Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dumplings @ Shanghai Asian Manor and More Vietnamese Food ! Ninh Kieu!

On Diana's last day, we hit up a soup dumpling spot in Chinatown to balance out all the sweets we had been eating.  We waltzed into Shanghai Asian Manor which turned out to be one of the nicest Chinese restaurants - I mean, it was clean.  And look at this modern art work on the wall.  Class-y!

Seeing we only had a half hour before we both had to split to our second brunches of the day, we quickly ordered a batch of "tiny pork dumplings."  The essential ginger vinegar soy sauce.

And after five minutes, our tiny dumplings.  Fat little bundles of soupy goodness.

Shanghai Asian Manor has decent pork dumplings, skin extra thin, the dumpling is filled to the brim with soup, so that its impossible to drink and neatly contain, so thank goodness for the side plate to catch the drippings, or for Diana, the table.

And then we met up with our other friends.  For me, it was a few minute jaunt to Ninh Kieu, a new Vietnamese restaurant with a clean, trendy train-inspired interior (can trains be trendy?) that we all had been eying for over a month after the restaurant had appeared open and then closed for a couple weeks without warning ("flooring repairs, "they explained).

So we all pounced on the restaurant for fear it might mysteriously close again.  (Maybe we all need some hobbies.)

Requisite shrimp spring rolls were tightly bundled and balanced in shrimp and filling. 

Crispy egg rolls (large order) had that crackly crust that I loved at Saigon Shack.

Freshly fried, crisp, and good pork filling.

Dapper Harry happily presented his banh cuon cha lua.

The dish features thin steamed rice crepes with this funky round pork that I never really know how to describe other than it's like Vietnamese spam, but better, but just as ambiguous.

The pho ga was a fragrant bowl filled high with chicken breast meat (what? more classiness!), cauliflower, broccoli and plenty of other greens.  Not authentic looking at all, but Heather said it was pretty good.

David and I both ordered the bun rieu, my second favorite Vietnamese soup behind pho.  A tomato-based soup with vermicelli noodles flavored with shrimp / crab paste.  Ninh Kieu's also features two huge hunks of fried tofu, some slices of cha lua, shrimp, and two shrimp / crab paste-meatballs.  It's not bad, fairly generously portioned, and plenty filling.

The ca ri ga (Vietnamese chicken yellow curry) is served with a toasted baguette.  Jean says it tasted okay, but the broth could've been a little thicker.

The banh xeo here keeps its crunch despite sitting out for awhile, which is a plus.  The minus is that the crepe isn't very flavorful, and it's pretty greasy.

I've been so hopeful that Ninh Kieu was going to be just great, but it was merely fine.  We all agreed it warrants another visit to try something else, but maybe not too soon.

Han's Nonsensical Rating: Shanghai Asian Manor and Ninh Kieu are okay restaurant options - nothing extraordinary, will fill the stomachs and pretty good for tourists and American guests since they're both remarkably clean!

21 Mott St
New York, NY
Shanghai Asian Manor on Urbanspoon

87 Chrystie
New York, NY

Ninh Kieu on Urbanspoon


  1. the cleanliness was so refreshing! and then i messed it all up by dripping all over the table... buwhahah...

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