Hing Won

hingwon1I am a huge fan of chinese food, in all its forms.  Dim Sum, Chinatown, cheap, upscale, authentic or american style, mall food court, street fair and of course- the almighty chinese buffet (my personal favorite).  Cheap chinese is one of my favorite lunch choices.  You might say it's a disease.  If given the choice between Chinese, or anything else under the sun, I find it hard to turn down the chinese.  Sometimes my mind and my stomach might be saying something else (sandwich, salad, Italian, Indian) but if god forbid, there's a cheap chinese place (one where you point to what you want) from here to there, the chinese will probably win out. 

You can't deny the genius of the cheap chinese food place.  You get to see all your choices before selecting and it's great if you like variety (most places give you 2 or 3 choices).  Further proof is the fact that every mall food court has one of these places, and even the non-chinese places have started serving some sort of "chinese" style chicken, in those little metal steamer compartments, that you point at to order … my favorite being Bourbon chicken at the Cajun Grille.  Is there really a difference between that and teriyaki? Don't get me wrong, I love authentic chinese food too.  I love Dim Sum and am a big fan of Chinatown (not just NYC, but Boston, San Fran, and L.A) and the more authentic chinese areas outside of big metropolitan cities, like Monterrey Park (the real L.A. chinatown)… and this is the beauty of Hing Won.  It's got both.

More on Hing Won, Pictures and the +/- after the jump…

hingwon2Hing Won is actually two places in one really.  Two lines, two cash registers, two menus and two very different clientele.  It's pretty intimidating too… to the point where I've heard some refer to it as the Chinese version of the Soup Nazi.  There's no singular person taking orders, and they won't deny you food, but the two lines and the different menus and the lunchtime crowds make it pretty crazy for the first time orderer. 

roastporkFirst things first.  Decide what line you want.  The line on the left is like a mall food court, with all your choices there for you to view.  Known as "the American line", you can tell because it's almost all midtown business people.  They've got all your american favorites, including General Tso's chicken, Sesame Chicken, Beef and Brocoli, Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Dumplings, Boneless Spare Ribs, etc.  Choose two items to go along with your fried rice (lo mein is a little extra) and it should come out to somewhere between $5 and $7.  If you like this kind of chinese food, this place is pretty good… and definetely better then the place under Rockefeller Center.If you are a little more adventurous, choose the line on the right, usually with a much higher percentage of Asian people waiting for a more authentic meal.  The menu items are scrawled all over the place, in Chinese, with english translations- but try to decide what you want before you get in line.  Once you get to the front, you order, step aside and then wait until your meal is ready before paying.  Everything is made to order, so it always comes out hot. 

Hing Won, Midtown NYCIf you like roasted meat like you see in Chinatown, try the roast pork (seen above) or the roast duck.  Both are hanging up behind the register and can be ordered over rice for $5.08 (a bargain for Midtown).  My favorite noodle dish is the Sauteed Udon Noodles with Pork (shown to go on left) for just $5.54.  It's also available with Chicken, Beef, Shrimp or Vegetables.  You can find that one listed under the Chef's Specialties along with Shanghai Rice Cake for $5.77 which are also really good if you like rice cakes (little chewy discs made from rice flour sauteed similarly to the Udon Noodles).There are a ton of Cantonese and Mandarin Noodle Soups with all sorts of fillings, including Fish Balls, Fried Pork Chops, and Bean Curd.  There's also dishes with Bitter Melon if you're into that.

I can't guarantee it's going to be the best chinese food you've ever had, and I'm sure you can find better, cheaper meals in Chinatown or Queens- but it's the best cheap authentic chinese food midtown has to offer… and if your co-workers want the General Tso's combo, pointed at through glass and spooned into a styrofoam container, they have that too!

 The +

  • Something for everyone… American Style & Authentic Chinatown Style dishes
  • Cheap, quick, and really good authentic chinese food for Midtown

The –

  • I'm sure there are better places in Chinatown and Queens, but if you work in Midtown and are looking for something cheap and authentic- this is the best you're going to get
  • Like most of these type of places, it's dirty.  They recieved a 42 rating (more then 28 is failing) in February 2006 but solved some of the problems to get a 25 in March.  I'm one of those people that ignores stuff likes this… but if you're not here's the NYC Health Inspectors Rating.  Beware… if these things bother you, this site might cause you to never eat in Midtown again.

If your tastes sound similar to mine, and you know of a cheap chinese place better then this in the area, I would love to hear about it… especially if it's a Buffet!

Helpful Links

Hing Won, 48 W 48th St, New York 10036, 212-719-1451

9 Responses to Hing Won

  1. Peter says:

    There’s a more authentic Chinese food experience to be had in midtown — in the garment district. There are a bunch of restaurants on 37th & 38th near 8th ave that have decent, pretty authentic food, at rockbottom prices.

  2. Zach says:

    8th Avenue might be a tiny bit too far west for a “Midtown” lunch but I think I know where you are talking about. There’s one place with all the buns, just east of 8th avenue? What are some of the other places… I’d like to check them out.

  3. Ann says:

    A friend and co-worker of mine ordered lunch from Hing Won right after it opened about 4 years ago. Thank goodness I was not in the mood for Chinese that day. She found an entire cooked cockaroach in her rice. NO JOKE! I saw it first hand. This poor lady happened to be from the Philippine Islands and spoke Tagalog & Chinese. She went back with her food screaming at them. I haven’t eaten there since.

  4. Zach says:

    I have heard about things like this before… and mentioned it in the (-) section of the entry. Midtown is a dirty dirty place…

  5. zhan says:

    teriyaki is japanese, not chinese!!!

  6. […] Now, don’t mistaken this for a bad review… I just want to be honest for people who don’t have the same addiction I do.  If you are looking for great chinese food, this is not your place.  But, if you love cheap chinese food places, then the selection at Yips makes it worth going to at least a few times.  I would definetely get the Garlic shrimp again, and I’m interested in trying some of the other things they had.  Suggestions are welcome.  If you work closer to 48th St., I definetely think the steam plate food at Hing Won is better, but if you are on the north part of midtown, or are looking to try a different cheap chinese food place, you could do a lot worse then Yips! THE + (what people who like this place would say) […]

  7. justin says:

    i had the cantonese style roast pork and noodle soup which was great and it literally took me 3 meals to finish.

  8. JJ Smith says:

    I once found a dead cockroach in a burger ordered from one of the burger places (you know which ones I am talking about). I went back and yelled at them. Then the other day at home, I found a fully cooked cockroach in my casserole prepared by my wife. Well, I did’t yell at my wife becuase she is my wife and apartments in New York City are plain dirty. Ok, I have mice and cockroaches in my apartment because i am living in New York City and the City is too old.

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