A 33-year-old wonton soup specialist closes in Chinatown
Yee Li, the old-fashioned Cantonese restaurant that served one of the city’s best wonton soups, has closed after 33 years in Chinatown. The restaurant at 60 Bayard St. was known for its window-displayed ducks and whole roast pigs, along with other more obscure charcuterie. Second-generation owner John Chen tells Gothamist that the restaurant’s lease ended and the family was unable to negotiate a new deal. The restaurant had originally planned to close Sunday but the health department shut it down early, according to Gothamist.
The decades-old spot paid homage to the food that Chinatown was originally founded on — old-fashioned Cantonese, in the form of stir fries, seafood, and staples like wonton soup. Eater critic Robert Sietsema deemed that wonton soup — whose broth was stronger than usual to readily flavor the massed components in the bowl — the best in the city. Though this location is gone, the same family recently opened New Yee Li on the edge of Borough Park at 6619 Fort Hamilton Parkway.
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