Wok This Way: 9 of NYC's Best Chinese Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 12/22/2010
Photo: Malcolm Brown
9 Pell St., 212-233-8888, Chinatown, Manhattan
Does Joe's Shanghai need any more attention? Since the neon-lit Chinatown branch opened in 1996, there's basically been a line out the door every night. More than 1,000 Yelpers have weighed in. And yet it deserves its place in the top 10, if only for the dreamy soup dumplings filled with pork or a combo of pork and crab (actually called "steamed buns" on the menu). When the waiter approaches the table, it's assumed you'll get an order. Once that's dispatched, compile a list that includes cold sesame noodles, shredded turnip shortcakes (much better than they sound), moo shu pork and crispy yellow fish fingers with dry seaweed. The lion's head (stewed pork balls) is mighty fine, too. Communal tables are ideal for groups, and the festive atmosphere means you might hear "Happy Birthday to You" sung three times during a seating.