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Restaurants & Bars

Chinatown Brasserie is all that!

Pan | Nov 5, 200602:20 AM    

(Or at least the dim sum and cocktails are.)

I was at a party at Chinatown Brasserie last night and had most of six orders of dim sum and, later, two cocktails, and I'm here to tell you that Chinatown Brasserie is all that! Best dim sum I've had outside of Asia, I believe, and certainly the best in New York. I spent a lot of money ($96 including tip), but though I certainly can't do this every day, I think that given how good the food and drinks were, it was worth it.

Here's what I had last night:

Steamed:

Roast Duck & Shrimp Dumplings (the BEST thing I had that night!)

Shrimp & Snow Pea Leaf Dumplings (possibly the best version I've had of these)

Roast Duck Dumplings (someone else's order mistakenly given to me, and therefore, apparently without charge [my credit card bill was not itemized, which bugged me slightly -- I was able to figure out that the calculations added up but had to ask the waitress to give me the pre-tax amount!] -- I shared this with a friend)

Pan Fried:

Curried Chicken Dumplings (delicious; included kaffir lime leaves)

Shrimp & Chinese Chive Dumplings ([I shared this order with a friend as well] very delicate, and at the same time much more flavorful than the usual renditions (seemed to have raw chives inside, somehow); four small dumplings with skins of just the right thickness instead of the thick skins you may have had elsewhere)

Specialties (so listed on their menu):

Crispy Taro Root Shrimp (again, much better than average)

All the dumplings were delicious, and the only possible criticisms I could make are:

(1) There was just a bit of cartilage and bone in the roast duck dumplings (but they were lovely, and free);

(2) I would have preferred a somewhat firmer texture in the curried chicken dumplings -- but what a taste!

I had chrysanthemum tea with the meal. Afterwards, I had two cocktails. I don't remember the name of the first one, but it was made with Bourbon, Champagne, and lots of fresh lime juice; and the second was a Bellini Martini which had such a genuine peach taste, I could taste the dark red part near the pit, and it was very peachy without being sugary-tasting.

The dim sum items ranged from $8-12 for orders of four dumplings (approximately four times as much as you'd pay in inexpensive dim sum eating halls), and the cocktails were $12 apiece. So if money is an object, the tab can get really outrageous REALLY easily! But the quality is really outstanding, and the delectation you can get from that enjoyment is surely worth a considerable price.

I look forward to the next time I go, which may be a year or more from now, unless someone treats me...

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