B, D at Grand St.; 6, J, M, N, Q, R, W, Z at Canal St.
More often than not, having the word "great" in a restaurant's name is usually an idle boast that masks mediocrity. Chinatown's Great N.Y. Noodletown, however, lives up to its billing with expertly prepared Cantonese cuisine that attracts locals, tourists, and even police officers. The front of the plainly decorated dining room is dedicated to the display and hacking of roasted meats, a Hong Kong specialty, including exemplary duck, its skin a shiny brown, its moist flesh perfumed with five-spice powder. In the roast pork and wonton noodle soup are succulent dumplings filled with sweet whole shrimp, scattered among heaps of firm egg noodles and topped with tender porcine chunks, all in a rich broth. Wheat and rice noodles dishes include thin and thick egg noodles, lo mein, and chow fun, which are sautéed with tender meats, fresh fish, and seemingly just-picked vegetables. Salt baking, which is really a light deep-frying, is a high art here, especially with shrimp, flounder, squid, scallops, and seasonal soft-shelled crabs. The crispy crusts hermetically seal the seafood flavors and a deft chef ensures they don't overcook to rubbery oblivion. While this is not a spot for lingering, it's one you won't soon forget.Recommended Dishes
Roast pork and wonton noodle soup, $6.75; roast duck lo mein, $6.75; salt baked combo, $14.95