Cory Ng of Potluck Club's Guide to True New York City Asian Food

The native New York restauranteur shares his childhood haunts as well as a few hidden gems across three boroughs.

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There’s often a stigma attached to “authentic” food from different cultures but in all honesty there’s definitely marketing behind it all. So are there authentic restaurants these days? Of course, you just need to know who to ask and where to go.

Cory Ng – purveyor of hit NYC restaurant Pot Luck Club – was tasked with this to which he gladly obliged. While Pot Luck Club isn’t “traditional,” it’s authentic for sure – Cory’s vision was to recreate the dishes he grew up with but modify their ingredients or cooking technique for a fresh take. The result is apparent – the restaurant was recently awarded a Bib Gourmand and is expected to expand to a second location this year. With that, Cory opened our eyes to the real spots for Asian food, across the multiple Chinatowns in New York City – Manhattan, Flushing Queens, and around 8th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Check out his picks below and save the entire list here.

Great NY Noodletown

A staple within the Manhattan crowd, Great NY Noodletown is often the gateway to the city’s Chinatown – metaphorically for its old-school appeal as well as its literal “right off the Manhattan Bridge” location. If it’s your first time, skip everything and go straight for the Wonton Noodle Soup. If you’re a regular, try their Congee porridges with “You Tiao/Yau Char Kwai” – Mandarin and Cantonese respectively for a fried dough stick for dipping.

“This place is a Chinatown institution. Classic authentic Cantonese food that warms the soul!”

Great NY Noodletown
28 Bowery
New York, NY 10013

Malaysia Beef Jerky

Ok, technically not a restaurant, but Malaysia Beef Jerky excels at one thing and one thing only – jerky, obviously. The quaint shop has quite a long history in Chinatown, yet hasn’t changed much from its first introduction on Elizabeth St. Don’t expect anything fancy or extravagant – jerky slices, by weight, bagged in wax paper with some napkins. But what more do you need really?

“People don’t talk about this enough. Malaysian Beef and Pork Jerky hits every time from this place. Definitely get it SPICY!”

Malaysia Beef Jerky
95A Elizabeth St
New York, NY 10013

Rice Roll Cart

“Cheong fun” – literally translated to “rolled noodle” – is a cultural snack that capitalizes on its customizability. Prefer pork over beef? No problem, opt for that. Do you fancy corn or scallions? Add ‘em in. And while each Chinatown in NY has steamed rice roll spots, this establishment is as humble as you can get, selling the rolls right out of a trolley cart. Don’t forget the sauces – we love a mix of soy sauce and peanut sauce, and just a drizzle of Sriracha.

“Food street carts are a big part of Chinatown that are rapidly disappearing. This is so important to preserve and support.”

Rice Roll Cart
Stationed outside of 159 Hester St
New York, NY 10013

Bo Ky

Bo Ky serves ethnic food from the Teochow – a people native to the Chaoshan region of Southern China. The cuisine feels familiar to the Chinese/Vietnamese food you’d expect – noodles in soup or stir fried, for example – however the Teochow is also known for using veggies and seafood, so there’s no shortage of choices. Bo Ky amplifies this with flavor and simplicity, not presentation or atmosphere. If you’re looking for comforting, warming bowls and sizable portions, Bo Ky should be a staple for you.

“Teochow restaurants are getting more rare. This one has stood the test of time, GOATED.”

Bo Ky
80 Bayard St
New York, NY 10013

Yun Nan Flavour Garden

For those looking for a vibe while they eat – go elsewhere. If you just want to focus on the food in front of you, Yun Nan Flavour Garden should definitely be on your radar. Its a casual approach to time-honored dishes – beef noodle soup, dumplings, cucumber with chili oil, etc. We suggest trying its “Crossing Bridge” noodles where the ingredients are all separated, leaving it up to you to add the noodles, meats and veggies into the broth at your own pace.

“This place transports you to Southern China with their amazing soup noodles.”

Yun Nan Flavour Garden
5121 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220

Pho Viet Nam

Nothing beats a big bowl of pho on a cold, rainy NYC evening. Lucky for Brooklynites, Pho Viet Nam brings exactly that to the table, with no-frills pho, vermicelli bun bo hue, grilled pork over rice and much more. Definitely order a Vietnamese ice coffee as well if you need a pick me up.

“Everyone talks about Pho, but this place also has a Vietnamese Calamari like no other.”

Pho Viet Nam
1243 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11229

Golden Palace

Golden Palace is your standard banquet hall-style Chinese restaurant, and while it’ll serve Cantonese-style fares all day, what we want to focus on for here is Dim Sum. If you’re new to the act, think Chinese brunch, with small dishes meant to satisfy tastes and social eating moreso than fulfilling deep hunger. If the carts that arrive don’t have what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to order it directly from the waiters who can put in orders for you at the drop of a hat.

“DIM SUM GALORE.”

Golden Palace
1619 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11214

Maxi’s Noodle 2

Let’s say you’re incredibly hungry and want something to impress your out-of-town friends with on their visit the NY – in comes Maxi’s Noodle 2. What Maxi specializes in is noodle soup offerings, as well as its highly-’Grammable giant wontons. Think just larger than a golf ball, with skin and meat soaking in delicious soup broth.

“Three words: ‘SUPER-SIZED WONTONS’.”

Maxi’s Noodle 2
59-20 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

Deluxe Food Market

Not feeling up for dine-in or take out? Want to flex your culinary skills with authentic Chinese recipes? Forget H-Mart: hit up Deluxe Food Market. This should be your go-to spot for all things Chinese food in a old-school no-frills sans-neon lighting supermarket. Fresh produce and even-fresher meats await you, just save photos of things before you go if you can’t read Chinese labels – cell phone reception isn’t the best in here so Googling is a bit tough. Cash preferred.

“Best Chinese butcher shop, perfect place for all your home hot pot needs.”

Deluxe Food Market
Zhang Ming Building, 13356 41st Ave
Flushing, NY 11355

Hai Di Lao

What is there to say about Hai Di Lao that hasn’t been said already? A “Disneyland” for hot pot fans, HDL has become the holy grail for hot pot since its introduction to the States just over a decade ago. You’ve heard all of the rumors – free snacks and drinks for the queue, along with manicures, video games, even hand massages to help pass the time. While your experience may vary, the service, authenticity, and food quality rumors are in fact truths, and HDL has seen exponential success ever since. A must visit for out-of-towners.

“Book a private room for a fun party outing.”

Hai Di Lao
138-23 39th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354

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