Bao & Butter

Exploring New York City and the world

Category: Chinese (Page 1 of 2)

Xiaochi (小吃) | Espresso 77 Splits, Chinese Restaurants Flood East Village | January 29, 2018

Xiaochi is a periodic column devoted to short news items and links. Xiaochi (小吃) is the Chinese word for snacks.

Cafe BKLN Park Slope storefront

This happened back in September, 2017, but I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere. The former partners of Espresso 77 have split, with one owner retaining the venerable Jackson Heights location and the other taking ownership of the South Slope location under the name Cafe Bkln. All remains the same including Gimme! as their coffee roaster.

Although I wasn’t a fan of their dark roasted coffee, I miss the bright, beautifully-designed space of the former occupants, Cafe De Luxe.

Chinese restaurants continue to flood into Manhattan, especially the East Village, and I’ve made it to a good number of them over the last few months.

Ho Foods Chef Opening Night

With a combination of luck and judicious planning, a friend and I managed to snag two counter seats on Ho Foods‘ debut night for what turned out to be the best Taiwanese Beef Noodles I’ve had in New York City.

Ho Foods Beef Noodle Soup

It didn’t quite match my Taipei faves, but I would recommend anyone to try their deep, balanced, flavorful beef noodle soup; tendon is a good option.

Le Sia (乐虾) | E 7th St | East Village | Manhattan | NYC | 2018

Two I haven’t made it to yet are Le Sia (乐虾), an attractive Chinese skewer restaurant that recently opened on E 7th St which faces (albeit separated by the Cooper Union building) another just-opened spot, Meet Fresh (鮮芋仙), a Taiwanese dessert chain, on the corner of E 6th St and Bowery. I tried to go a couple of days ago but the line was 50 people deep according to an intelligence source, so I think I’ll wait for the dust to settle, à la Tim Ho Wan.

Mr Wish Park Slope Grand Opening

Mr Wish Bubble Tea | Park Slope | Brooklyn

Mr Wish Bubble Tea | 86 5th Ave | Park Slope | Brooklyn | NYC
Somehow Mr Wish, a bubble tea chain with five other branches scattered around New York City (and zillions in Taiwan and also China) escaped my notice until they opened one in my own neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Mr Wish Bubble Tea | 86 5th Ave | Park Slope | Brooklyn | NYC

My first impression of Mr Wish was a positive one after stopping by for a full sugar tapioca milk tea for my niece. The tapioca pearls were soft, the way they should be, something that’s hard to come by in New York City. I couldn’t tell much else about the drink due to the sugar overload, so I returned a couple of days later with a friend and ordered a cold, zero sugar milk tea with tapioca pearls and one of their signature fruit drinks without boba.

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Archestratus Books & Foods Exterior

Food Tour | Archestratus, Bakeri, Cienaga, Meyers Bageri, MilkMade, Nixtamal, Oddfellows, Yunnan Flavour Garden

I love showing people around New York City, mixing food exploration with sightseeing. A recent expedition involved taking Mark, a food guy visiting from Bali, on a highly personalized journey that took into consideration preferences of his (bakeries, ice cream) and ruled out cuisines from Southeast Asia (where he lives and travels), Japan (his future home), and squeezed it into one dinner Wednesday night and half of the next day, along with homework to complete in his own time. We could have covered more places, but unlike me (probably wisely), he doesn’t eat for science – only for hunger – and our geographically disparate destinations took a toll on available eating time due to heavy New York City traffic.

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BBQ Fish | Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

Flushing’s Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan | A Pallid Reminder of its Former Self

Ignoring the warnings of a Flushing food buddy that ingredient quality and preparation had taken a nosedive, I recently revisited the ungainly named but formerly reliable downtown Flushing standby, Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan (HKGS), with a small group of repeat visitors for a late-night meal. Although I have at least 10 HKGS sojourns under my belt, it was my first since 2014, and I was shocked by how far it had fallen.

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Some Bridges Can’t Be Crossed | Deng Ji Noodles, Flushing, Queens

Deng Ji Noodle House (云南过桥米线) | 46-22 Kissena Blvd | Flushing | Queens | NYC

Sunset Park’s Yun Nan Flavour Garden is one of my go-to spots for affordable, high quality, flavorful Chinese food, so I was excited when a review of an unknown-to-me Yunnan restaurant, Deng Ji Noodle House (云南过桥米线), popped up in a Flushing blog a few months back, especially since there are very few places showcasing that region’s food in the New York City area.

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Chinatown’s 69 Bayard Closing

69 Bayard Restaurant | 69 Bayard St | Chinatown | NYC

While not a bastion of world-beating cuisine, Manhattan Chinatown’s 69 Bayard Restaurant certainly has a flair all its own. If you wanted tolerable late-night Chinese food – not all that easy to come by in that neighborhood, 69 Bayard was the place to find it. Where else could you find a table of cops next to a table of party girls next to a table of gang members? I haven’t been in years, but I’m a little sad to hear that it’s closing its doors this coming Saturday.

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