Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yong Gee - Chinatown, NYC

After buying our bak kwa from Malaysia Beef Jerky, it was already almost noon. So, we figured we should start looking for a place to have lunch. As usual, there were just so many eating places in Chinatown, we couldn't really decide where to go.
While walking down Mott St, we saw Yong Gee. What really caught my attention were the giant words PEKING DUCK and CANTONS NO. 1 CHICKEN on the signboard. Also, they had really yummy looking pictures of various types of Cantonese food as their storefront wallpaper. That made us cross the street to have a closer look at their menu! :P
Once we crossed that street, we were hooked. Look at the yummy looking roast duck, chicken and pork hanging in the window. We also noticed a lot of traffic going in and out of the restaurant, mostly older Chinese couples and families. Now, that's a very good sign. Soooo, we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant was packed to the brim when we walked in. Boy, it felt like walking into a restaurant in Hong Kong! Loud chattering, servers in colored vest and bowties walking around really fast with steaming hot plates/bowls of food and not a single gwailo is sight! I think Kevin was the only non Chinese in there. Everybody was speaking Cantonese, even the waiters and waitresses. I'm not very sure if they are able to converse in English or not but since they started talking to me in Cantonese, I just replied in Cantonese (my Cantonese is not that great, but I guess it's good enough for basic conversation). My guess is that they can speak English if the need so arise but they were more comfortable in speaking Cantonese. Anyways, they managed to get us a small table at the corner...that's fine with me. It's better than waiting for a table or having to share a table with strangers!

They had a pretty extensive menu and everything looked good. I didn't really know what they are famous for, so we just ordered whatever we felt like eating. They were also having a dim sum combination dish promotion. So, we decided to order that as our appetizer. For $7.99, you get 2 pieces of mini egg rolls, 2 pieces of har kow (shrimp dumplings), 3 pieces of siu mai (pork dumplings) and 1 char siew bao (steamed roast pork bun). It also comes with free coffee, tea or soda. The mini egg rolls were a tiny bit too oily but it was alright overall. Both the char siew bao and siu mai was alright, nothing to really shout about. However, the har kow was terrible! The skin was sticking to the surface of the container and everything ripped open when we tried to remove it. Also, the shrimp didn't taste all that fresh and I think it was sitting in the steamer was way too long. Mental note: if you want good dim sum, go to a dim sum house, not just any random Chinese restaurant :P

For our mains, we both shared a noodle dish and their famous Peking duck. There were a lot of noodle dishes to choose from and we ended up ordering the Cantonese Style Pan Fried Noodles with Fish Fillet ($10.99). That was a very good choice! I love it! They were really generous with the fish fillets and it tasted really good and fresh. The portion was really big too. Even after sharing, we still could not finish and had to take about 1/3 of the dish home. Very very nice.

Ahhhh the famous Peking duck. We ordered half a Peking duck ($15.99) and it came with 6 pieces of buns, Peking duck sauce, some cucumbers and spring onions. You can see from the above photos, the waitress showing us the correct way to assemble it all together as well as the finish product :P The skin of the Peking duck was nice and crispy and overall, it was nice. I wouldn't rave about it and say that it was the best I have ever eaten, but it was alright. I wouldn't order it in the future though, I guess I'll just stick to the $1 per piece Peking duck from that corner store in Flushing. I later found out that Yong Gee is famous for their Congee (which explains the steady line of steaming big bowls coming out from the kitchen) and their Hot Claypot Rice. Also, their Guang Dong Style Chicken and Fish Soup Noodles is said to be really good too. I guess we will have to try those out the next time we are in Chinatown :P

Yong Gee Chinese Restaurant
104 Mott Street,
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 925-1118/6661
Fax: (212) 925-2886

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