NYC Group Dinner 11/10 7pm @ Jiang Nan Chinatown

Hmm. Amazing predictor works again. I will be on a plane heading out of the country.

Look, no one’s gonna drag you to one of these! No need to flee.


We are at 6 now, so there are a max of 2 spots left.

I am in Egypt! So I am a no. :frowning:

Steve, Ginny and me?

1 Like

Okay, so far it looks like me, @Saregama @SteveR & Ginny, @DaveCook, @ninkat.

Party of 6? I’m happy to call Jiang Nan once folks confirm that they are, in fact, in.


The 6 are confirmed, thanks for making the rez!


Reserved: 7pm, 6 people, Jiang Nan (103 Bowery), 11/10/2022, reserved under my first name

See you then/there!


Thanks Small! Will find you. :wink:

I look the same.

@Saregama @SteveR @DaveCook & @ninkat

See youse tonight at 7 at Jiang Nan! And if anyone would like hyper-local parsley or catnip, I have a surplus, so let me know & I’ll bring you some.

Some pix from the dinner.

Sake dispenser or elaborate hookah? You be the judge!


Lotus root stuffed with sticky rice. Sweeter than I like my food, but interesting, and lotus root has an excellent texture.


Shredded potato with chilis. Very pleasing, a gentle heat. The potatoes were softer than in other versions I’ve had (and made).


Pork belly with cucumber. Lovely presentation, and I hope everyone who ate it, liked it!


Sweet and sour striped bass with pine nuts. The fish was very well cooked, and very dramatic to behold.


My personal fave of the evening: shrimp with garlic and vermicelli.


I could not get anyone to split a pineapple beer with me, go figure.


PW, you get around! Global Services?

Let me start by saying that this is a very nice looking place, with very friendly & efficient waitstaff, a beautiful menu with pictures & equally beautiful dish presentations. Everything about it feels like you’re going to get above average food at an above average price. In my opinion, neither was the case. I didn’t look at the pricing beforehand, but I just figured that 2 bottles of sake, some beers & a soft drink would by themselves push the total up significantly. Apparently not. We didn’t order an abundance of food, but I think everyone had more than enough and many of the dishes were seafood based, so I’m not sure how the bill was only $60pp including a generous tip.
As for the food itself, well, in my opinion (& my wife’s), it just wasn’t what it shoulda been. Every dish came out looking great, picture-perfect, on lovely table ware. However, the Fried Rice w/Seafood & Fried Tofu w/Seafood were missing most of the seafood save some small shrimp. The sweet & sour fish was overwhelmed by the sauce (a sweet sauce that I like, heathen that I am, spooned over rice) but it didn’t seem like there was much fish under the breading. Certainly not much fish taste. The pork belly was good, but not flavorful enough, the potatoes tasty but soft (as said above), the lotus root firm but ehh (I like lotus root). The ½ Peking Duck had crispy skin, good meat and was served with all the appropriate accompaniments (plus pineapple chunks?!) but again just didn’t seem to be as flavorful as other places. Same (for us at least) with the shrimp. Lacking depth of shrimp flavor. So, what did I really like? The Sautéed Water Spinach w/Fermented Bean Curd Sauce. Excellent. And the company of course. This is a great group of NY based HO posters & its a pleasure to go out with them and the others who were missing from this dinner.
Sense where I’m going here? It’s not like anything was bad – far from it – but just about nothing “sang” either. Am I just too used to flavor enhancers? I don’t think so. I just think that some braising and better cooking skill would do them well. You know - some singing lessons.

That was not our experience at all. On the Saturday when we were there, the place was almost empty. I don’t know if that made a difference. But each dish we had was delicious. But I have had the experience of loving a restaurant one year and then finding it mediocre on a return visit.

Have to agree, but man, that “water spinach,” a new one on me was really delicious.

The water spinach was my favorite, too – that and the garlic vermicelli, which, it so happened, also came with shrimp. And I do love a good squirrel fish (named for the presentation, not the species), but Jiang Nan’s rendition was way too heavy on the sauce (which I scooped up nonetheless). Compare the version below, from the Dongbei restaurant Xing Shun Da, in Flushing.

Last night’s company, of course, was the best reason of all to get together. Till next time!

I’m not even sure that my viewpoint on last night is shared with everyone that was there, let alone thinking that what I had last night wouldn’t be different on another night. Frankly, I’d rather think that ours was the exception & not yours. As nice as they were, it would be a pleasure going back.

Agree with all the comments so far, and with @SteveR on the service, atmosphere, and plating. Premium pricing for Chinatown, which we knew going in, and not dissimilar from other similar places, but a better setting and service for the premium than others.

It bears mention that our choices were skewed to seafood and vegetables, away from meat and spicy options (the exceptions were a pork belly starter with spicy garlic paste and Peking duck).

My favorites were probably the pork belly starter (cucumber aside, the spicy garlic paste was very good), the potatoes (texture was fine for me, a bite as one expects, but the shreds were skinnier), the water spinach, and the duck (moist meat, crisp skin, thin pancakes if a bit on the small side). None were AHA! versions that I feel the need to go back for, though.

The seafood rice and the fried tofu with seafood were major misses, both in terms of constitution (barely any seafood, sauce congealed quickly, rice was soggy) and flavor.

I’m not a sweet and sour fan, so I knew I wasn’t going to love the fish, but it was a good rendition for anyone who enjoys that flavor profile, and a dramatic presentation as with almost everything else.

I wasn’t expecting either the texture or sweetness in the lotus root (which I’ve eaten and enjoyed elsewhere, so it wasn’t newness), but that’s not their fault.

The vermicelli under the shrimp was flavorful from the sauce, but the shrimp itself was soft. Another lovely presentation, but perhaps made harder to eat than it needed to be.

There were things at other tables that looked tasty – whole fish in various preps, cauliflower, and so on, but our dishes looked great too, so that’s not anything to judge by.

All that said, it was a very fun evening with NYC Onions who make these gatherings enjoyable even with ups and downs on the food!

Adding to the pics:

Water spinach with fermented tofu sauce:


Seafood fried rice:


Fried tofu with mixed seafood sauce (steam from the sizzler plate in evidence):


Garlic shrimp over vermicelli:


Peking duck (half):


That water spinach with fermented tofu is one of my very favorites! Too few restaurants offer it these days. It looks like they are trying to keep prices down and skimping on expensive ingredients is their solution. Too bad!