Author Topic: Nanking Express  (Read 7053 times)

Offline buddy

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Nanking Express
« 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?
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Offline jocy

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 10:49:27 PM »
I always get the hot & sour chicken soup from there.   :rockon:

Offline rita Lahoud

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #2 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. 

Offline toddg

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #3 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 (hat tip Jackson Heights NYC Blog)

Midtown Lunch bemoans its Manhattan incarnation

Offline broad

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #4 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.

Offline buddy

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #5 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 (hat tip Jackson Heights NYC Blog)

Midtown Lunch bemoans its Manhattan incarnation

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.
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Offline cookie

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #6 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. 

Offline pynchoff

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #7 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.

Offline buddy

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #8 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. 
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Offline michaelb

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #9 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.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 05:07:40 PM by michaelb »

Offline broad

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #10 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.

Offline buddy

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #11 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.
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Offline toddg

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #12 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.

Offline buddy

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #13 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
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Offline broad

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #14 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! :)

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Re: Nanking Express
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 08:25:56 PM »