Flatiron Lunch: Taste Good Chinese Restaurant

Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Please give a warm welcome to Jason Lam from the blog Me So Hungry. Every Friday at 10am he’ll post about lunches in Murray Hill south, Gramercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.

I was wondering how long I could keep my go-to lunch spot to myself. But now it’s time to give it up. The name’s Taste Good and it’s more than just another Chinese take-out spot. Not to be confused with the popular Malaysian restaurant in Queens, this Taste Good is on 25th St. between Broadway and 6th Ave. Their made-to-order menu is just common Chinese-American takeout, but at the heart is the Chinese home-cooking filling the steam trays at lunch time. It’s the kind of food that my parents made for their staff meals at their Chinese restaurant growing up …nothing that would ever be on the menu.

Now at $6, you get to pick three choices over rice. My favorites are the pork spareribs with black bean sauce, bitter melon, curry chicken & potatoes and braised pork belly. I ate that pork belly four times in one week before I realized I was probably going to die. It was worth it. Sticky lip smacking worth it.

You might see the similarities to Jimmy’s House, that I profiled back in February, with the point & pick steam tray food. But here, there’s fewer choices, slightly smaller portions and lesser quality cuts. So why is Taste Good my go-to choice then? It just has that home-cooked taste that I remembered from home or my aunt’s place in Hong Kong. The beef and turnip stew is a good example. Parts of the beef tendon can be very rubbery, but very much Chinese soul food.

Taste Good taste good to me. The Chinese regulars there would agree. They’re there for that comfort food too. Just one question. If we’re being served what often Chinese restaurant staffs eat, what is the staff eating here?

Here’s a tip. Get in line before that one Chinese guy with the mustache gets there. He’s always getting six boxes to go and takes the good stuff. Nope, not talking about me. My stache is fake.

THE + (What people who like this place would say)

  • I want to eat what the Chinese restaurant staff is eating
  • I love home-style cooking away from home
  • It’s cheap, close to work and tastes good!

THE – (What people who don’t like this place would say)

  • I don’t like random parts of animal (beef tendon & pigs feet)
  • I rather have Chinese-American food like General Tso’s (Well they do have a menu for that if you have to)
  • I had Chinese yesterday

Taste Good Chinese Restaurant, 18 W 25th St (between Broadway & 6th Ave) New York, NY 10010


  • It looks decent for Chinese home-cooking and priced well at $6. I like spare ribs in black bean sauce and beef-turnip stew but sadly, I would probably hit up the General Tso’s. ;P

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    hey, you should try bravo pizza on 5th between 19th and 20th. not for the pizza but for the pasta in the back of the store.

    • Thanks for the tip. I love how the pizzas look in the window there. I think it’s the orange/red lighting. Makes the sauce look right, rather than green florescent lights.

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    Jason, your posts capture the true spirit of what Midtownlunch should really be all about–finding good, cheap, non-generic food in unlikely or easily overlooked spots. It makes me wonder whether there are no more hidden gems to be found in Midtown proper, or if ML is just not trying hard enough. I suspect it’s the former–hard to have hidden gems when the rents are so high.

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    Jason, this is right next to my apartment! Unfortunately, I am currently on a project that requires me to be out of state during the week. Any idea if they keep the steam trays for lunch during the weekends? Thanks again for your work!

  • Nonsensical name probably translated poorly from Chinese….check.

  • I might try this place for a change of pace. Jason, you should really check out Homes Kitchen too (21st @ Bway)–exceptional Chinese, no msg on request (they seem to use very little if any in general). Great dan dan noodles and ma pao tofu, etc. I plan to try their Peking duck someday. Let me know if you go there and need a sidekick for ordering/tasting!

  • Thanks for the excellent post. I’ll swing by one night after work. I hope they still serve those dishes in the evening!

    • Unfortunately, I think they usually run out of those steam tray foods around 2ish. But I’ve seen people get some of the same foods made-to-order, like beef and bitter melon.

  • im craving grand sich now.
    that chicken dish with the crinkled potatoes..yummm

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    im like half a block away from the place, theres also a lunch special menu but they have to cook it for you. but at least its always the same and all below $7. the stuff behind display changes from day to day.

    and the two women that serve you are generally pretty nice, one reminds me of a really friendly and accommodating aunt so i feel bad after i dont go there for a few weeks

    • I was actually going to say the same thing about the two women. They remind me of my aunts too. One time, one of them told me that she saw a photo of their food on my site. I was surprised they knew what a food blog was. Then I was embarrassed when I realized they must have seen all those karaoke videos I posted with my shirt off.

  • Jason Lam, this is one Brooklyn girl (well, before I had to hightail it OUT of Brooklyn, you understand — now I am a HOTlanta girl, and I’m hotter than a firecracker!) that would REALLY like to see those karaoke videos where you had your shirt off.

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