Joe's Shanghai

Late night visit to Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown because my friend had a hankering for pork soup dumplings. Even though we were closer to the midtown location of Joe's, my friend and I both agree that it was worth trekking down to the Chinatown branch for better quality dumplings.  It has been a long time since my last visit to Joe's. Apparently, Joe's is as popular as ever. At 930pm on a Sunday night, we actually had to wait 15-20 minutes for a shared table.  In fact, people continued to stream in way past 10pm. 

We ordered 2 baskets of the pork soup dumplings for the 2 of us. Oink! Oink! The soup dumplings definitely hit the spot, but I couldn't help but notice that the skin of the dumplings were not as thin as the ones from Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese soup dumpling chain that has made its way stateside (LA and Seattle). 

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We also ordered stir-fried snow pea leaves, a veggie dish that's only available at authentic Chinese restaurants.

STIR-FRIED SNOW PEA LEAVES

STIR-FRIED SNOW PEA LEAVES

Verdict:  AA. Simple, satisfying meal. Joe's is still THE place to go for soup dumplings in NYC. 

Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell Street (Between Bowery & Doyers St.)
http://www.joeshanghairestaurants.com

Hou Yi Hot Pot

All you can eat Chinese hot pot for $25!   I think there were 4 different soup base to choose from, ranging from super spicy to not at all.  We got 1/2 spicy and 1/2 non-spicy.  Tons of ingredients to choose from: beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and all sorts of vegetables.  The food quality was quite good.  

One mishap:  I accidentally ate something that looked like a small tofu pocket with little seeds inside….big mistake! Apparently that's what makes the soup spicy, more so than the red chili peppers that were floating around. My tongue was on fire for a good 20 minutes.  One of the most painful experiences!  So, consider yourself forewarned!  

This is just Round 1

This is just Round 1

Unlimited drinks (non-alcoholic) and ice-cream were also included in the price!  We stuffed ourselves silly before the 2-hour dining limit was up (even with my 20 minute time out).  I will definitely return for a proper, hopefully incident-free chow down.  

Hou Yi Hot Pot
92 Hester Street (Between Allen & Eldridge Street)