by Roaming Panda
Let's go back to May of 2021. Our wedding is a mere 5 months away and in lieu of a traditional bachelor party, I opted to roll through NYC Chinatown for a food tour. My buddy lives in Brooklyn and is an equal foodie so the plan was set.
Of course, NYC is a food mecca full of countless variety, but I just really wanted to indulge my roots and go full on Asian (or at least mostly Asian) for this trip. Sure you can get Chinese food or Asian food anywhere but there aren't too many places that are as authentic as NYC Chinatown so let's go.
General goals for the trip: hit up a HK style cha chahn teng (HK diner), compare Ichiran stateside to Ichiran Japan, order a bowl of wagyu beef ramyun from Jeju, hit up some dim sum, and try not to burn my mouth on soup dumplings. Let's load up the pics as we go and do a lightning round summary.
It's a shame HK diner's are not more prevalent. Imagine a place like a Denny's where you can get coffee, toast, fried rice, baked pork chops, and pasta all in one place. Please put them every where. Kong Sihk Tong was excellent.
While Ichiran in the city captures the same vibe as the Ichiran in Japan with the private booth style dining and mystery window servers, the quality and taste is sub par by comparison. A good novelty eat but there are better ramen options in NYC.
Jeju is a Michelin star Korean restaurant. I found this place on YouTube and when I saw that they had a wagyu beef ramyun bowl, it made the list. Make sure you make a reservation. All the apps were delicious and the wagyu ramyun did not disappoint. Rich, savory, and full of beefy flavor. Highly recommend.
Nom Wah is touted as the oldest continuously running restaurant in Chinatown. The lines are long so get there early or get ready for a wait. While good, a few things were a disappointment. Number 1, one of the main staples of dim sum is the tea. While this tea parlor has the traditional pots you come to expect, you have to pay for it. I've never had to pay for tea at a dim sum restaurant. Number 2, and maybe this is because of COVID, but the selection of dim sum options were very limited. They didn't even have egg tarts. C'mon man. While good, I wasn't satisfied with my dim sum experience and felt the name and history is the reason to come instead of the food.
There are quite a few options for soup dumplings aka, xiao long bao, in the city. We landed at Joe's Shanghai. Aside from the high reviews, the location in Chinatown is literally right next to my hotel. Easy choice, and a great choice. The dumplings are above average in size and the dumpling wrappers itself are the perfect thickness to house the interior meat and soup. Fantastic all around and the accompanying sides were great as well.
There were other eats and sights in between. Rest of the pics below. As a foodie, this was the perfect bachelor party. Big shout out to my friend Matt for being a great guide, chauffeur, friend, and fellow fat ass. Till next time.