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Chinatown Brasserie


eatingwitheddie
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Chinatown Brasserie pics:

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The restaurant on Lafayette Street

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Main Entrance

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A view of the dining room from the parlor area.

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Chicken Chow Mein with giant noodle shell and caramelized onions.

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Beef Triangle Dim Sum

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Dou Miu and Shrimp Dumplings

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BBQ Pork Loin

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Hong-Kong style Seafood Pan Fried noodles, in a reduced chicken stock, with shrimp, mussels, diver scallops, fresh tomato and Thai basil.

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Beef and Broccoli. Another American classic, updated with high quality Flatiron steak, fresh shitakke mushrooms, fresh sweet water chestnuts, and some sliced hot chillies to add some zing. A Thai-style soy sauce is used to give this dish a slightly different and distinctive flavor from the classic.

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Takeout container

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Peanut and Banana Parfait

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Almond Cake with Raspberry

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Fortune Cookies

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Executive Chef Tyson Ophaso

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Expensive in comparison to other choices in Chinatown, John. The Beef and Broccoli was 16, The seafood pan fried noodles were either 19 or 21, I don't recall. The dim sum stuff was like 5-6-7 dollars per plate depending on the dish. Keep in mind though, they are using very good ingredients and some of the prices I am sure are in line with the ambiance of the place.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Time Cafe had a funky lay out.  I'm curious to see how they used the space. 

Great pics btw!  The bbq pork looks fantastic

I really liked the BBQ pork, although Rachel thought it was a tad dry. Pork Loin is not typically what Chinese restaurants use for Char Siu, they use a much fattier cut. Still, I liked it very much. Next time I want to try the St. Louis cut BBQ ribs.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Daniel I think the dishes are skillfully executed, and I will most definitely be back to try the full Dim Sum menu when it's ready.

Since you asked, I don't beleive that the main dishes suit my regular personal preference in Chinese food -- lately I'm very much into authentic regional styles of Chinese cuisine, such as real Sichuan and Shanghainese and Hunan and Hong Kong-style dishes. From time to time I like a Chicken Chow Mein or a Beef and Broccoli, but I tend to like that in a more downscale version, if that makes any sense. That being said the main dishes are excellent in terms of quality and I think the restaurant concept as executed by Eddie Schoenfeld and his team -- a freshening of the type of Chinese food popularized in the States using top ingredients -- will be very successful. I enjoyed the evening and I think everyone should give it a try.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Time Cafe had a funky lay out.  I'm curious to see how they used the space. 

Great pics btw!  The bbq pork looks fantastic

I really liked the BBQ pork, although Rachel thought it was a tad dry. Pork Loin is not typically what Chinese restaurants use for Char Siu, they use a much fattier cut. Still, I liked it very much. Next time I want to try the St. Louis cut BBQ ribs.

The "Pork Loin" being used for Chinese Roast Pork is something that is unique to NYC Chinese cuisine in general. It has been served as "Roast Pork" for over 75 years in every NYC style Chinese Restaurant. It's true that as Chinese food has evolved, becoming more authentic that Chinese Roast places use strips of the fatty meat mixed with lean to provide a more authentic flavor it's still not served that way at most NYC area restaurants.

What impresses me most about the "Chinatown Brasserie" is it's association with "Ed Schoenfeld" who has been personally evolved with the evolution of Chinese Restaurants since the first waves of new immigrants began serving Sichuan, Hunan and even authentic Cantonese dishes.

Almost every Chinese operation that he has been involved with has had longevity while starting a trend generally followed by others without the imagination or capability to surpass the original. Even with the crazy high rents in NYC I expect to enjoy eating at the Chinatown Brasseire when I next visit New York.

I feel that most dishes will evolve into items that will be enjoyed by most diners as they will likely meet the criteria of being still traditional but enhanced by the ingredients with being overly contrived.

It seems geared to be able to meet the expectations of both the younger and more mature diners who enjoy both comfort and adventure.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Actually, it isn't "Pork Loin" but tenderloin, which is very lean, and therefore has a tendancy to become dry.

Like Jason said, all the dim sum items were excellent. I, unfortunately, found an issue with each of the entree dishes. The chow mein (we didn't order it, and it was comped) was made with all white meat, the chicken was dry. But serving it in the large fried noodle shell and topping it with fried onions was fun. Overall, the dish tasted like chow mein. The beef & broccoli was probably one of the best versions I've ever had. However, the flatiron steak was cut too large. If you pick up a piece of it individually, you could not easily bite through it (some sinewy bits or something), if it were cut bite size, like the broccoli was, that would be an improvement. I loved the fresh water chestnuts (surprisingly sweet), shitake mushrooms, and the potent hits of garlic, ginger, and cilantro. The seafood pan fried noodles, seemed a little too sparing with the seafood. Two large shrimp, two large sea scallops (cut in half, so four discs), and a scattering of muscles. The mains just seemed like a high quality Americanized Chinese joint. I don't know if that impression is just because we ordered unadventurous dishes, but I wanted to see how much better these traditional dishes could be (we had spoken with Eddie Schoenfeld earlier in the day and he waxed poetic on how much better they are when prepared with high quality ingredients).

I agree with Jason and would like to go back to try more of their pristine dim sum, the full expected menu of which is not available yet. I hope if some of you go, you try the more adventurous, and/or fish dishes (which also sounded good), and let us know what you think.

It is definitely a cool place to get a drink, check out the Koi Pond lounge downstairs. Although, $9-12 for a cocktail seemed excessive to me, or am I just out of touch w/NYC drink prices?

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or am I just out of touch w/NYC drink prices?

WAY out of touch! That's in line with every high end place in the city right now, especially "see and be seen" type places that Chinatown Brasserie is aspiring to. The Chinese Balthazaar.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Thanks for the pics. After seeing them, I've crossed CB off my list of possible restaurant choices for my trip later this month. Don't get me wrong; the dishes look nicely made, but truthfully, don't look all that different or inventive enough to get half the portion sizes at three times the price.

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Jason, that sounds like an idea. What dim sum have you tried? I saw the beef traingles, which looked good. Not a big fan of the chive dumplings in general. Do you remember what else was there?

By the way, I realized my phrasing might have been overly harsh in the my reply above...I'm not saying the stuff is overpriced or bad (especially knowing NYC prices these days), it's just not exactly what I want right now, especially since I basically have a limited number of meals during my visit.

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Magic I don't remember the entire list but in addition to what was photographed, we also had a phenomenal Chicken and Garlic spring roll type-thing, where the chicken was ground up and cooked into sort of a springy texture, with a LOT of garlic in it, with a spring roll wrapper. The beef triangles were excellent as were the Pea Shoot dumplings.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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We also had the steamed roast pork bun. The shrimp and pea shoot pan fried dumplings were excellent. We both really loved the chicken/garlic roll, very garlicky, served with a sweet chili sauce. I thought they had a menu online, but the webpage, http://www.chinatownbrasserie.com/ just seems to be the one page. Maybe it'll be updated now that they're open.

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Daniel I think the dishes are skillfully executed, and I will most definitely be back to try the full Dim Sum menu when it's ready.

Since you asked, I don't beleive that the main dishes suit my regular personal preference in Chinese food -- lately I'm very much into authentic regional styles of Chinese cuisine, such as real Sichuan and Shanghainese and Hunan and Hong Kong-style dishes. From time to time I like a Chicken Chow Mein or a Beef and Broccoli, but I tend to like that in a more downscale version, if that makes any sense. That being said the main dishes are excellent in terms of quality and I think the restaurant concept as executed by Eddie Schoenfeld and his team -- a freshening of the type of Chinese food popularized in the States using top ingredients -- will be very successful. I enjoyed the evening and I think everyone should give it a try.

In my (biased & educated) opinion the dim sum program at Chinatown Brasserie represents the highest quality authentic Cantonese cooking available. Not in NY. Anywhere. The dim sum assortment (40 items/day) is definitely tailored to the marketplace: there are fewer air bladders and intestines and more dumplings and short ribs, but that being said the textures and flavors, the subtleties of skin making and fine artisinal craftsmanship, the variety and spirit of invention sets a standard that is world-class. Would be great in Hong Kong, Guangchou or Shenzhen. Daily dim sum servcie will begin on Monday June 12 and will be available everyday from 11 AM.

With regard to the main dishes: it's true you can get chicken chow mein (inventively served and prepared with vidalia onions, both stewed and fried crisp), egg rolls (made by the awesome dim sum chef), and spare ribs (made from a quality classic recipe and served fresh out of the smokehouse - not reheated) - but you will also find top-quality Peking Duck served with perfect homemade pancakes, great black cod and branzino, special fresh angel hair pasta with deepiy flavored mushroom ragout, and fresh diver scallops with cellophane noodles and saffron, the 'in' spice in Beijing right now. Executive Chef Tyson Ophaso cooks sophisticated delicious great food. Don forget he has a French 3-star Michelin background and only recently turned his attention to the Asian kitchen. Look for his cuisine to improve over time. As it stands I think he's preparing the most exciting Chinese dishes in town. This is a restaurant that will be influential and delicious. Pig's tails and ears, well, sometimes.............

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Interesting, I will go give the dim sum a try once the full menu is available. The dim sum I've had so far in NY hasn't been memorable at all - I haven't found a single place that is comparable to good dim sum in Hong Kong yet.

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Interesting, I will go give the dim sum a try once the full menu is available.  The dim sum I've had so far in NY hasn't been memorable at all - I haven't found a single place that is comparable to good dim sum in Hong Kong yet.

That may be too high a standard. If you find a place anywhere in the Five Boroughs that is in fact comparable to good dim sum in Hong Kong, please let us know.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Had dinner at CB Friday evening. Originally had 10pm reservations, but changed it to 6pm when I found out that "Stuff Happens," the play currently at the Public Theater, didn't break until 10:55pm. They were very nice about making the change.

Had a drink at the bar while waiting for my wife - a nice German Riesling for $10. The bar scene is busy, but the service is terrific.

We had six courses, a dessert, a very nice Pinot Noir and the bill came to $155 after tax and tip.

The food was excellent - mushroom and onion triangles, scallops on shrimp wafers, potstickers, duck dumplings, BBQ Pork Tenderloin and the Crispy Soft Shell Crab. The latter was the best SSC I've ever had in a restaurant. The Pork Tenderloin was succulent, spicy with a nice crust. I think those were the two best, but the other dishes were top notch.

I'm not a dessert eater, but my wife decided to try the three ice creams - chocolate, green tea and ginger. I had a spoonful of each and thought the ginger and green tea were very good. The chocolate was average. The chocolate fortune cookies were original. No fortunes, just notable quotes.

Service was first-rate, but a bit too "hovering" for my taste. I'm a minimalist when it comes to service. Bring me what I ordered and be in reasonable earshot if I need something is all I require. They even had someone who would walk by and turn the wine bottle so the label was facing us - way over the top for me. Every time I took a sip of wine or water someone was there filling one or the other. I enjoy pouring my own wine and if I want more water (which is very rare) I'll ask. But that's me, some people enjoy that type of service.

I thought the place ran quite smoothly for only 10 days in business. It was packed when we left shortly before 8pm and still was at 11pm when we walked by after the theater.

As an aside, Colors was relatively empty at both times, even though they offer a set meal in conjunction with the theater. Still hope the place makes it. Will try it soon.

Overall, a great experience. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend or return.

And for those of you who are interested, I avoided a fight with the MD. However, I was looking for a bouncer to trade punches (just for my daily exercise), but couldn't find one. I even kept my wife in check, she was calm the entire evening.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Should have added the play "Stuff Happens" was excellent, people should see it and dine at Colors, Butter or CB.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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