excellent, sometimes it's not.

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The suckling pig here is quite good. Their noodle dishes are ok. I really want to try their version of e-fu mein with lobster. It looks great but I don't think I'd be able to finish it off by myself!

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Ah, but you know that Chinese noodles never taste as good as when they're served hot and fresh. The appeal of e-fu mein is the "al dente" texture. I'd still take it home but you know how it is.

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It's really the noodle soups that are great here - but I prefer the stand-alone wonton soups without noodles - their wontons are so stuffed with shrimp they're practically bursting and there are a lot of 'em in a bowl of soup!

Roast pig is a better bet than roast pork...and they also have baby/suckling pig every day, it's just that they're usually sold out of it after lunch.

Salt & pepper squid, shrimp and when soft shells are around are all good choices.

Plain greens - gai lan or similar are a nice addition.

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I haven't found the e-fu dishes to be very interesting. I like the ginger-scallion lo mein, though.

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What do you mean by e-fu?

My wife and I had wide noodles there on Saturday night. We really enjoyed the Wide noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. My wife, who is Japanese, commented on the al dente texture of the noodles and the distinct egg flavor. These are qualities that many Japanese find appealing in ramen noodles.

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The skin and layer of subcutaneous fat on the baby pig is where the action is. The meat itself is a bit bland, perhaps due to the animal's age, and doesn't quite have the punch that one often expects in roasted staples like duck or red-cooked pork. My ideal roasted plate here would be two parts duck, one part baby pig, and a small dish of raw ginger/scallion to help cut the fat.

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I haven't been to NY Noodletown in several years, but I'm in NY this week and went for a 3pm lunch. That must be the quietest time of day, since that's when lots of kitchen staff were eating. Spectacular early season salt baked soft shell crabs! Big BIG juicy, perfect. The staff were all eating piles of garlicky pea shoots, so that's what we ordered. Love them. Roast duck also very good. Two big crabs for $18. I'm not used to quite so much salt, but then we're talking about eating Chinese food. Walk carefully, I think they wash the floors with duck fat.

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Sounds fantastic. I'm texting a friend who is on his way to NYC as I write to let him know he should make a stop for the soft shell crabs. I'm sure he thanks you for the heads up.

Ordinarily I get their wonton soup, but after a bowl of that, I can barely eat anything else. I'd swap soup for soft shell crab, though.

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I haven't been to NY Noodletown in several years, but I'm in NY this week and went for a 3pm lunch. That must be the quietest time of day, since that's when lots of kitchen staff were eating. Spectacular early season salt baked soft shell crabs! Big BIG juicy, perfect. The staff were all eating piles of garlicky pea shoots, so that's what we ordered. Love them. Roast duck also very good. Two big crabs for $18. I'm not used to quite so much salt, but then we're talking about eating Chinese food. Walk carefully, I think they wash the floors with duck fat.

You ordered good. Still my 1st or 2nd or 3rd fave in Chinatown.

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It's a classic. Great late-night location too.

I've been going for probably 20 years now... 25?

(Was there once a Little Noodletown? I seem to remember something of the sort...)

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some pix from earlier this year:

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roast duck and wonton noodle soup


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seafood noodle soup


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baby suckling pig

yes, I'm in love...


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oyster and chinese bbq pork sizzling casserole

we thought this was the least successful dish of the bunch we ordered


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stir-fried pea shoots with garlic

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After those pix, I might have to go for lunch. Which dish didn't you think was great - the shoots or the casserole?

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BTW, and I'm sure you know this -- New York Noodletown is also BYOB. we had a nice Spanish white wine to go along with most of what we ate. very reasonable corkage fee too.

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the casserole. it's not something I'll order again.

My kingdom for a great Chinese casserole.

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Their super-simple dishes are also amazing. Congee with fish has raw bits of fish slipped into boiling-hot congee, with the perfect amound of slivered scallion and a bit of soy sauce and, I think hoisin. By the time it's cool enough to eat, the fish is perfectly cooked.

 

The last time I was there I had an amazing appetizer combo - a bit of everything that was hanging in the side window.

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I have been there, once a week for the last 4 weeks.   Every time I come back from a trip, I usually land later in the evening, I stop in there.. It stops me from eating some garbage McDonalds at the airport, knowing I have this on the horizon.  

 

The latest time I was there, last Sunday, i went with 8 people.. 8 people is the perfect number to go with as, those circular tables hold 8 adults comfortably.  I have seen more but, 8 is great.  

 

We ordered lots of things on the menu.  The only new dish we ordered was the oysters and pork.. Fried oysters, roasted pork with mushrooms in this thick brown sauce.. oysters were fried well and very large.. it was a good combo for sure. 


Edited by basquecook (log)

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I've been dreaming of that crispy pork pictured above.

And fried soft-shell crab.

I think I need to go there soon again....

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