Mon-Thu, 11am-11:30pm; Fri, 11am-12:30am; Sat, noon-12:30am; Sun, noon-11:30pm
N, Q, R at 49th St.; 1 at 50th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
40th St. to 60th St., Park Ave. to Twelfth Ave.
The first Manhattan outpost of a small New Jersey-based chain, sleek Nanking offers an intimate alternative to Times Square’s monstrous theme restaurants. With subdued lighting, brown-and-cream accents, and cloth hanging lamps, the room is a refuge from the commotion outside. Nanking’s hybrid menu intrigues, blending Hakka specialties from southern China, Thai treatments like gingery Pad King Sod chicken, and even Indian paneers. But sloppy preparations drag Nanking down to food-court level. Sauces taste sugary, fatty meat dominates chicken and beef dishes, and servers confuse tables, orders, and dishes. Unless you’re seriously late for a show, you’re better off dashing to Ninth Avenue for superior choices. Otherwise, grab a Thai beer and stick with modest small plates like piquant salt-‘n’-pepper fish or honey-covered crispy lotus wheels – the tastiest items on the menu.Recommended Dishes
Crispy lotus wheels, $7; salt ‘n’ pepper fish, $12