|Pork & Crab Soup Dumplings are back on the Upper West Side|
|Curry Chicken Salad|
Then just two months ago I was walking down Columbus Avenue and noticed a sign for Canteen 82. Turns out I wasn't dreaming nor did I step through the time machine in my closet again. Canteen 82 is back!
This time they ditched the BYOB policy and now have a full bar with a large selection of beers -- probably too large. Guinness with Chinese food? Though the corkage fee is only $10. The menu is more focused. The soup dumplings are back, in vegetable, pork or pork & crab varieties and are excellent. The only downside to these juicy buns is that they cause an alarm clock to go off in the open kitchen every 6 minutes or so (the amount of time it takes them to steam). That gets annoying after a while if you are sitting in the part of the restaurant nearest to the kitchen. I recommend they employ a silent alarm or perhaps hire an assistant sous chef to manually count it out.
The peking duck buns are also back and they are also excellent. The buns are similar to baos but not too heavy and the duck is mixed with a tangy hoisin. Shouldn't be missed.
|Peking Duck Buns|
The main courses aren't as good as the starters, however. A Cantonese scallop dish with black bean sauce, onions, asparagus, red peppers, and mushrooms had overcooked scallops, though the vegetables were well-cooked and without the usual filler vegetables you're likely to find at some other Asian restaurants. This dish would perhaps be better with a different protein; fortunately you could choose chicken, beef, pork, or tofu as well. The Sichuan peppercorn chicken also had the same nice vegetables and the chicken was decent, but there were no mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns in sight. Perhaps they meant Sichuan-style chicken with regular pepper. A mystery.
|Sichuan Peppercorn Chicken -- see if you can find a peppercorn!|
Service and alarm clock issues aside, I'm happy Canteen 82 is back and hope they succeed in their latest reincarnation. Finally soup dumplings on the Upper West Side!
Recommended Dishes: Scallion Pancakes ($4.50), Soup Dumplings ($7.50 - $8.50), Peking Duck Bun ($6.50), Shangdong Dumplings ($7.50), Curry Chicken Salad ($10), Soups ($11 - $14).
467 Columbus Avenue (b/t 82nd and 83rd)
New York NY 10024
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