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Oriental Garden


SobaAddict70
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Mitch, I've gone there twice in the last few months for dim sum. The first time was Christmas day and the second time was a couple of weeks ago. On Christmas, I thought it was generally very worthwhile and a level or two up from standard big-eating-hall stuff (Jing Fong, Golden Unicorn, Harmony Palace). The second time, I thought it was on about the same level as the big eating halls. So I think they may be inconsistent. I think dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go is much better, though - thinner wrappers, less doughy, cooked to order, and less fatty. For the record, I've been to DSGG twice for dim sum, too (both times within the past month or so).

Consistency is very important - perhaps we hit it just right. I do agree that DSGG, overall, is a better place for dim sum - though perhaps a tad less "traditional," for lack of a better descriptor. And I like the cooked to order part of DSGG, though the dim sum items we ordered from the waiters at OG came fresh out of the kitchen and weren't pulled off of a cart.

What I thought was cool about OG was the ability to be able to order all this other stuff (e.g. - the soft-shells cooked beautifully), which may have helped to sway my opinion a bit. Also, if Joe Ng is still at CB, then CB would be at the top of my list for best dim sum in Manhattan...albeit at a totally different price point.

And I wish I had read this thread from the beginning before going to OG - I missed having the scallop dumplings that FG raves about above.

Nice pics, markk!!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Nice pics, markk!!

Thanks. Here's one of the famous Scallop Dumpling - it was delicious, and always is

gallery_11181_4711_32417.jpg

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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  • 2 months later...

We had dinner here last night, and I wanted to post about our experience, so...

We ordered 3 starters - scallop dumplings (very good), pork & shrimp sui mai (very good), and spareribs. First thing they bring over is spring rolls - ummm, no we didn't order those (strangely enough, waitress tries to convince us we did order spring rolls! "No, take them away - now," I say.).

Eat dinner - check comes - it's $55. Give them $80 cash - they return $15. So, are they actually trying to short-friggin' change me by $10 - thinking we're what, two of the hordes of tourists now finding the damn place (how do I know they're tourists? - fanny packs and guide books, that's how!)?

Or maybe, as they said laughing, we "just made a mistake..."

Last one they'll make with me. Check yer bills and change, folks!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Eat dinner - check comes - it's $55. Give them $80 cash -

Maybe I'm just missing something here, but if the check was $55, why did you give them $80 in cash? (I could see giving them $60 because that's 3 twenties...)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Eat dinner - check comes - it's $55. Give them $80 cash -

Maybe I'm just missing something here, but if the check was $55, why did you give them $80 in cash? (I could see giving them $60 because that's 3 twenties...)

So i could give them a decent tip. Often done when proper change is not available.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've never been here, but after 2 years in a row where my friends and family were owing more than $40 a piece, I'm thinking of having my birthday dinner in Chinatown to keep things festive but costs down. Do you think this would be a good place for a birthday dinner for 10-20 people? This would be for Saturday night, 9/15, around 7pm... think I should reserve soon?

Oh yeah, so save the date, those board folks who know me, you're all welcome to come.

I was just not familiar with the decor or environment there. From a culinary standpoint, looks like they have pretty stellar Cantonese seafood dishes from what you guys are posting. But, what if people want more meat and poultry type dishes, are they at the same level or would you guys recommend elsewhere in Chinatown?

How would you compare this place to, say, the Grand Sichuan Int'l in Chelsea (not that I would have it there)? Granted, this is not a Sichuan restaurant. Kinda wondering about their hospitality, can tend to be very very lacking in Chinatown.

Edited by raji (log)
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The decor is beautiful actually, very upscale. And I have always found the captains to be very nice and helpful, although if you're looking for Danny Meyeresque service, Chinatown is not the place to go. And though I've never had it, I have seen the roast squab, and it looks delicious.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I'm thinking of having my birthday dinner in Chinatown to keep things festive but costs down.

Well, you didn't say Manhattan's Chinatown (though I jest), but if it's convenient for you all to go to the one in Flushing, I can tell you of a place with great food, great service, great variety, and very reasonable prices, where you always find lots of large parties celebrating and a very happy vibe: New Lok Kee

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I'm reasonably confident that if you ask 10-20 Manhattanites to come to Flushing for a birthday that about 5 will show up.

Nathan makes a strong point. With that in mind, I think the best places to do a group dinner in Chinatown (based mostly on food, and only slightly on ambience, which tends to be lacking in all) are: Oriental Garden, Fuleen Seafood, Kam Chueh and Congee Village. Those are in no particular order. Mandarin Court can also be very good on a good day.

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I would absolutely recommend Oriental Garden over Fuleen - I have had way too many disappointing meals there.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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[...]Kinda wondering about their hospitality, can tend to be very very lacking in Chinatown.

They're likely to give you the bum's rush big-time. I went with my parents for a birthday dinner last December, and they kept trying to take things while we were still eating them! I don't think I'd volunteer to go back for dinner there, that's how bad the service was.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm reasonably confident that if you ask 10-20 Manhattanites to come to Flushing for a birthday that about 5 will show up.

Oh c'mon. Seriously? Even for some awesome food? Wow. That's sad.

most people aren't serious foodies.

heck, I wouldn't travel that far for something that I wasn't certain would be far better than any equivalent in the city.

throw in that people are going to be buzzed after a celebratory dinner and that getting a cab back is quite difficult....

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Regardless, a train ride from the city to Flushing isn't that long or that bad. Heck, people do it for the US Open and for Mets games. Oh well, their loss. More food for me.

Anyways, I think you'd have a better experience with some advance planning and the help of a friend who speaks either Cantonese or Mandarin. Get everything all set up before you go. Even at Chinese wedding banquets, there really isn't that much service.

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Honestly, I might not show up to my own bday were it at the end of the (7) line...

As much as a foodie as I am, seems like I always need some other mission or errand to justify outerborough destination dining. <<ducks>> Maybe that's showing out-of-towners that there's more to the city than Manhattan, but Queens has exclusively been the domain of Mets games this year. As much as I love Flushing, Jackson Heights, Woodside dining, the 45 minute back and forth investment CAN be a buzzkill. I mean, if I had a car, I'd be there every weekend, grocery shopping and hitting the spots.

That doesn't mean that I won't make up a reason to get uptown or over the bridges, but there need be one, especially as I'm not a lone dining fan...

Thanks for all the info guys. All my Chinese, Taiwanese and HKer friends are out of town, so any volunteers to make a phone call, PM me...

We're not going to linger much, get in get out, honestly how much Tsingtao can you drink...

[edited: Unbeknownst to me, honger is a predominantly derogatory term!]

Edited by raji (log)
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Oh raji, you disappoint me! (I kid, I kid!) :laugh:

You'd be better off going in person and trying to speak to someone there instead of doing this over the phone. Odd, I know. But that's how it's usually done.

PS: It's HK'er, not honger. :smile: Honger makes me think of the noise a goose makes. :laugh:

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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Oh raji, you disappoint me!  (I kid, I kid!)  :laugh:

You'd be better off going in person and trying to speak to someone there instead of doing this over the phone.  Odd, I know.  But that's how it's usually done.

Is it safe to assume the guy who answers the phone speak cantonese?... are there any Cantonese speakers out there who could do me a small favor? PM if you can. I ought to call in the reservation today, but the headcount could easily double by Saturday....

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Oh raji, you disappoint me!  (I kid, I kid!)  :laugh:

You'd be better off going in person and trying to speak to someone there instead of doing this over the phone.  Odd, I know.  But that's how it's usually done.

Is it safe to assume the guy who answers the phone speak cantonese?... are there any Cantonese speakers out there who could do me a small favor? PM if you can. I ought to call in the reservation today, but the headcount could easily double by Saturday....

a lot of these places have Taiwanese or Fujanese immigrants working...Mandarin seems to work better then

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Funny how life works, but I just called them (3:07 Eastern Time) and spoke English, (not speaking Cantonese, or Mandarin, or Taiwanese or Fujanese) and the fellow who answered the phone explained to me in English that they do indeed take reservations, except when the restaurant is fully booked for a party, and said that if I wanted to give him a date, he'd let me know if it was possible to make a reservation for that night. (212) 619-0085.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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