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Forbidden City - 37 Reviews - 212 Avenue A, New York, NY - Family Restaurants Reviews - Phone (212) 598-0500

Forbidden City

212 Avenue A (at 13th Street)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 598-0500
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY
Forbidden City - New York, NY



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After repeated attempts to let CitySearch know that this is a NEW venue under NEW management with NEW menu since mid August, they still haven't made the change. Feel free to ad...


We were meeting with friends for dinner - all first timers to this place. We got there at 9 on a Saturday night and this place was dead - empty... The portions are miniscule and...

Fat Buddha isn't Forbidden City - Get it right CitySearch!!! 11/15/2010

After repeated attempts to let CitySearch know that this is a NEW venue under NEW management with NEW menu since mid August, they still haven't made the change. Feel free to add a review of the new and improved space. Check Yelp or Menu Pages to see the updated information. Thanks! more

Neighbordhood Gem 1/31/2010

Honestly after knowing the bouncer here got shot right outside, I was a little deterred to come back here. However, that didn't seem to stop the crowd. I stepped in only to find a whole room packed with customers. The DJ was playing 80s, 90s and current hip & hop and pop music. This is more a lounge than a dance club. Nobody was dancing, really. People were just drinking, chatting, and some of them eating. (They serve Asian cuisine) This is a good venue for birthday parties and they have great Happy Hour daily. I just hope no more gunshots incident! Pros: Good music, fun crowd more

Great food, fun atmosphere 5/22/2008

I've been to this place several times in the evening & once for a concert by a local band ""Happy Fun Smile"". I love coming here, but I especially loved it when HFS played because it was Japanese eclectic pop fusion & the energy was great. Food & drinks here are excellent as well as friendly service. It's a little tough to get their attention sometimes when you are at the bar because it's an immense bar space (considering the place is tiny). I definitely recommend sitting at the bar, as the tables are in the back and there's more energy up front. A great place to have a drink or an app or pre-game before going out. I recommend the dumplings and the sake menu. Pros: upscale bar food, reasonably priced, neighborhood Cons: small space, only 2 bartenders for immense oval bar more

Great Birthday Spot! 1/7/2008

I had my 30th Bday party here in Dec. It was between Forbidden City and another asian influenced restaurant/lounge venue. The reason I chose FC, and so glad I did, was for 2 reasons:\r \r 1. Cost - great dinner and many drinks, $60 pp\r 2. Manager - Ron\r \r As most of you are aware, birthday dinners get expensive. Not just the dinner, but primarily the drinking. And at most of these venues with fun cocktails the cocktails are $10 a pop or more... FC not withstanding... BUT... Ron (night mgr) worked with me on a HAPPY HOUR RATE on the cocktails for a few hours - $7 Stoli cocktails rather than $10!!! He was very accomodating and just reassured me that we would have a great time. And we absolutely did! \r \r Plus the food was inexpensive and delish. And its the perfect food for a bday party that was going to continue all night since they have mostly light dishes and a great selection of dumplings & apps. MUST GET THE CALAMARI!\r \r The venue itself is more restaurant/bar then restaurant/lounge with a casual fun asian decor and bar nightlife. They allowed us to have fun without being all pretenious and stuffy like I knew the other more upscale venue would be. \r \r So that is why I'm SOOO GLAD we went with FC and I had an GREAT BDAY!\r Pros: Price and Friendly Staff Cons: Only 2 bathrooms and weekends are busy more

great staff 11/17/2007

first time coming there ,looked it up on the net ,great reviues ,wanted to try it..My friend loved the music as soon as we got in,had reservation so were seated promtly. I guess they are short on staff , it took a lil while for the food to come but it was delicious( the smoked duck,friend had a chicken salad ,!!!! i had the short ribs (liked it a lot ), just as someone mentioned ,portions are small but yummy).They had my faivorite beer which gets me soooooooooo drunk :ASAHI, huge bottles .They have it by my house in these huge cans too ,so i was extra happy). Very nice waitreses(one with highlights, and the taller one too), when we had a lil problem with our order , they brought out these shots of apple tequila, without question to make up for the problem ,plus eventually they took the drinks of the tab, great people that really know how to run a business( i want to say thank you guys!). Music was really good , a bit loud and thats exactly how i like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. atmosphere rocks ,small portions but goes well with liquoer .More of a bar than a restaurant and if you look at it like that be prepared to drink ~! good times. Pros: everything Cons: short on staff,but its ok more

don't let the asian crowd intimidate you...must try the food. 10/19/2007

don't let the asian crowd intimidate you. the decor is warm yet sleek. mission was to drink on a wednesday night however, we ended up getting some late-night appetizers. surprisingly the food was delish! you can't really mess up on edamane and they cook it just right! try the pork and shrimp steamed shumai and smoked salmon box. richness in flavor yet not greasy. they give generous portions! ribeye steak was good but i'm not much of a meat eater. i can't wait to try other appetizers and entrees on the menu! Pros: sit by the bar and enjoy drinks, appetizers & dj Cons: can be a bit loud in there more

Great place to be in Alphabet city 1/8/2007

If you're looking to get away from other areas of Manhattan then this is the place to be. The food is great although it's more appropriate for snacking more than anything else. They have great beers on tap along with an extensive cocktail list. Prices are reasonable and service is quick. Pros: Good music, service, food and drinks Cons: It might get kind of cramped if you go with a large group more

good for singles 11/12/2006

don't ever go during the weekend prime hours. it is absolutely uncomfortably crowded. it's an asian singles hangout. don't bring your girlfriend or boyfriend, unless you want drama. the drinks are good, but the fact it's so crowded you can't really enjoy it. go if your single, don't go if you're not. Pros: good looking asian people, fun environment Cons: too crowded more

Late Night Dim Sum 8/1/2006

Had a great time here last night after the Yanks game. The food was great, the beer was cold, and the service was prompt. As always, Forbidden City doesn't dissapoint. Pros: Open Late Cons: None in Philadelphia more

great food and great people 7/31/2006

Looking for a good date place or spot to have weekend fun. I went here twice in one week and had a blast on both occassions. My girl and I heard from a friend about forbidden city. This almost hidden spot has asian fusion food and my girl loved the cocktails........ the dumpling sampler, black cod, and salt and pepper squid were amazing. The employees were friendly and fun. They recommended we come on the weekend to see their nightlife. Second visit, they had a Dj and the place was packed. Great music, great food, great cocktails, and great service. This place is a must for a date!!!! Night life????? I going again friday! Pros: dumplings, cocktails, service more

great mixed crowd and atmosphere 7/31/2006

went there on both friday and saturday nights this past weekend. the dj was playing great music the whole night and the crowd was really into it. good looking girls and lively staff. my date and i had the dumpling tasting which was of chinatown authenticity. try the green tea and lychee martinis when you're there Pros: good crowd, good music, original drinks Cons: tough to get a seat during the weekend more

Great Bar! 12/1/2005

I love this place-- it's a great bar-- fun, accomodating, and open till 4am!! Not too upscale, but nice enough that it isn't grungy... and very fun! Pros: sake, reasonable price more

a different world 5/25/2005

the minute you step into this place, you know you've been wisked away to the far east. From the traditional samurai garb on display to the authentic untainted cuisine, this place is one of my favorite true new yorker spots. What I mean is the the crowed is always so mixed and eclectic, i've seen celebrities, pro skaters, wall st. execs, service industry people, and even some models. Not only is the scenery asthetically pleasing but the food is uncompromised even at 3am!. My only complaint is that when it gets busy it take a little longer for the food to come out, but that is easily remedied by my fav the sake martini. This place is truly one of the last true spots that has its own unique flavor that people obviously love to taste. Pros: food, scene, people Cons: crowded more

I have tried the rest this is the best. 5/14/2005

I have been to tons of places in the city and there has never been a place like this. The food is orgasmic, the drinks are some of the best in the city, and the staff is some of the coolest people. Everyone that I have ever brought there falls in love after a few minutes in the place from the ambiance to the food this place is definatly my reccomendation. more

lower east side hot spot 5/14/2005

I used to live in the LES a few years back and I remember when this place first opened. A friend had a birthday party there last weekend and it is STILL one of the top hot spots of this neighborhood. Where do I start? Food, incredible. I STRONGLY recommend to try something other than typical menu items and go for the short ribs over rice, black cod, sea bass, or duck (there are two dishes that are great). And of course the salt & pepper squid which is on par if not better than even Chinatown's jewel restaurants. The drinks are amazing, the lychee martini, green tea, and mango are awesome. They have an extensive sake menu as well and if you ask they will even let you taste it! The service is impeccable. Friendly, fast, courteous and detail oriented. I love the diverse crowd. Pros: service, food, drinks Cons: no parking, crowded more

A MUST GO... 2/3/2005

I came here last week and the service, food, music, ambiance, owners, everything, was exceptional. Forbidden City has a great selection of sake's but don't forget to also try the lychee martini --> mmmm, made to perfection! the place is good for a late night snack and with the bar being 'U' shaped, it's perfect to be checking out the good looking crowd and waitstaff, including the kind and cute owners. forget the lame cover-charging lounges, i would definately come back here again! Pros: late night snack, reasonable prices, good looking crowd more

Making that extra effort 2/2/2005

Went there on a Saturday night and got seated at the bar, right before the mad rush of barhoppers came in. The food came out late, but we didn't notice since my date and I were enjoying our Sake and martinis (hint: try the Lychee Martini and the Last Emperor). Before we got our entrees, we asked the waitstaff if we could get seated in the dining area, since the prospects of having dinner with a bunch of people doing shots behind you isn't very pleasant. We were seated promptly and when our entrees came out, Paul, the owner, apologized for the delay in our food coming out and took it off our bill. Now that is exceptional courtesy especially since neither me or my date complained about it. Every person we interacted with there was extremely nice... oh yeah, and the food was awesome too. Pros: Good food, Great Service, Bumpin' Atmosphere more

Girls Girls Girls 1/26/2005

I've become a fixture at this place b/c the owners and staff are so friendly and always having a good time. The vibe is like a house party, everyone is having fun and new faces are always welcome. The food is amazing. Where else can you find a pan-asian cuisine with uncompromised flavor and quality late at night. The staff are good looking, so is the mixed crowd. People start filling in around 11pm, so find a seat or you'll be standing for the night. The owners are gracious hosts, they know everyone who comes in the door, and if not they make it a point to get to know their clientelle. Plenty of eye candy. Lookin for a party like vibe, but dont want a $20 cover? forbidden is perfect, no cover, excellent food, good looking crowd, friendly owners, great music, and one my favorite places in the city. Pros: service, food, drinks more

the place to be! 1/25/2005

I don't know what the 'nightmare' thread is talking about but I had my party of 35 ppl and had the best time ever. Music was great and so was the mixed crowd. The servers were very accomadating and informative. They also sent us a couple round of shots and the owner came out to personally wish me a happy birthday. I definitely recommend this place for parties. Pros: great staff, great drinks, great music more

great spot! 1/25/2005

I have been going to FC for a while now and the place is just amazing! From the owners, to the bar and wait staff to the guy who cleans the dishes, everyone there is really cool and friendly. The food is very tasty and a perfect compliment to the excellent cocktails that are unique to Forbidden City. If you're not into those, they also have a full bar of ""regular"" liquors and some fantastic beers. more
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Menu for Forbidden City

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  • The Scene
    This sleek Asian lounge entices with soft lighting, sea-blue walls and niches filled with art and artifacts. An oblong bar dominates the lounge in front, where the welcoming...

  • 3/26/2004 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sun, Tue-Thu 6pm-3am Fri-Sat 6pm-4am
  • Payments:

    American Express, Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, Alphabet City, East Village