Dining Recs at Yee Li – NYC
Similar to a lot of restaurants in Chinatown, not everything on the menu is good at Yee Li, but one thing the restaurant excels at is roast duck.
The reason being is the duck is very fatty, and as a result the meat, very tender. On some days, there’s a little too much subcutaneous fat, and each bite will leave your lips slicked with grease, but when it comes to duck, more fat is better than less. In addition, portion-size in relation to price is great for roast duck over rice ($4.50) and roast duck noodle soup ($5; pictured above), and in the case of the latter, a few pieces of gailan (Chinese broccoli) are included in the price unlike other places where you have to pay extra.
Another tasty option at Yee Li is the soy sauce chicken over rice ($4.50). The soy sauce chicken is moist, and the serving is generous, but the best part is the piquant ginger scallion sauce on the side which relies heavily on ginger and scallion for flavoring as opposed to salt or MSG. If you get tired of duck, the soy sauce chicken is a great second choice. The roast pork and pig, unfortunately, is very inconsistent. (Post about my favorite roast pig spot is coming soon.)
It would be great if there was one reliable restaurant for it all (duck, pork, pig, and chicken), but with so many restaurants in New York, I don’t mind spreading the wealth. Luckily, five dollars gets you pretty far in Chinatown.
1 Elizabeth St (at Elizabeth & Bayard St; map)
New York, NY 10013