Oriental Garden is still my go-to for sit-down dinners in Chinatown, but there are a couple of other great options. Fuleen’s I’m fond of – the seafood is great and super-fresh, though I’d rank it just a hair below OG, mainly on account of the sauces – OG’s black bean and XO sauces are pretty tops for this area. But Fuleen’s makes up for that on the homier, cold-weather dishes. I’m awful fond of their “preserved duck leg and taro” casserole when the wind gets chilly and the snow starts falling. They also make a great two-ways geoduck preparation. Also, sometimes I just prefer to be on “the other side” of Chinatown (Two Bridges / East of Bowery) as it’s less crowded and touristy.
There are still a couple good (if not earth-shattering) Malaysian joints: Skyway and Oversea Asian. I go back and forth between which one I prefer. They’re both always solid, though.
There’s also been a big upswing in Fu Zhou cuisine of late, and it’s worth trying for something different. There’s a decent place on Eldridge, Best Fu Zhou. I’ve heard Double Dragon is good but haven’t been since apparently you need a translator. I’m really like Ah Ping Snack Bar, especially – a tiny little place on the short block of Catherine St just North of E Bway – that only recently added an English menu.
Finally, the hand-pulled noodle joints. Super Taste and Sheng Wang are the ones everyone knows, but for a real transporting experience I prefer Lan (Lam?) Zhou on East Broadway (not to be confused with Lan Zhou on Division, which was quite bland IMHO) – a classic hole-in-the-wall, where you can quietly slurp your noodles with a few locals to the thwack-thwack-thwack sound of a large man beating a rope of dough against a metal table, right out in the dining room. Solid noodles, flavorful broth.