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the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Christmas in Chinatown, Part II

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After less-than-stellar meals at East Market and the Peking Duck House, my expectations for the rest of my Chinatown meals were not very high. Thankfully, my hopes were rescued by awesome experiences at Great N.Y. Noodletown and 9 Chatham Square.

Roasted meats sold by the pound.

We arrived for a Sunday lunch at Great N.Y. Noodletown with a group of 10 . The only downside of the meal was that we had to sit at 2 separate tables because this restaurant is small. But the service is fast (and brusque), so the turnover is quick. I was told that their shrimp wonton noodle soup was the house specialty, so who was I to resist? Plus, y’all know how much I love noodles!

My bowl of shrimp wontons with egg noodles and just a dash of hot sauce. Delish!

Each noodle soup was between $5-6 — a great value considering: 1. the size of the bowl; 2. the quality of the broth and noodles; 3. (most importantly) the number, size, freshness, and tastiness of the shrimp wontons. There were 5 (or 6?) huge wontons in my noodle soup and each wonton was perfection. Seriously — I’m salivating as I recall those wontons. *sigh*

Shrimp wonton + roast pork bbq noodle soup. They definitely don't skimp on the good stuff.

Yet another wonton noodle soup, this time with roast duck. Yum.

Others in the group ordered different kinds of noodle soups and fried noodles, each with lots of flavor. In the end, the tab for our party of 10 was like $50 (pre-tip?). Amazing.

Seafood fried noodles, with chow foon (fried wide noodles) in the background.

After lunch, and with a long drive back to Maryland ahead of us, we stopped by 9 Chatham Square for coconut buns and bbq roast pork buns (char siu bao). For days, my family raved about the coconut buns, but as I had missed out on the first batch, I took their words with a grain of salt. I was also, admittedly, a little intimidated by the pushy crowd at the bakery corner/take-out window so I let my bro-in-law do the heavy lifting. (Thanks, B!) He emerged with a dozen coconut buns and 6 pork buns. At 70 cents each, the coconut buns were among the most delicious things I’ve ever had. They were hot and melty, sweet and a little savory… and probably loaded with fat, but who cares? For a quick second, I fantasized of buying their recipe and opening a chain of coconut bun franchises, modeled after Krispy Kreme. Though I’d have to think of my own version of the “HOT NOW” neon sign. Feel free to add your suggestions below.

All sorts of delicious baked goods. So close, yet so far away.

A whole box of warm coconut buns.

Soft bun stuffed with warm coconut. Get in my belly!

9 Chatham Square is also known for their cheap dim sum, but we didn’t eat there so I can’t speak to that. From what I could see, the dining room seemed fairly disorderly/chaotic so be forewarned. My advice: run in and scream, “I want X coconut buns!” Then pay and run back out as soon as you can.

So, next time you’re in NYC Chinatown and a little low on cash (or even if you’re not), be sure to stop in at these two fabulous places!

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

7 thoughts on “Christmas in Chinatown, Part II

  1. I’m so glad you posted this! I am always so overwhelmed trying to find a good restaurant in Chinatown. We like Green Bo Restaurant on Bayard, between Mott and Elizabeth. But I can’t wait to try out Noodletown!

  2. Seriously all these pictures made me drool.. Especially the wonton and noodle soup. Yum!

  3. Your sign could be “Hot Buns!” I’m surprised you didn’t already think of this.

  4. My stomach just growled. For serious. I ate dinner less than two hours ago. I am Pavlov’s dog for that wonton noodle soup.

    If you’re ever in London, let me know, and we’ll sample some British Chinatown cuisine!

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