NYC Dining: Wu Liang Ye 48th Street

Wu Liang Ye Restaurant
36 W 48th St, New York, NY
(212) 398-2308

Other locations: 86th Street, Lexington Ave.

Rachel and I had a show to see on Broadway last Saturday evening. As it was Thanksgiving weekend, Restaurant Row and the typical Broadway suspects close to the theater were absolutely jam packed, with no hope of getting a table in under an hour. So we decided to detour away from the Broadway and Times Square scene and walk up 48th Street, and grab some SERIOUS Chinese food.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Just around the corner from Radio City and NBC Studios is probably the best Sichuan restaurant in all of New York City.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry link below” for more.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

The packed main dining room of Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, on a Saturday evening.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Wu Liang Ye has all the Chinese American favorites, but the real specialty of the house is Sichuan cuisine. This is not a place to get Egg Foo Young, General Tso and Beef and Broccoli.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Menu Page 1 (Click photo to enlarge)

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Menu Page 2 (Click photo to enlarge)

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

West Lake Beef Soup. This is similar to a Beef and Cilantro soup I had recently in Richmond at Full Kee. A great light flavored soup with egg whites for a cold evening.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Ma Po Tofu — if there was any dish that defined the cuisine of Sichuan, it’s this one. Fiery chili hot, with the numbing and warmth of Sichuan peppercorns. Can’t beat this for a winter dish.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Kung Pao Chicken. I thought this was excellent, with white and dark meat chicken and plenty of heat. Grand Sichuan International Midtown’s was once my favorite version, but with that restaurant now gone, Wu Liang Ye’s is now the definitive go-to plate of Laser Chicken in NYC.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Yibin City Shrimp with Asparagus. This is a garlicky, slightly spicy dish which had other nuances that was overpowered by the two really spicy dishes that preceded it. The preparation reminded me of a Cantonese “XO” sauce, but more garlicky. Really nice big lightly battered and stir fried jumbo shrimps, asparagus was nice and crispy.  I’d order it again, but not with other really spicy dishes on the table — or have them bring this out first.

10 Responses to NYC Dining: Wu Liang Ye 48th Street

  1. Kevin says:

    You know, I can’t read any other food blogs because you’re such a good food photographer. Everyone else’s photos just look so drab.

    I would love to see you do an eating tour of Asia.

  2. MJP says:

    Laser chicken?

    It’s also right across the street from the Nintendo World Store.

    Next time – tea smoked duck. It is amaaaaazing. But that ma po tofu is indeed the stuff of legend.

  3. gabe says:

    Grand Sichuan International is gone? Nooooooooooo!! Say it is not so.

  4. Gabe: The 9th Avenue Midtown Manhattan location of GSI has been closed for several years. There are other branches, but my understanding is they pale in comparison to the original Midtown branch.

  5. penangtuapui says:

    Jason, can u read Chinese? How is the taste for the Ma Po Tafu? Is it very sweets?
    You have a really good blog and u should get some award banner like foodbuzz.

  6. I can EAT Chinese. I understand the names of certain foods. Read it, unfortunately no.

    The Ma Po Tofu is VERY spicy, not sweet at all.

  7. Mark says:

    This is my favorite place to eat in NYC. Two things: A, the duck is indeed amazing and, B, get the pork dumplings with chili vinegrette…so good

  8. clara says:

    awesome chinese. great reporting. it makes you question the other poseur chinese restaurants we have all been to. -cp

  9. Michael says:

    Jason, you do look like you did well at Wu Liang Ye. I gave that location only one chance: A somewhat overpriced (Midtown businesspeople’s lunch, you know) not very impressive meal a few years ago. For my money, the best Sichuan food I’ve had in Manhattan is at Szechuan Gourmet, 39 St. between 5th and 6th, though my favorite place is Spicy & Tasty on Prince St. in Flushing. The Grand Sichuan location at 24 St. and 9th Av. is still very good, but the other places I mentioned surpass it – and even the former ~50th St. Grand Sichuan location.

  10. […] such restaurants  remaining in Manhattan, most notably being the midtown and uptown branches of Wu Liang Ye.  Spicy and Tasty in Flushing, Queens is another good example. The much-loved Grand Sichuan […]

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