100 Allen St, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.718607 -73.990453
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Lower East Side
Congee is a kind of Chinese rice porridge or gruel; it comes in a hot iron crock and you add various sauces to it for flavor. I realize that doesn't sound particularly appealing, but if you to Congee Village, the city's biggest and most attractive congee restaurant, you'll soon see just how good gruel can be. I find it hard to believe I just wrote that sentence. If for some reason you are not in the mood for Congee there is a large non congee menu. And, to be fair, there are also various pre-flavored congees, such as duck and seafood, that require less commitment.
Horrible service – I ordered take-out here just an hour ago. Rather than waiting the typical 15 minutes for my two entrees and appetizer, I waited 45 minutes!! The real reason for the long wait? The lady in charge of take-out/deliveries put it on the "delivery" bench -- by mistake. They realized it about 30 minutes late, and when I called them on it, they completely denied it!! While the food is good, it's not that good. But had they apologized like any other restaurant, I wouldn't be writing this.
Noisy place and greasy food – I ate at the restaurant's Allen St. location on a Friday night two weeks ago and sat at the side of the restaurant that is a duplex with a bar on the ground floor and people eat right upstairs. The place was very noisy with drunken people and eaters upstairs -- I don’t think people at the bar enjoy as much the clinging sounds of bowls and plates neither.
We ordered authentic Chinese dishes, among all, duck’s blood with chives, rice roll with XO sauce and sautéed lotus root with special bean paste sauce are especially oily!
I picked the place after watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, ironically, it was quite bizarre, unappetizing and quite sickening seeing our food that literally swim in about 1/4” thick of oil.
If you are attracted by its full menu with more than 300 dishes and want to give the place a try, remember to ask them to be VERY EASY on their oil.
Yummy!!! – I have to say that this place has some of the best Chinese food I have ever eaten. My friend did the ordering and whatever she order was great. I really liked the garlic chicken. Yummy! I will definitely be back!
Gotta Go Back – So after a night of drinking and chatting at local bars and friends' house we ended up going to Congee Village for some late night grub. I've heard wonderful things about this place and it didn't disappoint. Snails in black bean sauce, the chicken congee, Chinese water spinach and the highlight, the house half chicken were all very good. The house chicken was so crispy and moist, I almost wanted to ask for another order! Add on some beers and a couple of other tasty treats, which i don't remember, and my 15 bucks went far. I suggest going with someone who is either Chinese or has eaten at the Village before, just so that you can be guided into having the best possible things on the menu.
Downgrade in service, food, ect....... – I had been going to Congee VIllage for years. But, yesterday, I will not be entering the doors of Congee Village again. After placing my order, twenty minutes ago, that included water and rice, the entrees came, but the water and rice never did. Again, I had to ask for water and rice. The water came but the rice never did. I told the waiter, I did not receive my rice that I had asked for. He agreed to get it. Waiting another 10 minutes, and the table next to me (we were before them) got the rice and the waiter just looked at me. The food entrees are smaller, half the size, but higher the price. It did not taste fresh and was salty. The only thing they were happy to get for me is the bill. I left less then a two dollar tip and left as the waiter was bring the free watermelon.
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Great food. Wait is terrible at times. – This food here is great and the prices are decent. But the wait can be a turn off. There is usually a long line so be sure to have some reading material to pass the time. Sometimes the service can be less than satisfactory. There seems to be insufficient servers/waiters. You'll feel this more on Friday & weekends. But I still wind up going there and waiting because the food is that good!
A Restaurant of Many Scenes – Great selection of food. Very tasty and reasonably priced. They also have a bar, which is not very common in many C-town restaurants. Also, they have different rooms for different occasions. This is very unique when combined with the good food. Would recommend.
Terrible service, endangered species on menu – I was recently at Congee Village for a group dinner and the service was appalling. We had to wait 45 minutes for our first round of drinks, an hour for our food, and our waitress didn't speak English and got several of the orders mixed up. Worse than that, I noticed they serve shark fin soup on the menu. 100 million sharks are fished every year, driving 99% of sharks to be in danger of extinction. Another item on the menu was turtle soup, which can't be legal either. NY is not China, and there should be rules about what can be served here.
The two of us ate lunch here, and they sit us in this really smelly back room the size of a closet. This place seriously smelled like a zoo, or fungus, seriously. Aside from the awful smell, the food was ok, or so we thought. It made one of us go back and forth between the bathroom for a full day. One of our stomachs is still screwy, and we almost got serious dehydration from it. My partner had the same thing but a day later, throwing up as well. And we even ate normal things, like grilled vegetables and soy protein, but still.... I wont go into details, but i highly not recommend it. This place needs a health inspector.
Good food - except for the R* ATS, yes, R* ATS – I stopped by on my way home as they were closing looking for some singapore mei fun. After ordering, I sat in the waithing area reading a chinese newspaper, or looking at the pictures at least -- before my food came i looked up to see a BIG R* AT, yes a BIG R* AT coming in from the bar area. It looked around and proceeded to walk right past me into the dining room area where the waiters were cleaning up. There was a guy working at the register. He looked up from his iphone, saw the r* at, then looked at me, smiled sheepishly and then went back to his emailing or texting or IMing or whatever. Truly disgusting. I am not sure how their food compares to other, non-r* at teeming restaurants, but I imagine if you are cool with vermin walking around a place's dining room this place is for you.
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