One of Chinatown's most nomadic restaurants, with at least three locales over the past two decades, this Shanghai-friendly kitchen has some loyal steamed soup dumpling (Xiao Long Bao) followers who claim its one of the most authentic in the city, despite its lack of signature, drizzling broth when bitten.
A diverse clientele, a nice mix of natives and tourists, Moon Palace just renovated its digs yet another time, giving it a classy, lounge upgrade, particularly a half-bar seemingly modeled after an '80s disco. But it replaces a waving kitty clock, that combined with some new glass lazy susans four-cornered about some round tables, make for one of the more streamlined Chinatown experiences.
And cheap, too – a set dinner for six, brimming with more than seven courses, goes for $14/head, while smaller parties can cherry pick from 100 requisite Chinese plethora of options, from $5 bowls of Shanghai cold noodles to beef and seafood options that never push $16, save for its second buzz dish, a juicily balanced, whole-roasted Peking duck for $30.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul