Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: buddy on June 10, 2008, 10:31:40 PM

Title: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 10, 2008, 10:31:40 PM
Tonight I decided to experiment. I'd never walk in here based on looking in the window or looking at their menu (with the ugliest photos of dishes EVER).  Not a chance!  First impression: YLEECH!    Wow, was I off.     We ordered from both sides of the menu. Chinese/Thai appetizer was shrimp spring roll.  Unlike most shrimp spring rolls these were jumbo shrimps, cleaned, and wrapped in crispy crust with a yummy dipping sauce. Then entree: Ginger Chicken-FABULOUS.  Indian appetizer: tandoori prawns. Grilled perfectly.   Entree: Chicken Curry-very tasty except the meat was on the bone.  Not crazy about that but it was still good.  Two rice dishes: jasmine and basmati.  The basmati was spicy and had cilentro. An order of Naan.  Food came with Raita.  I was shoveling the food in.  LOVED IT.  Went with a friend in my building and he almost cried when they said we lived too far away for delivery.  It just goes to show you: don't judge a restaurant by it's gaudy red interior and fugly menu photos.

How is it no one has written about this place?
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: jocy on June 10, 2008, 10:49:27 PM
I always get the hot & sour chicken soup from there.   :rockon:
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: rita Lahoud on June 10, 2008, 11:21:56 PM
An Indian freind of mine travels from flushing regularly just to eat at this joint, she swears by it.  She also said that this type of food is very popular among Indians right now.  I have yet to taste it.  I will probably do so soon. 
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: toddg on June 11, 2008, 12:07:03 AM
I haven't tried it yet, but have been meaning to for a while.   I've seen two articles about this place...

Gourmand's Guide raves about it (http://gourmandsguide.blogspot.com/2008/02/bengali-in-queens.html) (hat tip Jackson Heights NYC Blog (http://jacksonheightsnyc.blogspot.com/2008/03/nanking-express-gets-reviewed-on.html))

Midtown Lunch bemoans its Manhattan incarnation (http://midtownlunch.com/blog/2008/04/28/like-everything-good-nanking-gets-ruined-by-midtown/)
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 11, 2008, 01:25:51 AM
I am so glad someone brought this place up.  I usually get their Indian only dishes and I love them.  Their naan is some of the best in the hood.  Their servers are really cheery.

But I will never order takeout from there.

If you order takeout, you have to pay separately for rice and naan.  I get having to pay for one but seriously, serving curry without RICE?  I mean rice is the cheapest part of the dish.  And I had to buy a whole extra biryani, not just a side of rice.  It's not that I can't afford to buy rice, it's that:
1. something that comes free with the meal in the restaurant is charged for in takeout
2. this isn't marked anywhere--one time I got my takeout home to find curry with no rice and had to make my own.  Doable, but a pain!
3. the side of rice is a little pricey for just plain rice.
4. This hasn't happened to my Indian friends. 
5. (main problem) I find it logically ridiculous to a) serve a dish that goes over rice without it and b) to charge extra for the cheap part of the meal.  It's like going to an Italian restaurant and getting served a soup bowl of spaghetti sauce and told pasta is extra.

I love Nanking, and it's one of the first restaurants I bring my friends to in the hood, but crimeny they are CHEAPSKATES!  Never for takeout.  Which makes me sad.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 11, 2008, 07:59:43 AM
I haven't tried it yet, but have been meaning to for a while.   I've seen two articles about this place...

Gourmand's Guide raves about it (http://gourmandsguide.blogspot.com/2008/02/bengali-in-queens.html) (hat tip Jackson Heights NYC Blog (http://jacksonheightsnyc.blogspot.com/2008/03/nanking-express-gets-reviewed-on.html))

Midtown Lunch bemoans its Manhattan incarnation (http://midtownlunch.com/blog/2008/04/28/like-everything-good-nanking-gets-ruined-by-midtown/)

Gourmand guide and I were in sync about the chicken curry: tasty but hated the chicken being on bones!  Too bad they didn't try any Chinese/Thai dishes because they were as good (IMHO) as the Indian.  I didn't really look closely at the bill so don't know if we paid extra for the white rice but the meal came to $45 and we ate two appetizers, two entrees, two rice dishes, naan and soda.  I assumed the Raita was with the meal because we didn't order it.  It was a lot of food for two people.  We didn't finish everything.  After reading Gourmand I want to try the fish and goat dishes they ate.  The one thing I didn't say above is the place is small and noisy: families with children etc.  I may have to check out the buffet.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: cookie on June 11, 2008, 10:08:05 PM
I am so glad someone brought this place up.  I usually get their Indian only dishes and I love them.  Their naan is some of the best in the hood.  Their servers are really cheery.

But I will never order takeout from there.

If you order takeout, you have to pay separately for rice and naan.  I get having to pay for one but seriously, serving curry without RICE?  I mean rice is the cheapest part of the dish.  And I had to buy a whole extra biryani, not just a side of rice.  It's not that I can't afford to buy rice, it's that:
1. something that comes free with the meal in the restaurant is charged for in takeout
2. this isn't marked anywhere--one time I got my takeout home to find curry with no rice and had to make my own.  Doable, but a pain!
3. the side of rice is a little pricey for just plain rice.
4. This hasn't happened to my Indian friends. 
5. (main problem) I find it logically ridiculous to a) serve a dish that goes over rice without it and b) to charge extra for the cheap part of the meal.  It's like going to an Italian restaurant and getting served a soup bowl of spaghetti sauce and told pasta is extra.

I love Nanking, and it's one of the first restaurants I bring my friends to in the hood, but crimeny they are CHEAPSKATES!  Never for takeout.  Which makes me sad.
Believe it or not, wholesale and retail rice is getting expensive to buy for restaurants and consumers alike.  I know there was a big article about this 2 months ago when costco limited the purchase of rice to 1 bag per customer or something like that.  In my business, we've seen rice go from a virtual giveaway item to now being a real commodity that people are going to have to adjust to paying more for.  It sucks, but that's the world economy unfortunately.  The recent earthquake in china didn't help out very much either.  That's wreaking havoc on my shrimp and lump crab meat as well. 
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: pynchoff on June 12, 2008, 04:52:47 PM
The Chinese food I've had there has been really terrible. Much too salty! I will give the Indian menu a try.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 12, 2008, 04:56:50 PM
The Chinese food I've had there has been really terrible. Much too salty! I will give the Indian menu a try.

The Ginger Chicken we had wasn't salty.  I picked dishes that leaned towards Thai over Chinese. 
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: michaelb on June 12, 2008, 04:59:58 PM
Tonight I decided to experiment. I'd never walk in here based on looking in the window or looking at their menu (with the ugliest photos of dishes EVER).  Not a chance!  First impression: YLEECH!    Wow, was I off.     We ordered from both sides of the menu. Chinese/Thai appetizer was shrimp spring roll.  Unlike most shrimp spring rolls these were jumbo shrimps, cleaned, and wrapped in crispy crust with a yummy dipping sauce. Then entree: Ginger Chicken-FABULOUS.  Indian appetizer: tandoori prawns. Grilled perfectly.   Entree: Chicken Curry-very tasty except the meat was on the bone.  Not crazy about that but it was still good.  Two rice dishes: jasmine and basmati.  The basmati was spicy and had cilentro. An order of Naan.  Food came with Raita.  I was shoveling the food in.  LOVED IT.  Went with a friend in my building and he almost cried when they said we lived too far away for delivery.  It just goes to show you: don't judge a restaurant by it's gaudy red interior and fugly menu photos.

How is it no one has written about this place?

It's true, I did almost cry, we have no decent Chinese delivery options and this would've been a good surrogate. :(

It seriously looks like the biggest craphole ever, but every dish hit with a tasty kick.  The basmati rice alone was worth the price of admission.


Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 12, 2008, 05:54:26 PM
It seriously looks like the biggest craphole ever, but every dish hit with a tasty kick.  The basmati rice alone was worth the price of admission.

I think the restaurant looks pretty nice!  Esp. compared to others around it!

I get that rice is expensive, but this has been true there since Sept or so (the first time I went there).  Also, they have signs all around about how their menu is more expensive to ACCOMMODATE the rising prices!  I just think that if your customers get their takeout home and there's no rice, you're totally setting them up for angry hunger!  And that rice is a constituent part of the dish of curry!  I'd pay more for my meal but it seriously needs to come with rice.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 12, 2008, 07:04:49 PM
I think the restaurant looks pretty nice!  Esp. compared to others around it!

I get that rice is expensive, but this has been true there since Sept or so (the first time I went there).  Also, they have signs all around about how their menu is more expensive to ACCOMMODATE the rising prices!  I just think that if your customers get their takeout home and there's no rice, you're totally setting them up for angry hunger!  And that rice is a constituent part of the dish of curry!  I'd pay more for my meal but it seriously needs to come with rice.

Something about the decor turns me off. But who cares. I don't eat off the decor.  I'm with you on the rice as "part of the dish of curry."  And boy do I know what "angry hunger" is all about. LOL 

We may go there tonight to check out some other dishes that were recommended on yelp.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: toddg on June 12, 2008, 07:18:45 PM
I'm pretty sure Kabab King and some of the other places in the area charge separately for rice as well.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 12, 2008, 08:18:31 PM
I think broad was upset not because rice was an extra charge but because HE DIDN'T GET ANY WITH HIS DELIVERY!  :o
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 12, 2008, 08:25:56 PM
I mostly upset because you're paying for a constituent part of the meal that comes free if you dine in.  What's the difference?

And broad is, well, a broad--a she! :)
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 21, 2008, 09:54:36 PM
Ate there tonight with friends from this board.  That place has such nice people working there.  And I tried different dishes tonight but had to have the ginger chicken again because it was so good last time.  It is delish: definitely taste both the ginger and cilantro flavors.  One of the group doesn't like spicy so we ordered off the Chinese Thai side and got veggie spring rolls, sesame chicken (both chicken dishes came with white rice-no extra charge).  Plus we tried the pad thai with chicken and the naan.

I like the food a lot and it is not expensive AT ALL.  The only thing I don't like is it so family friendly it can get noisy with children being loud.  But it is still one of my new faves in JHs food wise. 
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: Chuckster on June 21, 2008, 10:04:53 PM
Buddy, what a coincidence!  We had dinner tonight at Nanking with a friend from JHL too!  :2funny:  Thanks for enlightening us about this place.  The food was delicious, reasonably priced and I love that it's so close to home.  The chicken chunks in the Ginger Chicken were tender and loaded with flavor.  The Pad Thai noodles were delicious and definitely a meal in itself.  Naan and veggie spring rolls were great too.  The staff is super friendly and very accommodating...nice sized and attractive dining room.  We'll definitely be going back for more. :rockon:
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: linette on June 22, 2008, 02:37:57 PM
I'm a long-time fan of delicious Nanking Express. But getting delivery from them can be a comedy of errors; a couple of weeks ago (after reading this thread) I ordered a single entree and appetizer, remembering to ask for my side of rice (I've been frustrated by this in the past), and opened the bag to find--you guessed it--2 orders of rice! Seems that it may be up to the whim of whoever packs your order whether it comes w/rice or not. Also, I placed the order at 9:15. At 10:15, someone called me very apologetically to tell me there had been "problems" and that my order would arrive any second. Eventually, half an hour after that (at 10:45!) my food finally arrived... only because I love it so much do I continue ordering from there...
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 22, 2008, 02:43:30 PM
Interesting!  I make a point to ask, "Does that come with rice?" and they always say, "No."
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 22, 2008, 03:51:16 PM
Interesting!  I make a point to ask, "Does that come with rice?" and they always say, "No."

Because of what's been written here about rice, the other night when we ate there I asked about white rice and I was told it came with the dishes we ordered (ginger chicken and sesame chicken).  Maybe it depends on which dish you order????
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 22, 2008, 04:52:36 PM
Buddy--you get it for everything when ordering IN the restaurant (like you did).  It's takeout/delivery when it's the problem.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: buddy on June 22, 2008, 06:21:24 PM
Buddy--you get it for everything when ordering IN the restaurant (like you did).  It's takeout/delivery when it's the problem.

sorry I'm a little dense.  at least it will never be MY problem cuz they won't deliver this far away (86th and 34th Ave.)
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: broad on June 22, 2008, 06:25:39 PM
ha yes, now i will feel bad for you for not having it immediately nearby.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: abee on February 11, 2009, 11:05:44 PM
Just an update- We ordered from Nanking tonight, and our orders (the Ginger Chicken and Hot Garlic Lamb) both came with generous portions of rice for no charge.
Title: Re: Nanking Express
Post by: toddg on February 12, 2009, 11:06:47 PM
I'm hooked.  I ordered lunch and dinner from them the same day last weekend.  Both meals were yummy.

Rice came with one order but not the other.  Go figure.