When New Yorkers think of Chinatown restaurants worth trekking to, the big neighborhoods of Flushing and Bensonhurst dominate their lists. Rarely thought of, is the faux-bag-selling, tourist-dominated Manhattan Chinatown. In the last year, however, newly opened restaurants have added heavy competition to the Cantonese food scene, and in this Year Of The Rat, there’s no better time to give Chinatown restaurants a try.
One of these restaurants, Green Garden Village, sits right in the heart of Chinatown; between Mott and Elizabeth on Grand St. Here, the sights and smells of Cantonese barbeque immediately capture your senses. Looking in through the large window adjacent to the entryway, a variety of meats glisten above working chefs. There are three kinds of duck; roast pork, roast pig, and roast baby pig; and three kinds of chicken available daily. Also available is cuttlefish, duck wing, and barbecued short ribs, along with daily specials that include offal—the remains of butchered animals.
The interior is simple, and it looks like any other Chinatown café with tables tightly packed into a small space broken up with multiple pillars. Where it differs from the traditional, utilitarian café is in its seafood options. They offer a variety of clams, shrimp, grouper, and conch. With such large dishes, Green Garden Village offers some of the most competitive seafood prices in the city. Of course, the options are seasonal so they may not be carrying your favorite dish. Eels are always a safe bet or you could look into the myriad of live tanks to see which fish looks the most appealing.
If seafood isn’t your niche, a variety of dim sum and Hong Kong style lo mein is available to satisfy any picky eater. So next time you find yourself at a loss for lunch, take a trip downtown and satisfy that comfort food desire at Green Garden Village. You won’t be disappointed, and the experience will leave you wanting more.