Posts Tagged ‘Soup Dumplings’


Sunday, January 15th, 2012 by virginia

We went to Annisa back in October, with Josh’s family as sort of a belated birthday dinner for me. I was really excited for this dinner, as I’m a big fan of Anita Lo, the chef/owner. The restaurant has also been awarded a Michelin star, and I’ve read many great things about the food.

The restaurant is actually pretty small, though it has high ceilings and an elegant, minimalist decor. We were seated at a round table in the middle of the room and had a great view of everything going on around us. The menu is pretty eclectic, with lots of French, Asian, and Middle Eastern influence. Everything sounded delicious, and it was quite hard to decide what to order.

After we finally made our selections, they brought us an amuse bouche to start. It was a little tart filled with chicken liver mousse, topped with chopped chives and a dollop of whole grain mustard. I liked the creaminess of the mousse, the delicate flakiness of the tart, and the tangy punch of the mustard. It was a flavorful bite and definitely woke up our palates.

Amuse bouche - chicken liver mousse tarts

We also noshed on some bread, which were ciabatta-like rolls that were served warm and had a decent crust.

Bread service

For the first course, Josh and I geared towards the Asian-influenced appetizers, sharing the barbecued squid and the soup dumplings. The squid was lightly grilled with just a bit of char on the outside, and the meat was very tender. It was served with Thai basil, peanuts, and edamame. The sauces on the side tasted like hoisin and chili sauce, a great combination with the squid. It wasn’t too spicy and had a nice sweet/savory flavor that worked with all the different components.

Barbecued squid with Thai basil and fresh peanuts

The soup dumplings weren’t shaped like traditional xiao long bao, but looked more like regular dumplings. I’m not sure exactly what the dumplings were filled with, but they were topped with little slabs of seared foie gras, which dominated the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love seared foie gras, but it seemed like the dumplings might have been an afterthought. They weren’t as soupy inside as I would have liked, though I did enjoy the slight crunch from the jicama that counteracted the rich creaminess of the foie gras.

Seared foie gras with soup dumplings and jicama

While the dumplings were slightly disappointing, the rest of the appetizers at the table were pretty successful (we all tasted everyone’s dishes). The biggest hit was the cauliflower and romanesco gnoccho with hazelnuts and sheep’s cheese. The gnoccho was light and creamy, packed with tons of cauliflower flavor. Everyone also enjoyed the chilled avocado soup with shiso and unagi croutons. It was more savory than I expected, and fortunately did not resemble liquified guacamole, as I had originally feared. The hot and cold tuna was also delicious, with a fresh and bright tartare (cold) and some flavorful tuna belly (hot).

I had a REALLY tough time choosing our entrees, and we wound up picking the halibut and the spanish mackerel. We usually don’t both order fish dishes, but both came highly recommended from our waiter. The halibut was poached in olive oil and served with blistered shishito peppers and almond and lobster coral sauces. The halibut was gorgeous – delicately flaky and tender. The peppers weren’t too spicy or overly bitter, and the sauce was wonderfully savory. It didn’t taste a whole lot like lobster coral, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Olive oil-poached halibut with blistered shishito peppers and almond and lobster coral sauces

The spanish mackerel was beautifully broiled so that it had a nice browned crust on the outside and crispy skin. It was served with garlic fried milk, cubes of satsumaimo (Japanese yam), and korean chili. I love mackerel in general, and this particular version was really well prepared. I love the oiliness of the fish, which really gives it a distinctively bold flavor. The garlic fried milk was novel and delicious, almost like super creamy fried cheese curds, but tastier. This was my favorite dish of the evening.

Broiled spanish mackerel with garlic fried milk, satsumaimo and korean chili

Again, all the other entrees at the table were successful as well. The miso marinated sable with crispy silken tofu in a bonito broth was a clean, classically Japanese style dish. The pan roasted farm chicken with sherry, white truffle, and pig feet was a surprise hit. While I love pig feet, not everyone else was convinced at how luscious it could be until they tasted it in this dish. The chicken was juicy and tender, and the truffle wasn’t overpowering. The grilled wagyu was the dish that I debated ordering instead of the halibut, and it too was very tasty. It was served with escargots, garlic chives, and alba mushrooms. While the beef wasn’t as tender as I thought it would be (it was wagyu after all), it was flavorful and well seasoned.

For dessert, we shared the beignets and the bread pudding. According to our waiter, Chef Lo is also responsible for creating the dessert items, which is pretty impressive since a lot of chefs don’t do pastry in conjunction with savory. The beignets were pecan and salted butterscotch, a nice combination of salty and sweet. They were freshly fried and pretty fluffy, not too dense. They were served with a bourbon ice milk that was kind of like a slushy sorbet. We could definitely taste the bourbon, but I thought it was a tad too icy for my taste; I preferred the beignets.

Pecan and salted butterscotch beignets with bourbon ice milk

The bread pudding was made with poppy seed bread and butter, and served with meyer lemon curd. I LOVED this bread pudding, which was bright and lemony and not too sweet. The bread pudding itself was a bit dense but I couldn’t get enough of the curd, which I soaked up with every bite. Meyer lemon has an intense, citrusy flavor that is slightly floral. I pretty much polished off the entire plate by myself.

Poppyseed bread and butter pudding with meyer lemon curd

At the end of our meal, they brought us little bites to finish things off. First was mini pineapple ice pops served on toothpicks. It was simple, just frozen pineapple juice, but refreshing. Next was candied ginger, which had a nice little kick to it. Lastly, we had mini mint chocolate truffles that weren’t too rich or sweet – a nice ending.

Pineapple ice pops, candied ginger, mint chocolate truffles

Overall we were really impressed with our meal at Annisa. The menu mixed classic techniques with inventive twists, and everything was well composed and beautifully prepared. From start to finish, we enjoyed every course. The soup dumplings were pretty much the only disappointment, and not because the dish didn’t taste good, but because it wasn’t really what I was expecting. I would happily eat more of the seared foie gras. Our entrees were all superb, and while dessert is usually a bit of a downer for us, that wasn’t the case here. Service was great as well. Our waiter was attentive and informative, stopping to chat with us once in a while. In terms of prices, it’s definitely an expensive restaurant, with appetizers in the $15-$20 range and entrees ranging from $30-$35, but I like that it’s a la carte so you can put together your own menu. It’s a great place for a special occasion, or if you’re in the mood to splurge a bit.

13 Barrow St. between 7th Ave. South and West 4th St.
New York, NY

Old Sichuan Cuisine

Sunday, June 12th, 2011 by virginia

When Josh and I first moved into the city, we spent many weekends in Chinatown searching for the best soup dumplings. We never really found a soup dumpling that we didn’t enjoy, but one of our favorites was New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe on Bayard St. We hadn’t been there in years but when Josh’s parents suggested Chinese food in Chinatown for Sunday night dinner, we recommended going to New Yeah because we remembered the dining room being nicer than some of our other favorites (Nice Green Bo, Joe’s Ginger for example).

It took us a little bit to find the restaurant, however, because the name had changed to Old Sichuan. To make matters more confusing, there was a place called Old Shanghai Deluxe on the corner. Yet on an advertisement outside of Old Sichuan, it said New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe. We peeked inside Old Sichuan and it didn’t look like the decor had changed much since its New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe days, so in we went. We ended up at a table in the front where the decor is kind of nonexistent but we didn’t mind. The dining room in the back is a lot nicer though so if ambiance is important, ask to be seated in the back room.

They brought us a plate of peanuts while we looked over the menu. It looked like tables with Chinese patrons received plates of seaweed salad, but the peanuts were fine for us. They were slightly toasted and warm and crunchy – good for snacking on with some Tsingtao beer.

Complimentary peanuts

We had ordered some appetizers and a few main dishes to share but they brought everything to us pretty much at the same time, so that some of the entrees arrived before some of the appetizers. We found that a bit weird, and it made the service seem rushed. Nevertheless, we were all pretty hungry so we dug into each dish as they came. Soup arrived first – we got a corn egg drop soup for 2 and a wonton soup for 2. The serving sizes were big enough that we were all able to get a taste of each (there were seven of us altogether).

Corn egg drop soup for 2

The corn egg drop soup had sweet kernels of corn and strands of egg mixed throughout. The soup had a nice, clean taste to it, though I thought it was a bit bland. It just needed a bit of salt, but Alice really enjoyed it a lot. I preferred the wonton soup, which looked pretty clear and nondescript, but the amount of flavor in the broth was actually very surprising. It was well seasoned and a bit peppery, with lots of umami flavor that I enjoyed. The wontons were soft and had a good amount of filling in them (pork I believe), but I really enjoyed just drinking the broth.

Wonton soup

Alice and I both wanted an egg roll but the only thing they had on the menu was called a vegetable roll. It turned out to be more like a spring roll, though the size was more in line with an egg roll. While I found the spring roll wrapper to be pretty crispy, Alice thought it was a tad oily. I liked the filling though, with lots of crisp shredded veggies. It was flavorful and seasoned enough that we didn’t need any sort of dipping sauce.

Vegetable rolls

One of our favorite dishes to order at any Chinese restaurant is the pan fried noodles. Old Sichuan’s version was really tasty – chock full of crunchy vegetables and lots of meat. We got the house special version that came with chicken, pork, and shrimp. My only wish was that there were more noodles in the dish. The serving of noodles was a bit paltry, and there was so much sauce and toppings that they got soggy very quickly. The best part of pan fried noodles is the fried noodles, which should be thin and super crispy. While the dish tasted good, the noodles weren’t the star that they should have been.

House special pan fried noodles

Pork with garlic sauce is one of Josh’s favorite dishes, and Old Sichuan’s version was one of the best that we’ve ever had. The dish featured plenty of shredded pork sauteed with crunchy celery and wood ear. The garlic sauce was flavorful and had a nice kick to it, with just enough spice to tingle your tongue and lips but not to overwhelm your taste buds. It’s great spooned over a nice pile of white rice, which helps temper the spiciness.

Pork with garlic sauce

We ordered sesame chicken at my request. Kind of blasphemous I guess, considering this is more of an authentic Chinese restaurant rather than a place that caters to American tastes. But I was in the mood for a sweet, sticky sauce, and I was actually blown away by how good this dish turned out to be. Usually the chicken in sesame chicken is heavily battered and fried, so that it’s hard to tell if you’re eating breading or chicken. This chicken barely had any coating on it, and it was super tender and juicy on the inside. The sauce covering the chicken wasn’t overly sweet or gloppy, and had a nice savory aspect to it. There were lots of sesame seeds sprinkled on top, and there was some plain broccoli on the side that I enjoyed dipping into the sauce and eating.

Sesame chicken

We also got an order of house special fried rice that had lots of scrambled egg and pork, chicken, and shrimp mixed in. It was fine, not too greasy, and a good complement to our other dishes.

House special fried rice

Surprisingly, one of the last dishes to arrive at our table was the soup dumplings (usually they come first as an appetizer). We got an order of the pork ones, and they were absolutely fabulous. The skins were super thin but still had a nice chew to them, the filling was intensely porky, and there was lots of hot broth to slurp up. We doused them with a bit of black vinegar and ginger, and they were just perfect.

Pork soup dumpling

Overall we really enjoyed the food at Old Sichuan Cuisine. I wonder if the owners are still the same as when it was New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe, but regardless, I would definitely go back there. Even though service seemed a bit off, with appetizers and entrees arriving all jumbled together, the food was some of the best Chinese food I’ve had recently. We ordered the perfect amount for seven people – every dish was polished off and we were all satisfied but not bursting full. Prices are incredibly reasonable, even for Chinatown. I think our bill was about $65 in total. The menu is extensive with lots of authentic Chinese dishes as well as standard Americanized favorites. Definitely try out the pork in garlic sauce if you go; Old Sichuan’s version renewed our love for this dish. And don’t forget about the soup dumplings!

Old Sichuan Cuisine
65 Bayard St. between Mott and Elizabeth St.
New York, NY


Jing Fong

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 by virginia

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about Jing Fong, the ginormous dim sum restaurant in Chinatown, considering that it’s a place that has a lot of meaning for me and Josh. It’s been our go-to place for dim sum ever since we moved into the city, and was where we ate right before Josh proposed. It is also where we held our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding, a banquet style dinner that resulted in a lot of people eating jellyfish, accidentally mistaking the long chewy strands for noodles (we didn’t tell them what it was until after they ate it and enjoyed it). As with most of our favorite Chinatown destinations, since we’ve moved uptown, we just haven’t been around as often. Josh had a coworker in town one Sunday who wanted to try dim sum, so we knew exactly where to take him.

Dim sum at Jing Fong on the weekend is pretty crazy. If you don’t get there early enough, there’s a huge line, which is impressive considering how BIG the place is. Luckily we got there in time and were seated right away. There was a pretty long wait by the time we left though. Once you get up the escalator, it’s just a massive space packed to the brim with tables, all of which are full. If you have a small group (ie., 2-3 people), you generally end up having to share a table with other people. It’s not too awkward, the tables are big and you can either talk to your table-mates or not. We’ve experienced it both ways.

Huge line of people waiting to get in when we left

Ideally you want to sit near the kitchen (the right side of the long room, parallel to where the escalators are) because the carts that come out there have the freshest food and are stocked with more items. When you end up in the far corner away from the kitchen, usually you’re options are mostly just tripe and chicken feet, which isn’t bad if you like those items. Otherwise, you have to go with the aggressive route, which is taking your “scorecard” and waiting with a bunch of other people outside the kitchen, waiting to pounce at the carts as soon as they come out. Then you just have to carry your steaming baskets back to your table. There’s also a long table set up in the middle of the room, by the back wall, where they have prepared foods such as sauteed chinese broccoli or steamed clams in black bean sauce that you can pick up. Just remember to take your card with you!

We were a group of five so we wound up with our own table, in the right hand corner just opposite the kitchen. It was a pretty good spot, and there were lots of carts coming around. We basically just pointed at whatever looked good, keeping in mind that one person in our group was a pescetarian, so we got a lot of shrimp and/or veggie items. Here’s a rundown of what we got:

Steamed sticky rice wrapped in a banana leaf - one of Josh's favorites. The rice is filled with bits of pork and dried shrimp, and has a nice chewy texture

Pork and shrimp shumai

Steamed soup dumplings - just meh, not enough soup inside, decent pork flavor

Shrimp and chive dumplings

Shrimp and pea dumplings

Crystal shrimp dumplings - a classic dim sum dish and one of my favorites

Crab and vegetable dumplings

Pan fried vegetable dumplings (that also looked like they had bits of shrimp in them)

Baked pork buns - the bread is sweet and the filling is bbq pork

Steamed rice crepe wrapped around a fried cruller topped with cilantro and a sweet soy sauce

Steamed rice crepe filled with shrimp

Pan fried dumpling wrapped in tofu skin

Dessert: deep fried sesame balls - the inside is chewy mochi filled with sweet lotus or bean paste

We actually got a few orders of each dish so we were pretty stuffed by the end of our meal. I was actually hoping to get some tripe, which they prepare very well at Jing Fong, but sadly it never came around. We did see and pass on chicken feet though. I also wanted some egg tarts for dessert but all the dessert carts were pretty bare by the time they got to us, so we settled for the sesame balls.

The ladies who push around the dim sum carts don’t speak a lot of english, but we managed to get by with a mix of english and my mangled mandarin. When you pick out the stuff that you want from the cart, they put stamps on your scorecard indicating the number and the size of the dish you picked. I don’t know how much each dish is, but our bill for all the food was ridiculously tiny. After tax and tip, I think we each paid about $12. Service is a bit brusque but efficient. They kept our teapot filled and gave us a pitcher of ice water for the table when they saw how thirsty we were. They also cleared our table of empty steamer baskets frequently.

There are lots of dim sum places in the city with varying reviews and we haven’t tried them all.  Jing Fong, though, is always a great experience. When we take people there who have never been, they are always shocked by the size of the restaurant and by the number of people packed in. There’s always lots of variety, and the food is usually fresh because of the high volume and turnover. If you’re patient, you can usually get the dishes you want. The key is to show some restraint initially, and not just pick out a million things from the first cart you see simply because you’re hungry. The carts come by frequently, and each lady usually has different items on her cart. While there may be other dim sum parlors we want to try in Chinatown, we’ll always come back to Jing Fong. Not only is the food good, the restaurant has sentimental meaning for us. Maybe that makes us a bit partial, but just give it a try if you’ve never been – it’s always a fun time.

Jing Fong
20 Elizabeth St. at Canal St.
New York, NY

King 5 Noodle House

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 by virginia

Ever since our fun Flushing food run, way back in July, I’ve been itching to make a return trip. But the fact of the matter is, Josh and I are lazy. It’s one thing to walk 15-20 blocks for a meal, it’s another thing to take a subway ride for almost and hour and have to switch trains along the way as well. But to be honest, the trip really isn’t that bad, and we really should try to do it more often. The best part about Flushing, for me at least, is the access to some of my favorite Taiwanese treats. I was craving Taiwanese breakfast foods and read on a few different blogs that the place to go was King 5 Noodle House in Flushing. So one nice Saturday afternoon, after Josh and I went to the gym, we hopped on the train and made the journey out.

Our first stop in Flushing, before King 5 Noodle House, was the peking duck window at Corner 28 where they sell peking duck buns for $1. We showed a bit of restraint and ordered just one bun each. The meat was a bit chewy and the skin wasn’t so crispy, but there were lots of scallions in the bun and plenty of hoisin sauce. It’s not the best peking duck, but for $1, it’s not bad. I enjoyed eating it while we walked over to the restaurant, and it definitely whet my appetite.

$1 peking duck buns

When we got to the restaurant, we only had to wait a few minutes for a table to open up. It was early afternoon though, and I was worried they had run out of soy milk by then, but we were in luck and everything was still available. We kind of went a bit crazy with our ordering. There were just so many things I wanted to eat, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish it all, but I also knew that it will probably be months again before we come back, so I indulged all of my cravings.

We started off with a big bowl of soy milk and an order of fried cruller (yeoh tiao, or “oil stick”) with a Taiwanese sesame pancake. Basically what you do is split open the sesame pancake lengthwise and stuff the cruller inside. Yes, you’re basically stuffing a carb inside of a carb. Then you dip the “sandwich” into soy milk (I prefer sweet soy milk, rather than salty), and eat. The cruller at King 5 Noodle House was light and crispy, and despite its name, it wasn’t the least bit greasy. The sesame pancake was flaky, and I like the combination of the savory carbs with the sweet milk.

Sesame pancake and fried cruller

To be honest, I don’t love drinking soy milk. I really only order it so that I can dip the cruller into it. The milk is served warm, and just so that you’re warned, in case you’ve never had homemade soy milk before, you have to drink it fast, otherwise it develops a weird skin that I find pretty unpleasant. It’s sort of like drinking milk that’s curdled, and has little bits in it. I mean, the skin really is perfectly safe, but that’s the impression I get, and just the thought kind of grosses me out. So drink up quickly! Or just do what I do, just use the soy milk as a dip.

Dipping the sesame pancake and cruller sandwich into sweet soy milk

Another one of my favorite Taiwanese breakfast food is a dan bing, or an egg pancake. Basically it’s a scallion pancake rolled around a layer of scrambled egg. In Taiwan, the pancake is usually pretty thin, almost like a crepe. Here it was thicker, like the scallion pancake you usually get as an appetizer. I wish the pancake was flakier, but I guess the heat and moisture from the eggs made it a bit soggy and chewy. Still, I like to dip slices of dan bing in some soy sauce and the combination of the sweet egg, savory pancake, and salty soy sauce is just heavenly. If you’ve never tried eating your eggs with a bit of soy sauce doused over the top, you’re missing out!

Egg pancake (dan bing)

Autopsy shot

The next item is sort of debatable as to whether or not it’s a breakfast food. But in Taiwan, we eat soup dumplings for breakfast. Yes, that’s right. Soup dumplings for breakfast! How awesome is that? The version we got at King 5 Noodle House was just ok; the ones we get in Taiwan are much better. I think they had been steamed earlier and reheated, so the skins were slightly tough and chewy. There just wasn’t enough soup, and they seemed slightly dried out in general. Too bad, because I liked the thinness of the skins, and the pork filling was tasty. We just doused them with a lot of black vinegar sauce.

Steamed soup dumplings

Moving on to lunch items, I realized that Josh had never eaten beef noodle soup (niu ro miem) during any of the trips we took to Taiwan. Beef noodle soup is almost like the Taiwanese national dish. There are so many hole in the wall places and food stalls in Taiwan that serve amazing beef noodle soup for incredibly cheap prices. Josh is a big fan of the beef brisket noodle soup that we get at Lan Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles, and I told him that while the noodles might not be as good, the Taiwanese version of beef broth would knock his socks off. King 5 Noodle House’s beef broth did not disappoint. It was rich and savory with a great aroma and lots of different spices that give it such depth of flavor.

Beef noodle soup

The noodles in the soup were pretty good as well, thick and chewy, though not as springy as hand pulled noodles. The bowl we got was such a huge serving that we ended up taking most of it home.

Thick and chewy noodles

On every table, there are containers of pickled greens. Put a spoonful into the soup, and the crunchy, slightly sour vegetables add even more flavor to the soup.

Chopped pickled greens

Lastly, we got an order of deep fried bean curd. I originally wanted to order deep fried smelly bean curd (stinky tofu) but Josh saw this on the menu and thought it would be the same style of deep fried tofu, just not the stinky version. We had amazing fried soft tofu in Taiwan that he absolutely fell in love with, so we were hoping this would be similar. Unfortunately, what they brought us was yeoh tofu, or “oil tofu”. Unlike the cruller, this was actually really very oily. It was fried tofu that was soaked in an oily mixture that had mushrooms in it. While flavorful, it wasn’t what we were craving. I regretted not getting the fried stinky tofu because when we saw an order go by, it was the crispy cubes that we had been looking for. It didn’t smell very stinky though, but I guess it’s hard to get truly stinky tofu around here. Nevertheless, we probably wouldn’t order this dish again.

Fried bean curd

We were really full by the end of our meal and probably didn’t need to order the noodle soup or the tofu, but like I said, I wanted to indulge all of my cravings. The Taiwanese breakfast foods at King 5 Noodle House didn’t disappoint. I’m not much of a breakfast person in general, preferring to order lunch foods whenever we go out for brunch, but Taiwanese breakfast is different. Most of the foods are savory, not sweet, and it’s very carb heavy, which always makes me a happy girl. Eating all these things again really brought back fond memories for me of being in Taiwan. It’s been a few years since we were last there, and we don’t know the next time we can make a trip back. So even though we find the subway ride to Flushing to be a bit long, it’s still shorter than a 17 hour plane ride to Taiwan. The next time I have a craving for Taiwanese food, I’ll happily hop on the train and return to King 5 Noodle House.

King 5 Noodle House
3907 Prince St.
Flushing, NY

Liberty View

Saturday, November 20th, 2010 by virginia

At a recent Sunday night dinner with the family, we revisited an oldie but a goodie. When all of us lived downtown in the Financial District and Battery Park City, Liberty View was our go-to Chinese restaurant for Sunday night dinners. Since Josh and I moved uptown, we haven’t been to the restaurant in probably a year, which is too bad because the food is really quite good.

Every time we go, we always make sure to order the steamed juicy buns, or soup dumplings/xiao long bao. These are some of the best ones that we’ve had, and believe me, Josh and I have eaten our way through most of the soup dumplings in Chinatown. I was happy to see that they were still as tasty as ever. The skins are super thin but still slightly chewy, the meat full of porky goodness, and the soup inside is hot, flavorful, and has just the right amount of fatty richness to it. Delish!

Soup dumpling in all its glory

Another of our usual appetizers is the spare ribs, which are sticky and citrusy and not too sweet. They can be a little fatty sometimes but they’re generally pretty tender.

BBQ spare ribs

We also got an order of the cold noodles with sesame sauce, which something that we hadn’t tried before at this particular restaurant. It’s a pretty standard, simple dish, but unfortunately, this version was pretty bad. The sesame sauce was watery and not very flavorful, and there just wasn’t enough of it to cover all the noodles. The dish wound up being extremely bland, and it’s not something we would order again.

Cold noodles with sesame sauce

For entrees, the moo shu pork is one of our favorites. Strips of pork are stir fried with scrambled eggs and shredded cabbage, then rolled into thin pancakes dabbed with hoisin sauce. Just make sure you ask for the same number of pancakes as you have people, because if you don’t specify, I think they only give you a certain number. We were short the first few times we ordered so we learned our lesson. The good thing is that they’ll wrap up the moo shu for you and portion it out evenly across all the pancakes.

Moo shu pork

Another favorite is the crispy spring chicken in house brown sauce. The chicken is always tender and juicy with crispy brown skin. The house brown sauce is a mixture of soy sauce and chili oil, and is chock full of scallions and black pepper, which gives it a little kick. The dish comes garnished with crispy prawn crackers that are puffy and crackle delightfully if you leave them on your tongue. These were one of my favorite snacks growing up, and while they don’t really do much for the chicken, they’re a fun addition.

Crispy spring chicken and prawn crackers

My personal favorite dish is the Shanghai style pan fried noodles. It’s a bed of thin egg noodles that have been fried until crispy, then covered in a mix of chicken, pork, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, wood ear, mushrooms, and other assorted items in a flavorful brown sauce. You mix everything together and the noodles add a wonderful crunchy texture to the dish.

Shanghai style pan fried noodles

To add some veggies to our meal, we originally asked for hollow water spinach, which is my favorite vegetable, but they were out of it that evening. We settled for pea shoots instead, which are another leafy green vegetable similar to spinach. The pea shoots were sauteed with garlic and cooked until just wilted, so that the stems still had a nice crunch to them.

Sauteed pea shoots

Last but not least, we got an order of pork fried rice. It was fairly standard but there was lots of pieces of roast pork mixed throughout, and the rice wasn’t overly mushy or greasy.

Pork fried rice

Overall Liberty View is one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in the city. It’s a bit more refined than some of our go-to places in Chinatown, though I wouldn’t really call it fancy. It’s in a nice location though, right along the Hudson River, and has a nice view of the Statue of Liberty. Service can be a bit overbearing at times, however, because they try to plate and serve everything for you. What I like about Chinese food is that it’s served family style, so everyone should be able to help themselves. Aside from that, I think the food is really good, almost up to Chinatown standards. Now that we’ve rediscovered how much we like the food there, I’m sure we’ll be going back more often.

Liberty View
21 South End Ave. at West Thames St.
New York, NY