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#1 mitchells

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:29 PM

This place deserves its own thread. Dinner here tonight was several notches above Spicy & Tasty, Little Pepper etc. The cooking is outstanding with every dish having its own distinct heat/flavor profile. We had:

Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage- An entire fish boiled whole in a pale white broth with still crispy pickled cabbage and revelatory mushrooms. We were warned to not eat it like a soup as the oil will make us sick. This may be challenged on future visits.

Ma Po Tofu- Like tofu bolognese. other versions not close to this one. The consistency of the sauce is thick and velvety.

Dried Chili Shrimp with Ribs- lots of cumin and hot pepper with small batons of addictive potato

Cold dishes- Razor Clams with Hot pepper- very spicy, reminded me of Thai food

Jelly noodles- best version I ever had

A bit bizarre when we arrived. I tried to make a last minute reservation but was told they were fully booked but we should try to walk in. Arrived around 7:15 pm and there were several empty tables.

Host: I'm sorry but we're very busy tonight
Me: looks like there are several empty tables
Host: they are all reserved
Me: what about that room over there that is empty?
Host: that is for club members who spend at least $300
Me: okay how long is the wait?
Host: very long
Me: how long?
Host: 30 minutes
Me: that's fine, we'll wait
Host: here are menus to look at while you wait
Me: thank you very much
5 minutes later:
Host: your table is ready

Note they don't have a liquor license yet so while they have beer on the menu, they can't serve it yet.

Can't wait to go back.



All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
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#2 Lex

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:32 PM

I'll bet you were at Friday's US Open live we were.  Glad your Guan Fu visit was successful.

 

Deb and I went to the reborn* Spicy & Tasty last night and had a terrific meal.  One of the best of the year.  I'll post details when I have time.

 

* In the spring S&T closed for a month for the dreaded "renovations."  There were also stories on CH that the ownership was changing - people affiliated with the original owners were taking over.  About 5 or 6 weeks after the renovations started S&T reopened, bright and shiny.  Anyway, nore later on the S&T thread.


"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
 
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion

I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.

"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China

#3 Steve R.

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:45 AM

I very much agree with mitchells on this.  Here's my post on CH from my lunch there with a large group last month:

 

"Of the 9 of us in attendance, 7 are/were long time CH posters (although I'd guess that about half of them aren't really posting here anymore - but that's a side issue). We pretty much allowed the 1 of us who is very familiar with Guan Fu lead the way (although others of us put in our 2 cents) & order dishes that he knows to be the place's strength. That pretty much meant that seafood, especially what they call "live" (until cooking) seafood, leads the way. Not that they didn't have meat/poultry dishes on the 40+ page color picture menu & not that those dishes may not be very good as well -- I have no way of knowing. I'm glad we did it this way, as 1)everything ordered was great (& I hardly ever feel that way) & 2)most of what I ate were things that I don't usually order in a Szechuan restaurant (& most of the places I go to probably don't do well).

What I think makes this place very special is that the cooking is refined, with both the quality of the main ingredient and the spicing working together to create a tasty dish, showcasing the main, but enhancing it and making it stand out even further. Further, the spicing isn't one note but a combination that lets you enjoy the dish while appreciating the ability of the kitchen to bring out flavors. Having spent many years eating Szechuan food in NYC, I couldn't help but feel like the first time I had upscale Italian food after growing up with red sauce home cooking (well, not at my home) at good Italian places throughout Bklyn. or eating at Devi after lots of E.6th St or Lex. Ave dining. For example, I can't remember the last time at any type of restaurant that I ordered a lobster "dish" that I didn't think paled in comparison to eating a good, fresh lobster simply done. This place nailed it.

At a price point of $50pp all in (no alcohol & with a 10% discount given due to one person being already known to the house, offset by a large tip), its not inexpensive for lunch (I have no idea if dinner prices are the same). But, considering the fresh lobster, shrimp, razor clams and other things served in a very upscale environment with lots of friendly, efficient service, its a real bargain.  I won't be abandoning Little Pepper (or Lan Sheng for that matter), but this is different".

 

Here's a link to the entire CH thread about that lunch:  https://www.chowhoun...guan-fu-1061060


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#4 Daniel

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 03:07 PM

I love this place.. I have gone twice in the last week and I can't think of a Sichuan Restaurant I would rather eat at.. It's expensive and it's fancy... My favorite thing about the place is the waiters are numbered.. We were talking with number 2 last night.. I remember, we had a problem the first time and it was with number 6.  The idea of ranking employees so literally in terms of worth or value is hilarious to me.. Incredibly straightforward, efficient and very Chinese to me.   

 

It is BYOB so we brought a growler with us.. Number 2 was very taken back by our beer and asked for a glass.. He loved it... 

 

Anyway, here are some of the dishes we had: 

 

Cold Jelly Noodles:

 

My favorite version in any place, from Chengdu to Chicago, this dish is so good

 

 

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Another very nice dish, these are the cold razor clams.. This place claims that seafood is their specialty.. Last night we came with a few people and were hoping to get their lobster dish but, they were out of it..  Anyway, this is a lovely dish, almost like a charred pepper broth on the bottom.. It was bright and fresh and spicy. 

 

 

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This was one of the only dishes that were repeated the second time we went, actually this and the jelly noodles.. This is fish in a sour sauce... there are pickled vegetables, there are enoki mushrooms, the oily broth is so damn good.. This was my favorite dish until last night when we found some other things we loved.. I love that little tuft of garlic in the middle

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Frog in chili oil.. It was very good, the frog cooked well and very meaty.. If this were anywhere else I would have been happy, it just coulndt stand up to how awesome that fish in sour sauce is.. Also, this place is expensive and may casually suggest something and it be considerably more expensive.. The second time I ordered this dish, the waiter was like, do you want tilapia or some other fish.. The other fish was almost 2.5 times the price

 

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Here is another frog dish.. This is much better and was the spiciest dish I have had at this place.. Lots of fresh green peppers, the frog cooked again perfectly, was meaty and sweet and it was just really delicious.. This is among my favorite dishes here. 

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Fried shrimp.. The coating is delicious and crunchy and almost battered with cumin and spice.. These shrimp were freaking great

 

 

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This was Alicia and my buddies favorite dish of the night.. This is that crispy rice dome, I have not seen this dish outside of china so, we were excited.. It was crunchy rice, it had a very spicy beef sauce.. The crunchy rice soaked up the sauce.. This dish did not last long 

 

 

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One says, you can judge a Sichuan Restaurant by the ma pao tofu.. I don;t know why.. without googling it, i always thought the ma pao is linked to the US and then like some lady in Chengdu and it's not a traditional dish but, I could be remembering wrong.. Either way, this was not my favorite version though, my Chinese Friend who's grandma still makes us Ma pao , said she loved it.. I like her grandmothers better.. The sauce was very rich and dark.. I loved the amount of toasted ground sichuan peppercorns but, i guess it was so built up and it was not literally my favorite version, so I was disappointed.. Still very good but, unless you love it, i don't know if it needs to be repeated on my table 

 

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And that's all I know so far.. I would suggest the next time, if you decide to go, you can purchase like credits at the front stand, you then get to be part of the discount club... There are two pricing structures on the menu and you qualify for the cheaper one, if you ask to be a member and purchase a 200 dollar card.. 

 

Also, i was very impressed to see large 10 gallon vegetable fermentors in the place.. So, I am assuming, all there pickled veg are homemade, which is maybe why I love that sour fish so much.. 

 

This is my favorite Chinese place in New York right now... 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#5 Daniel

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 03:34 PM

I should also mention, I had two other dishes, both were not very successful at all, in my humble opinion... 

 

Firstly, this is one of my favorite things to eat in China.. I have not had a good version of this dish in the US and it's very frustrating as it appears to be so simple

 

I also usually eat this dish in Hong Kong or Shanghai but, i have seen this dish all over China.. You can see how the noodles are a little al dente, the sauce is not as soupy or flavorful.. it almost looks like a generic soy on it as opposed to like a garlic, wine, brown fish broth.. Also, the scallops were too big and it was 10 bucks a pop..

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This dish also, I did not like.. It is very Chinese, it has that sweet sauce, it has the battered almost donut like batter, crispy eggplant and some flavored pork inside.. The pork inside was delicious, it had crunch sichuan peppercorn and was seasoned well.. I just hate that sweet flavor that is traditional more to Cantonese Style.. While I appreciate it, i do not like eggplant donuts covered in sugar. 

 

 

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Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#6 AaronS

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:54 PM

I ate here a few weeks ago and really liked it. I had a hard time with the menu, its huge and full of mostly unfamiliar things and Im not sure we ordered well.

I had the same jelly noodles daniel did, a fried fish app that was the only thing I didnt like, and terrific pork and beef mains. the pork was called fried pork belly and turned out to be a great version of the twice cooked pork dish most sezchuan places have, and the beef was really thin slivers in a terrific broth. the ingredient quality and saucing were both several levels above any other chinese restaurant Ive eaten in. those four dishes and some greens were $120 without booze, which is fine for the quality of food we got, but you dont expect to spend 60 a head in flushing.

eta: daniels post reminds me we also had dan dan noodles for the price listed.

#7 Daniel

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 12:05 PM

We went there last night and I got my VIP card. You put 200 on the card and you get the special pricing that is charged off the card where the cash is being held. Tips need to be in cash.

We ordered all new things with then exception of the jelly
Noodles. We found some more winners. The pork with covered in like a cracked wheat was fantastic. Spicy, porky, my favorite pork dish there. It was the best version of this dish I have ever had. The BBQ fish in tray with mung bean noodles and lotus root was also fantastic. I use to think the sour fish was but, I would be happy on any night depending on my preference. The eggplant with garlic was also a knock out. I always say, eggplant is either the best or worst thing on the table. This dish for me, someone who is notorious for not liking most eggplant, was one of my favorite on the table last night.

We also ordered the Dan Dan noodles and the lamp hot pot and while these would have been stand outs at most places, I would consider these second tier options
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#8 johannabanana

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 08:56 PM

The pork with covered in like a cracked wheat was fantastic. Spicy, porky, my favorite pork dish there. It was the best version of this dish I have ever had.

 

Daniel, do you remember what this dish is called/where to find it on the menu? Planning a maiden voyage to Guan Fu and it speaks to me. But can't see it on the online picture menu with its tiny font!



#9 Daniel

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:07 AM

Simply, steamed pork with rice
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#10 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 01:49 AM

Went tonight it was AWESOME. We got the razor clams, yam noodles, sour fish. Everything was great.
Immortal space traveler.

#11 Daniel

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

So happy you liked it! Yeh, I can't think of another restaurant I would rather go to in New York right now.  I am excited to go back.. 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#12 johannabanana

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:19 PM

Simply, steamed pork with rice

 

Thanks. Looking forward.



#13 Daniel

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:48 PM

Dan dan noodles.. I like other noodles better, the jelly for certain but, if you are into the peanut buttery., sesame flavor, this would be a good choice.. .

 

 

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Hot pot served over a burner.. Lamb broth, oil, lamb, shrimp, calamari, meatballs, shrimp and cabbage.. 

 

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rice and pork.. in my top 5 dishes from here

 

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bbq fish, another winner

 

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Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#14 Orik

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:46 PM

Almost made it here with friends from out of town but they closed (or were full? I couldn't tell from the chinese) for New Year's on sunday. Went to Wu's instead, which was fun but not terrific. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#15 Steven Dilley

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 04:06 AM

Not much to add other than to underscore what's already been said on this thread.  This place is awesome.  We ordered too much food for 6 and it was $50 per, all-in.  They're waiting on their beer/wine license and technically aren't able to offer BYO at the moment.  If you bring, YMMV.


Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

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