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Chinatown Brasserie


eatingwitheddie
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Had a delightful afternoon meal at Chinatown Brasserie today. We started by sampling the majority of the dim sum menu. Uniformly delicious. Well not quite. Some of the items like the sparerib tips and the bean curd sheet rolls were exceptionally delicious. Then we ate chicken with yellow leeks and peking duck. Both were great. Other than the sauce (which I feel needed work) CB's peking duck is the best I've had in the city and that by a fair margin. Skin as crispy as a potato chip and meat juicy and flavorful.

I'm going to nitpick. I made our reservation 2 hours in advance. Six people. Lunchtime. They asked for a credit card to hold the reservation. We got there and the restaurant wasn't even a quarter full. It seems a little excessive and out of pace with other restaurants in its price range and calibur. Nitpick over.

I'll continue to return. Again and again.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Other than the sauce (which I feel needed work) CB's peking duck is the best I've had in the city and that by a fair margin.  Skin as crispy as a potato chip and meat juicy and flavorful. 

I'm going to nitpick.  I made our reservation 2 hours in advance.  Six people.  Lunchtime.  They asked for a credit card to hold the reservation.  We got there and the restaurant wasn't even a quarter full.  It seems a little excessive and out of pace with other restaurants in its price range and calibur.  Nitpick over.

I'll continue to return.  Again and again.

Ned,

A question and a comment.

The question: I haven't been to CB and though I love Peking duck I can't profess to have had it at enough places to draw any real opinions of my own. For basis of comparison, where else have you had Peking duck in the city?

The comment: Out of curiosity, I called up CB to ask about their policy regarding credit card-backed reservations. Credit cards are required for parties of six or more. I mean, you could have asked when you had them on the phone. :-)

Incidentally, how full was the restaurant when you left it?

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Ned,

The question: I haven't been to CB and though I love Peking duck I can't profess to have had it at enough places to draw any real opinions of my own. For basis of comparison, where else have you had Peking duck in the city?

Here and there. Peking Duck House, Mainland, Mr. Chow. It's really hard to get such crispy skin and to also have such succulent and juicy meat. Yesterday, CB's Peking Duckist hit that ball out of the park.

The comment: Out of curiosity, I called up CB to ask about their policy regarding credit card-backed reservations. Credit cards are required for parties of six or more. I mean, you could have asked when you had them on the phone. :-)

Incidentally, how full was the restaurant when you left it?

Not sure what you would have had me ask. It's their policy and they told me so when I made the reservation. I just don't like having to give the number for a casually made reservation. I'm not saying the policy is wrong. I'm just one voice out here in internetland saying that to me, it felt odd given the time and the circumstance. Friday night a day or a week in advance, it makes sense. Maybe they lose the revenue from that table if I don't show. Yesterday it would have been the same either way. Taking my card did them no good whatsoever and it made me feel a bit muscled by the reservationist. Then when I got there and saw that we could have just walked in with no reservation at all, well that made taking a card seem all the sillier. BTW, they were less full when we left (very happy, full of their delicious dim sum, duck and chicken) at three or so than when we arrived at 12:30.

It's too many words on this topic already. I shouldn't have mentioned the card thing. This is a really good restaurant and I feel lucky to have it so close to home. Not that I wouldn' travel across the city to eat there even if they did make me give them a credit card to hold the reservation.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had some nice food and drinks sitting at the bar here last night.

Mostly ordered from the dim sum menu; some really excellent stuff (which on a Monday July 3rd at 9 PM was a bonus!) - the dumplings are great, though I felt our fried triangles were less great than I've had them before.

I also liked the roast pork fried rice, but did not think they pulled Orange Beef off well at all...Too sweet, too fried and where's the beef?!

Drinks were good and the service was excellent.

Edit to add: I'm going for dim sum lunch really soon - this is undoubtedly some of the best dim sum I've ever had.

Edited by weinoo (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Chinatown Brasserie is almost the opposite of a place like Landmarc. I recently commented that Landmarc is completely uninteresting to think about, but is a very good place to eat. Chinatown Brasserie, in contrast, offers a lot to think about -- but the food, on one visit, although perfectly good, wasn't that interesting.

Looking through the promotional material posted in this thread, I can see three ideas behind CB:

1. Let's do this kind of ethnic food that's traditionally done in New York in cheap restaurants, but this place will give gifted chefs access to very good ingredients and sophisticated kitchen equipment and staff.

2. This is going to be Chinese food, but it's a take on Chinese food by a credentialed chef who, while he's 75% Chinese, is Thai-born and French-trained.

3. This is a very big restaurant, so in order to keep it filled we're not going to serve anything too esoteric.

I have a lot of interest in No. 1. I've always wondered, for example, what would happen if the magician in the kitchen at Tulcinga del Valle on 10th Ave. got access to quality protiens to go with her celestial moles, instead of the chewy, stringy stuff she's now bound to use. And at least with respect to the dim sum menu, that's just what's going on here. They hired Joe Ng, a dim sum master from one of Brooklyn's Chinatowns, and gave him access to absolutely top-quality ingredients and a kitchen that doesn't stint. The results are wonderful (although at least at this early stage of this restaurant, the dim sum menu is much too limited: you miss that joy of endless discovery that's such a big part of the dim sum experience).

At least based on a sample of one (the beef in black pepper sauce), the main dishes, prepared by Chef Tyson Ophaso (late of La Cote Basque, among other highly respectable places), for me don't take off in the same way. Maybe it's because the meats they use at New York Noodletown are shockingly good for the prices they charge there, but (unlike the dim sum) this just didn't seem that much better to me than the Chinatown Cantonese standard. And -- admitting as I must my techinical ingorance -- I didn't see this dish being "elevated" by incorporation of European techniques unfamiliar to Chinese cookery. It just seemed like an admittedly very clean rendition of the kind of Cantonese cooking we're used to.

Which brings us to No. 2 above. At least on the menu as it now stands (I understand it's a work in progress), I don't see much of it. As indicated above, the CB main-course menu looked like a lot of familiar dishes, well-prepared by not unprecedentedly so. I've had reservations about 66, but at least at this early stage of CB's development I think CB is less interesting than 66.

And I think, perhaps, it's at least partitally attributable to No. 3. I think the relative failure (at least as I hear it) of 66 -- as well as the tremendous size difference (CB is a VERY BIG RESTAURANT) -- may have caused CB's moving forces to hedge their bets somewhat. But I wonder whether, in the end, that might turn out to be counterproductive. CB isn't extremely expensive, but it's so much pricier than a typical Chinese place that I think patrons might ultimately decide they deserve more than they're now getting. (I want to make it clear that I think their prices are entirely fair, considering the quality of the ingredients, the service, and the room.) Sure, there's the cocktail list, and the cool interior design, and the VERY COOL downstairs lounge (where I see myself spending some time this summer). But if the food is going to be a mere appendage of all that, then you don't need Tyson Ophaso. And if the food is going to be more than a mere appendage of that, I think it needs to develop more from where it now is.

Believe it or not, despite all that, I fully enjoyed my meal here, and I fully intend to return. But if the food concept for the main dishes doesn't change a bit (the dim sum are beyond praise), I don't see myself becoming a long-term regular.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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I agree SE, it's the dim sum that makes the place. There's no need to order anything else. I had a great meal and never looked at the entrees. My impression (before I went there) was those items are tokens for people who think they're going to a neighborhood chinese restaurant and need to feel comforted.

I don't think we're supposed to take that part of the menu seriously. It's really two restaurants in one - the entree people are seated to the left and others sit on the right. It's segregation at its finest.

Of course the host/hostess must be very observant because you wouldn't want to mix the patrons.

Rich Schulhoff

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I think that's the way this place is gonna play out (at least for people like us who know what they're doing). But I don't think it's what they intended. They wouldn't have hired someone so fancy to do the "main" menu if it were merely an afterthought.

PS -- I sat at the bar. Rampant mixing going on.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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I don't think we're supposed to take that part of the menu seriously. It's really two restaurants in one - the  entree people are seated to the left and others sit on the right. It's segregation at its finest.

If you ignore the rest of the menu, you'll miss out on the best Beijing duck in NYC. Also their pea vines are exemplary. I ate ma po tofu there for lunch today and, granted it's kind of highfalutin, but it was also very fabulous, esp. the pork part.

Through a wonderful twist of fate I'm headed back for dinner late tonight.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Thinking about it some more, I think we see two different things happening here.

First, there's Joe Ng, a traditional dim sum chef, being permitted to ply his craft with a quality of ingredients you don't see in Brooklyn dim sum parlors. This seems to be a total success.

Second, there's Tyson Ophaso, who, although he's "ethnically correct", is not an experienced Chinese chef but rather a trained European chef, who is being invited to cook basic Cantonese and Chinese-American dishes, but with superior ingredients and technique. This is the part of the concept that, at least so far for some of us, seems not to be working. And, when you think about it, why should it? If Ophaso, with his prestigious Troisgros training, were being encouraged to elaborate on the dishes -- to create stuff on his own -- that might be interesting. If Ophaso were an experienced and masterful Chinese chef being given access to superior ingredients (like Ng), that might be highly gratifying. But instead, he's a chef who's inexperienced in this type of cuisine, being limited to what appears at least so far to be a fairly pedestrian set of recipes, with the hope that his superior cooking technique and the superior ingredients will "elevate" the food.

I think that for this to work they will have to either let Ophaso have his head -- develop new recipes (or variations on traditional recipes) based on his non-Chinese background -- or else make the menu more interesting by introducing more "new" Chinese recipes (e.g., more stuff like using whatever is "the 'in' spice in Beijing right now"). Otherwise, I think they're sort of working at cross-purposes with themselves on the "main" menu. Cuz when you think about it, it's hard to see the logic of hiring a non-Chinese or Chinese-trained chef (I mean, I know he's 75% Chinese, but he's not Chinese raised and trained) to cook traditionalist Chinese and Chinese-American food, without innovation.

(I admit that this is extrapolating a lot from the ONE DISH I've so far eaten from the "main" menu. But Rachel P.'s and others' comments seem to support it.)

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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(I admit that this is extrapolating a lot from the ONE DISH I've so far eaten from the "main" menu.  But Rachel P.'s and others' comments seem to support it.)

Think you'd be wise to sample a bit more of the main menu before drawing such conclusions.

Chinatown Brasserie is not about esoteric or competing in value with Chinatown. It's about preparing and serving delicious food made with superior recipes, ingredients and Chinese cooking techniques while making best use of the resources of the chefs working there.

Chef Ophaso and his team have developed and are preparing many special recipes. One of the reasons they're special is because when properly executed, they produce terrific food. They're innovative because (among other reasons) they DO go back to the roots of what makes Chinese cookiing so appealing in the first place. At the same time there are unexpected spices like saffron, uncommon ingredients such as chanterelles or artisanal Italian pasta served with a terrific Chinese riff on a classic Bolognese, and classic and sohpisticated items like elaborately butchered and seasoned lute-shaped roast ducks prepared by a master Cantonese 'pitmaster.' Just because there are very good versions of classic items such as beef and snow peas, don't make the mistake of thinking there is little that is special. Indeed, one of the banes of the entire Chinese restaurant industry (in the US and elsewhere including China) is the dumbing down of recipes and standards.

For some of us the presence of duck tongues and goose intestines means authentic and authentic is frequently (and wrongfully in my mind) equated to good. It is true that a sense of discovery is one of the exciting things about Chinese food. However, sometimes there may be just as much or more to discover in plates of traditional food where 'carefully cooked and excellent' is the default mode.

You'll be missing out on a lot by not exploring the rest of CB's menu. It is true one can find egg rolls, spare ribs, and chow mein on the menu. However the egg rolls are made by the best dim sum chef this side of Canton, the ribs are cooked by a master and are served fresh from the oven (not cooked at 6 AM and rethermalized like every place else) and the recipe for the chow mein uses vidalia onions and tastes damn good. This is food that is thoughtfully prepared, served at a fair price, and doesn't pretend to be something that it isn't.

There are also many more innovative choices. Some suggestions: steamed branzino, black cod with asparagus and mushrooms, grilled lemongrass pork wrapped in lettuce (lunch), lasagnette with spicy chopped pork (lunch), BBQ'd flattened and butterflied duck, scallops with saffron, tatsoi salad w black vinegar dressing, spicy pork with string beans, very thin noodles with mushroom essence.

None of these items are available anyplace in Chinatown, but more importantly, they're really good. They feature better cooking than is being served in competitor's restaurants.

The place may be slick (especially attractive if you ask me), and the crowd may have glitz, and the prices are certainly different than Chinatown's, but the eaters are being very well fed, from one end of the menu to the other. There may be some consistency issues from time to time, after all this is a very big restaurant where quality control will always be a force to reckon with. However it is a real Chinese restaurant that takes great pride in itself and is doing many things very very well, not just serving the best dim sum in the country (which it does by a long shot).

Personally I want delicious cooking more than anything. After it's delicious it can be modern, traditional, slick, homey, authentic, seasonal, intellectual or full of 'terroir'. For my money to dismiss this kitchen on the basis of one admittedly very well made but (to your eyes) not sufficiently exciting dish when the menus has more than 100 items is premature and simply not on the money.

Large restaurants are like sports teams. They require spring training and a period where all the team members learn how to work with one another. The kitchen at CB is starting to roll really well right now. I know there is much to enjoy and explore there. I have been in this industry for a long and passionate time and am extremely well versed in what I'm talking about. I hope you get to enjoy it as well. It would be a pity if all your Chinese food journeys ended at NY Noodletown (a good restaurant nonetheless) when CB is only a few blocks north.

Edited by eatingwitheddie (log)
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There are also many more innovative choices. Some suggestions black cod with asparagus and mushrooms. . .

That black cod dish is unpretentious and stellar. Nuggets of melting goodness. . .

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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There are also many more innovative choices. Some suggestions black cod with asparagus and mushrooms. . .

That black cod dish is unpretentious and stellar. Nuggets of melting goodness. . .

......and a very good example of a classic Chinese recipe being used with an especially succulent American fish and yielding an exceptional result.........it may sound like 'regular' Chinese food......and it absolutely is: in the sense that it is sliced fish with vegetables in a brown sauce.......but I would suggest that it is an example of taking the best of what the Chinese kitchen has to offer and using it to create an inspired and uncommon dish.....black cod cooked this way is simply terrific......we're not trying to reinvent a technique that is already top drawer, but we are trying to apply it in a thoughtful and effective way.......and I would further suggest to you that in a very real sense this is where the forefront of modern Chinese cooking should be going: not making Rube Goldbergian or esoteric concoctions but learning how to rely on the thousands of years of Chinese cooking refinement and knowledge and using these techniques to incorporate the best parts of Chinese culinary culture while embracing and understanding the ever changing and growing culinary world that has expanded so much during our lifetimes and yet has becomer smaller as well because of the accessibility of various cuisines and ingredients from anywhere in the world.

Edited by eatingwitheddie (log)
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I just wanted to mention, that I have thought about, and wished I could get locally, that Chicken Chow Mein dish several times since we dined at Chinatown Brasserie. When a dish is familiar, yet prepared so much better than you've ever had that familiar dish before, it really sticks with you. I mean, who would believe I've thought about driving into the city for chow mein??? :laugh:

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I just wanted to mention, that I have thought about, and wished I could get locally, that Chicken Chow Mein dish several times since we dined at Chinatown Brasserie. When a dish is familiar, yet prepared so much better than you've ever had that familiar dish before, it really sticks with you. I mean, who would believe I've thought about driving into the city for chow mein??? :laugh:

I still haven't been to Chinatown Brasserie, but the Beef and Chinese Broccoli Chow Mein at Congee Village is a very nice dish, so the idea of coming in to the city for that (among other things) is not strange to me at all.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Revisit to Chinatown Brasserie.

As expected, the dim sum -- this time the shrimp and pea shoot leave dumplings -- were beyond excellent. Truly remarkably good.

For the main dish, I suppose I really should have tried the highly-praised sable (I believe my late grandmother dies again every time someone refers to that fish as black cod). But Ed S. had also recommended the roast duck, and that was more of what I was in the mood for. I had it along with a side dish of snow peas, water chestnuts, and yellow chives.

There is no question that the duck was very, very good. This was an excellent piece of poultry, very well prepared. Perhaps it was a little greasier than optimal -- but this is a greasy dish by its nature, so perhaps it was on purpose (it wasn't anything close to very greasy), and it in no way impeded my enjoyment of the delicious, crispy skin and succulent meat. The dipping sauce it was served with, which seemed to have very large components of garlic and the duck's own "jus", was truly excellent: better than I've gotten with any similar dish anywhere else. It added a whole flavor dimension to the dish.

I have to give special praise to the vegetable side dish. It was much better than you'd have any right to expect a plate of stir-fried vegetables to be. It showed this kind of cooking at its best: fresh, high-quality produce, with a lot of garlic and the chives for a flavor kick, lightly cooked to maximize crispness of taste and texture.

So this meal presented the concept of this restaurant in a much better light than my last one here.

But I still have reservations. I thought about them as I was enjoying my duck, which was, of course, better than the counterpart dishes I've had at my favorite Chinatown and Garment District Cantonese places. But is it so much better as to justify the huge price difference? That's when I realized something.

You often hear that the reason New Yorkers have so much trouble embracing upscale Chinese restaurants is that they have gotten used to classifying Chinese as a "cheap" cuisine. But that's not really quite it, I think. I think the real problem is that there are so many truly excellent, overperforming cheap Chinese restaurants in New York. Places where the quality of the food is completely out of proportion to the low prices charged. Places that are not just good values, but ridiculously good values. Because they're not just good for how much they cost, but objectively excellent.*

So it's hard for Chinatown Brasserie to generate much excitement by producing a "better" version of this cuisine, because many of the cheaper available options are so fine. If my basis for comparison were Chinatown Wok 'n Roll on Flatbush Avenue near my apartment, Chinatown Brasserie would be a revelation. I wouldn't be able to believe that this kind of food can be this good. But the problem is, I already had that revelation, in the old downtown Phoenix Garden, in 1981. And I've continued to have it in a host of places of similar or even greater quality since. Chinatown Brasserie may be better, in some ways (although not, it must be said, in menu interest), than most or even all these places. But it isn't that much better. It isn't an order of magnitude better, the way those places are an order of magnitude better than neighborhood takeouts (or pedestrian Chinatown dives). But it is an order of magnitude more expensive.

Let's think of the "upscale" Chinese restaurants that have really been embraced by the foodie community in New York. I think they have mainly been ones that offered food that was not only different in quality, but different in kind, from what's on offer in the excellent cheap places. I couldn't afford to eat in Shun Lee when it opened, but from what I understand, the excitement there wasn't just about the quality of the ingredients and technique (or the dinnerware). It was about their serving dishes that weren't like anything anyone had ever seen before. In contrast, even the dishes at CB that Ed points to above as being unavailable anywhere else aren't that different from the kind of things many of us frequently enjoy for a lot less money.

Now again, despite how it must sound, I'm not putting down Chinatown Brasserie. I really really liked my meal last night, and I very much want to (and intend to) continue to explore Ed's recommendations from their menu. But I just can't see its being one of my "go-to" places, given how many places there are where I regularly get similar food that is perhaps a little less good, but a lot less expensive.

____________________________________________________________

* Of course, we know that one of the main reasons these restaurants are able to charge so little for such excellent food is that they grossly underpay their employees. In that sense, they're unfair competition to an honest mainstream restaurant like Chinatown Brasserie. Having noted that, I'm going to leave the moral qualms thus raised out of this discussion.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Sneakeater, thanks for providing this perspective. I haven't been to CB yet but I intend to, but I am also looking a place like Shun Lee that offers something different. Haute Chinese, if you will.

Let's think of the "upscale" Chinese restaurants that have really been embraced by the foodie community in New York.  I think they have mainly been ones that offered food that was not only different in quality, but different in kind, from what's on offer in the excellent cheap places.  I couldn't afford to eat in Shun Lee when it opened, but from what I understand, the excitement there wasn't just about the quality of the ingredients and technique (or the dinnerware).  It was about their serving dishes that weren't like anything anyone had ever seen before.  In contrast, even the dishes at CB that Ed points to above as being unavailable anywhere else aren't that different from the kind of things many of us frequently enjoy for a lot less money.

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Sneakeater, thanks for providing this perspective. I haven't been to CB yet but I intend to, but I am also looking a place like Shun Lee that offers something different. Haute Chinese, if you will.

Frankly, I hope you think I'm wrong and love CB unreservedly.

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I agree with Sneakeater - I thought that the food at Chinatown Brasserie was good, not great (I'm very surprised by the outpouring of affection for CB, but I'll concede that I should try more dishes before making a final verdict), but I doubt that it would ever be a go-to place for me foodwise. I did have a fun night out there though, at the bar and at dinner - I think it's more of a night out/cocktails kind of place than a great authentic Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, and the prices reflect that. Honestly, I'll take roast pork with ginger scallion sauce at Big Wong ($5) over CB any day.

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You know, one thing occurs to me.

The duck I had didn't particularly seem "flattened" or "butterflied". I THOUGHT I ordered the only duck entree on the menu. Is it possible I somehow managed to order some other dish than Ed S. recommended?

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Haute Chinese, if you will.

In discussions whether Asian restaurants like Sripraphai or Noodletown deserve the two stars they received from the Times, someone always points out that those of us who love places like that are operating in ignorance of a whole upper level of the cuisines in question. Accordingly, we're told, those of us who love those places are incapable of judging whether they're truly "star" material, because we don't know about the haute cuisine from those cultures that, it is argued, would really deserve stars under the star system. We think they're top-level, we're told, because we're ignorant of what, from their cultures, is really top-level. It's like, we're told, someone who never saw a real NYC two-star place arguing that DiFaro's deserves two stars because he got knocked out by the quality of the pizza there and doesn't know how much more a restaurant can be.

For example, there's Chinese banquet cuisine (which some of the larger Hong Kong-oriented Chinatown places purport to offer, on a special-pre-order basis, for about a zillion dollars, but which is otherwise not readily available in New York restaurants).

I guess the point is, Chinatown Brasserie isn't that. It isn't the upper level of Chinese cuisine that we were told would make us understand why Noodletown didn't deserve two NYT stars. It's just a fancier version of the kind of Chinese food we're used to.

I join with larrylee in hoping we someday get access to the Chinese (and other Asian) haute cuisine we've been told about. (Maybe Kittichai was a start?)

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Sneakeater, thanks for providing this perspective. I haven't been to CB yet but I intend to, but I am also looking a place like Shun Lee that offers something different. Haute Chinese, if you will.

I hope you find it there, but I gave up on Shun Lee Palace a few years ago after a bad meal including too-old lobster, served with a side of bad attitude, and I gave up on Shun Lee West years earlier. I'm not sure there's much at the Shun Lees other than white tablecloths, coat checks, overpriced elaborate-looking dishes, and steamed vegetables "spa" style with no sauce or taste. So be warned but let us know if your experience at either location is truly tasty.

I'd sooner go to a Cantonese banquet place that caters more to a Chinese clientele, such as Silver Pond in Flushing or Congee Village on Allen St. south of Delancey. They'll cook upscale food for you if you want it.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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For example, there's Chinese banquet cuisine (which some of the larger Hong Kong-oriented Chinatown places purport to offer, on a special-pre-order basis, for about a zillion dollars, but which is otherwise not readily available in New York restaurants).

I guess the point is, Chinatown Brasserie isn't that.  It isn't the upper level of Chinese cuisine that we were told would make us understand why Noodletown didn't deserve two NYT stars.  It's just a fancier version of the kind of Chinese food we're used to.

I join with larrylee in hoping we someday get access to the Chinese (and other Asian) haute cuisine we've been told about.  (Maybe Kittichai was a start?)

Even standard Chinese banquet cuisine wouldn't be especially upper level, although it's definitely more expensive, richer, etc. than your everyday Chinese food.

I'm not aware of what I would consider upper level Chinese food available anywhere in the US on a daily basis.

I've only had it once, and that was only because we were business partners of the chef, and therefore invited to his birthday party that year when he really went all-out.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I'm not aware of what I would consider upper level Chinese food available anywhere in the US on a daily basis.

Well, you have individual items at Chinese restaurants that are incredibly expensive such as sharkfin soup and birds nests, but that's not "Haute Cuisine".

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

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