New Green Bo - 66 Bayard St., Chinatown
Steamed pork and crab tiny buns, scallion pancake, Shrimp Chow Fun
Midway through our meal at Shanghai-style New Green Bo, my friend from work Jamie slapped me on my back. “What are you doing here?!” he marveled. “I love this place! You got the soup dumplings, didn’t you?” It was one of those prized moments that remind you the city is more small town than metropolis. But his enthusiasm also confirmed that we’d picked the right restaurant that night, as he launched into a happy litany of great dishes. In the middle of a Tsingtao, awaiting his table, Jamie grinned when my Shrimp Chow Fun arrived. “That looks really good too,” he said. “Man, I love this place.” Based on the constant horde lining up at the door and the array of press plastered on the glass, many share that sentiment.
The item most cited are New Green Bo’s famous soup dumplings, known on the menu as steamed pork and crab tiny buns or steamed pork tiny buns. We split an order of the pork and crab, and Vince, Jade and I happily agreed, biting off tips of the appetizers and letting them cool, that these were the best we’d had. The broth was the advantage, less oily and more flavorful than others in Chinatown.
Also great, though I have nothing to compare it to, was the scallion pancake, a dough thickly fried on the outside and soft and scallion-filled inside. I'm not the biggest fan of scallions, but this greasy wonder could turn me around. Interestingly, I've also heard since thatthe version at New Green Bo is considered among the best.
Finally, I had the aforementioned Shrimp Chow Fun, a champion of a dish at a meager $4.95. Already nearing fullness at this point just from splitting appetizers, I couldn’t resist digging into this terrific version. Loaded with well-cooked shrimp and great greasy noodles, it was better than most other renditions I’ve had. If we weren’t gluttons, it could have easily been a meal in itself.
When the bill came, it wasn’t hard to figure out the secret to New Green Bo’s popularity. With a reputation so formidable, prices still so reasonable and traditional Chinese food this good, it lived up to the hype. So inching between the narrow seats, on my way to the door, I smacked Jamie on the back and said, “I love this place too,” matching his enthusiasm without even trying. 8/10
From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out
- Name: Lonesome Hero
Friday, April 01, 2005