I tripped across KungFu Kitchen looking for a budget-minded convenient place to meet my friend’s new beau (who we adored). We had come from a member-hours visit to the Joan Miró exhibit at MoMA, meaning we saw it without the crowds.
This Shanghainese restaurant claims that it had been voted New York’s best hand-pulled noodles and steamed buns, although I couldn’t locate the source of that online. (Let me know if you do!) We tried both.
Their crab and pork handmade “Xiao Long Bao” steamed soup dumplings were good ($9.95/6), but not as good as I have had elsewhere. Better were the pan-fried chicken dumplings ($9.95/6) that take 20 minutes.
Looking over the menu, we noticed the four dishes that had been mentioned as Michelin’s Bib Gourmand 2018 and 2017, meaning they were a good value. The write-ups in both editions mentioned the chains pan-fried Peking duck bundles (Flavorful, but needed more duck! $9.25 for two.), steamed buns full of mushrooms and bok choy (Skip these doughy bland balls, $7.95 for two.) and the crispy scallion pancakes stuffed with hoisin-seasoned sliced beef (Not to be missed! $8.94 for four pieces).
What also is not to be missed are their hand-cut “Dao Xiao” noodles. We ordered the stir-fried shrimp ($14.95) with veggies version that was enough for the four of us and our favorite dish. Be sure to check out the inspiring video of the hand-made-noodle process that projects on the back wall while you’re eating.
I would recommend KungFu Kitchen for the noodles and the scallion pancake as a good cheap-eats place before theatre. It’s quite popular. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait, or go early. But do go.