- Congee Village
100 Allen Street, 212-941-1818
Isn’t it enough to watch your colleagues and family members humiliate themselves? Why stoop to the level of dragging them down dimly lit halls to the dank private rooms at East Village debauchery dens Sing Sing and Village Karaoke? Equally embarrassing—but far more wholesome—fun can be found in the large, bright rooms at Congee Village. Not quite as outlandish as the fake tropical paradise upstairs, the five party rooms in the basement still feature the restaurant’s trademark bamboo-overload décor and amazingly fresh and tasty Cantonese cuisine. Each contains a karaoke machine with thousands of songs in English, Chinese, and Japanese, or you can bring your own CDs. Asian businessmen typically loosen up with multiple toasts of mao-tai (at 80 proof, stronger than vodka or sake)—but why rush? You get the room for eight hours ($400 minimum for ten to twelve people), and watching your boss belt out “Hotel California” is a moment you’ll want to remember in the morning.
Best Karaoke Room
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).