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China 46


Jason Perlow
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I'm not looking to start WWIII, but I think the soup dumplings are the BEST. ANYWHERE. EVER. :wink:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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  • 1 month later...

Today was my first trip to C46 - I went for brunch with a friend. The food was all exactly as described - fresh, well prepared, delicious. As my friend pointed out - it was the only Chinese buffet he had been to that didn't have any "junk". Everything was a winner.

I was disappointed by one thing (ok, two. :rolleyes: ) One - Jason had mentioned that they bring various things to the table to supplement the buffet. But nothing at all was brought to our table. I kept pacing myself with the buffet dishes to be sure I would be hungry for the items brought to the table - but alas...nothing appeared.

Also, I thought I remembered Curlz mentioning that when they offered her ice cream at the end of the meal, she was too full to accept it. I was in the mood for ice cream - but again - no offer. And when I asked if it was included - I was told no.

So I didn't end up with the experience I was hoping for. But my friend liked it very much (not having the same expectations I did). And he saw a dish go by that he wants to order next time - "seafood with pan fried rice". It went past us quickly, looking like a Chinese paella - and they cut it into wedges like a pie at the table.

So...was there something I should have said or done to get the other dishes brought to the table? Or was it just because we aren't Jason and Rachel?? :laugh:

Randi

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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I guess there was a miscommunication in the posts on here--the dishes that are brought to your table during brunch at C46 are included, but you have to order them, Randi. Iirc, there is a menu that lists all of the different types of dumplings; you just need to ask for the ones you want. As for the ice cream, it wasn't my comment--not sure I remember reading it, either, but I can't commit to re-reading the 10+ pages to find it; hopefully someone else will see or remember it.

Jason and Rachel really are the C46 experts here, so I'll let them elaborate on my comments.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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What Curlz said, about ordering stuff, is correct. And, yes, we frequently receive some dishes that Cecil wants us to try as well, an advantage of being regulars and sending lots of people to the restaurant. As for ice cream, I don't think we've ever been offered it, I've certainly never had it there. I just stick to the melon and the sweet rice balls or whatever they put out that day for dessert.

We were on our way home from the airport (JFK) yesterday just before noon and Jason actually wanted to stop in to C46 for brunch before going home! I was too tired (we got up at 4 AM to start the trip home from New Orleans) so maybe next week. See you there?

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Fwiw, I just ask for soup dumplings--never had a problem! :wink:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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That seems to be the way they do it (I think Jason or someone mentioned it earlier). They had a number of dishes and 2 soups out as a buffet. They had a stand where the cooked dumplings fresh when you selected them, and they brought out a few more dishes after we sat down.

The latter included the chicken in hot sauce, a dish with bean curd and vegetables, soup dumplings, and a plate of meat-filled dumplings.

The soup I had was a beef and cabbage soup which tasted a lot like middle-european stuffed cabbage.

We were offered ice cream when we were finished, but were too full to take them up on that.

Ok, I am glad I am not crazy :raz: At least someone did say they were offered ice cream *whew!*

Rachel, Nancy and I are in for Sunday, if you can get there.

btw, I guess I got the idea they just brought things to the table for people to sample, since Jason worded it this way in his post 4/11/04: "In addition to these 3 tables, Cecil and his staff comes around and deposits other goodies on your table -- Xiao long bao, various stir fry dishes, etc."

Randi

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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  • 3 months later...

I've read about this place for a few years and finally went last night with my 15-year-old son before the Giants-Saints game. From 5 to 6 pm we were the only customers. :sad:

For appetizers we had the cold marinated sliced beef (good but not as flavorful as I was expecting) and the pork/crab soup dumplings. These were wonderful, but I think next time I'll just get the pork as the crab was not evident.

My son wanted beef and broccoli, I at least talked him into getting the Chinese broccoli. This dish was very good. I wanted something hot, so I ordered the flounder filets sauteed in spicy sauce. Unprompted I told the waiter I like it hot. Wow, it was a scorcher, with plenty of mouth-numbing and tongue-tingling Sichuan (?) pepper in the sauce. I loved it. And for $15 you get a good sized pile of well-cooked flounder.

Lots of other things on the menu I wanted to try. I'd love to go with about 6 or 8 people to try many items.

I'll definitely be back.

---Guy

Edited by pennbrew (log)
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I was working at China46 for a while, and I like the food there. So I should recommend some of my favorite dishes to you:

Appetizer

Cold Seaewee Salad (It is Free by order)

Snow Pea Shoot Pork Dumpling

Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumpling)

Northern China Dumpling with Pork and Napa Cabbage (Jiao Zi)

(ask fresh garlic and dark vinegar for dipping)

Main Course

Beijing Duck,

Steamed Dungeness Crab with Chow Fun Noodle

Braised Sea Cucumber with Shrimp Roe

Steamed Prawns with Fresh garlic

Salt Pepper Prawns

Ruby Pork (or Zuo You Pork Shoulder)

House Smoke Chicken

Ask for the seasonal vegetables

Soups

Beijing Duck Soup (Second course of the duck, order extra)

Spicy Fish Head Casserole

Dessert

Steamed or Pan Fried Rice Pudding

Red Bean Paste Pancake

You should always ask Cecil, who runs the restaurant will give you the best suggestion, and try to catch the Sunday Brunch from 11:00 to 3:00.

"All the way to heaven is heaven."

___Said by St. Catherine of Sienna.

Let's enjoy life, now!

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We went last evening and were very happy to see a bus pull into the lot and a group of about 30 people came into the restaurant. There were also a few other tables of 2's and 4's so at least they were doing some business last night.

The advice about asking Cecil to help order is something we have always done. He will always recommend a special that we did not notice on those very overcrowded boards in front of the rest. which we actually never liked. Why not print them out and hand them out seperately or clip them onto the menus so that you can read them while sitting relaxed at your table instead of standing in the doorway and in the way of other people. Also, by the time you sit down you have forgotten half of what you might want to order. There is just too much to read.

With that said we had another excellent meal. With Cecil helping us we ordered a fabulous Eel dish, the Clams with chives and with great greens that Cecil did not know the American name for, and a Tofu and shrimp dish that, with a dash of his hot sauce was wonderful. Vis a vis, we would never have known about the eel as it was at the very bottom of one of the boards which we only saw on the way out because we were looking for it.

PLEASE guys. Keep coming so that this restaurant does not have to close down for lack of business. I for one do not want or ever again will drive to Chinatown for a Chinese meal. For Chinese food nothing, but absolutely nothing IMHO compares to this restaurant in Bergen county.

Edited by Hank (log)

Hank

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Qing --- Ni Hao!!

How do you rate the House Special Saute (withthe buns, od course)?  I love that dish, but always feel bad that someone has to do all that fine chopping!

If this is similar to the Young Zhouw (sp?) pork shoulder shredded with the buns they are all winners in this restaurant.

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Qing --- Ni Hao!!

How do you rate the House Special Saute (withthe buns, od course)?  I love that dish, but always feel bad that someone has to do all that fine chopping!

If this is similar to the Young Zhouw (sp?) pork shoulder shredded with the buns they are all winners in this restaurant.

This one is finely chopped pork, bean curd and garlic chives (jiu cai hua) and I'm not sure of the sauce, as it is not a saucy dish. One person with me, the last time I had this it, didn't like to-fu, BUT loved this dish!

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Woo..

Sorry, I forget to mention the House Special Sautee.

I like the sesame bun best, and the idea of using it to serve House Special Sautee and the pork shoulder. From one of my wired experiments, that I used the nice hot bun to hold the spicy cold appetizers. I tried it to hold the Ox tongue and Tripe or the Mung Bean noodle, which they don't have all the time. Taste Great!

The other dish I want to mention is a very seasonal dish, which only served in Winter. It is the Sautéed Fresh Shitake and Fresh Bamboo Shoot. During the winter, the fresh bamboo shoot is tender and sweet, and we usually call them the Winter Bamboo Shoot. The thick brown sauce is even sticky, and the sugar inside gives this dish a nice shinny glazes. Some of customers complained it was too sweet, so I have to admit that my taste sometimes is still like a kid's.

Also I forgot a good soup, which is a clear soup has clam, tomato and baby sponge. Apply little pepper...wonderful.

"All the way to heaven is heaven."

___Said by St. Catherine of Sienna.

Let's enjoy life, now!

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Usually I have had good experiences with China 46 but today the place was empty save us and 2 other tables of families. The variety was good but it all had a greasy mouth feel or wasn't very fresh as it has been in the past. Only one or two dishes I went back for, but all in all I'd rather spend my money going to Minado or Greenfields if I want variety/buffet food. I don't think I'll return here for a long time, sorry to say - Cecil and (his wife?) the other person there are nice but not nice enough to make my palate say YUM. Sorry folks...goodluck.

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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Usually I have had good experiences with China 46 but today the place was empty save us and 2 other tables of families.  The variety was good but it all had a greasy mouth feel or wasn't very fresh as it has been in the past.  Only one or two dishes I went back for, but all in all I'd rather spend my money going to Minado or Greenfields if I want variety/buffet food.  I don't think I'll return here for a long time, sorry to say - Cecil and (his wife?) the other person there are nice but not nice enough to make my palate say YUM.  Sorry folks...goodluck.

I wouldn't judge a place based solely on their buffet offerings, but that's just me.

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I read the book "Turning the Tables" by Steven A. Shaw, and he said, "The best restaurant isn't the one with the highest Zagat rating, the most stars from the local paper, ot that cute celebrity chef. IT'S THE ONE YOU'RE A REGULAR."

I haven't been back to China46 for a while, but I will try soon.

"All the way to heaven is heaven."

___Said by St. Catherine of Sienna.

Let's enjoy life, now!

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Usually I have had good experiences with China 46 but today the place was empty save us and 2 other tables of families.  The variety was good but it all had a greasy mouth feel or wasn't very fresh as it has been in the past.  Only one or two dishes I went back for, but all in all I'd rather spend my money going to...  I don't think I'll return here for a long time, sorry to say - Cecil and (his wife?) the other person there are nice but not nice enough to make my palate say YUM.  Sorry folks...goodluck.

Up until a year ago I used to be crazy for China 46. Then right before my very eyes and mouth the food went right downhill, surprisingly right under the owner's eyes as well. The fried foods became greasy, the pork both greasy and 'porky' and not in a good way, and the seafood less than pleasant.

I had also sent two sets of friends there, one of whom went several times early in the year and had loved it and then had the same bad experiences at the same time I did, and the others, serious Shanghaifood lovers, went towards the end and gave me an earful from how disappointing their meal was, but I had had a similar meal there the day before and could only agree with them.

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I'm glad to see I'm not totally missing something about this place. Based on the raves here, I have tried China 46 three times over the last year and always came away disappointed. It did not seem to be even close in quality to Little Soo Chow on Route 46 in Lodi. Unfortunately that place closed down and was quickly replaced by another restaurant that tried and has failed to copy their quality - Big Soo Chow (or something like that).

Nothing I've had at China 46 is even close in quality to Shianghai Garden, Shianghai Cuisine or Joe's Shianghai in Manhattan's Chinatown (listed in order of my preferences).

Up until a year ago I used to be crazy for China 46.  Then right before my very eyes and mouth the food went right downhill, surprisingly right under the owner's eyes as well.  The fried foods became greasy, the pork both greasy and 'porky' and not in a good way, and the seafood less than pleasant.

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I read the book "Turning the Tables" by Steven A. Shaw, and he said, "The best restaurant isn't the one with the highest Zagat rating, the most stars from the local paper, ot that cute celebrity chef. IT'S THE ONE YOU'RE A REGULAR."

Why would you want to become a regular when you have to start out eating mediocre dishes? :raz:

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