Growing up, our family would have breakfast on the weekends at our local diner. Some days that was Carrow’s, other days it was Denny’s. And if Golden Diner, a restaurant in NYC Chinatown that makes diner dishes with an Asian twist, had been in our neighborhood, it would have definitely been a part of the rotation. It’s nice getting an egg sandwich in the morning, but it’s even better when it comes in a scallion bun.
The best thing about the egg sandwich at Golden Diner is not so much the egg but the hash brown patty inside. Eating it brought to mind the guilty pleasure of ordering a McDonald hash brown for an early morning flight. Basically anything with fried potatoes at Golden Diner is a smash hit. Like the side of home fries that came with our omelette. We didn’t finish the omelette, but we didn’t leave any of the potatoes behind.
Pancakes are a classic diner dish, and the honey butter pancakes at Golden Diner do not disappoint. They were so exquisitely round, fluffy and golden, like sunshine on a plate. I was impressed by how smooth and unmarred the surface of these pancakes were. They lacked that requisite grill mark that you typically see on a griddle cake. I have a hunch that maybe they might bake or steam their pancakes instead? Whatever this mysterious technique is, it’s a secret I wish they would tell.
If you want to veer a little further from the classic diner track, then try the chicken katsu club. It was definitely my favorite savory brunch item and I would recommend the katsu over the egg sandwich. The textures of the mealy crust from the fried chicken and the crunchy cabbage were satisfying, and the mustard sauce inside was so tangy and flavorful. Finishing my meal with the katsu sandwich definitely left me in the happy glow of the Golden Diner.
123 Madison St. (between Market St and Mechanics Alley)
New York, NY 10002