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Restaurants & Bars 82

Chinatown Brasserie (Review)

MMRuth | Jan 24, 200805:49 AM

I've been wanting to try this place for awhile, despite the mixed reviews, so we went for lunch this weekend. Nice room - sort of evocative of 1920s Shanghai (in my mind at least!) and we were seated quickly after being shown to the bar area briefly. Our waiter seemed a bit clueless at first - took my husband's order for Lillet, and then when my husband asked if they keep it cold or not, he wanted to know what it was. So my husband put in a beer order just in case, which was good since they don't have Lillet. I was interested in the Blood Orange Martini but didn't know what "aperol", an ingredient, was - neither did the waiter, so I went with the Lychee one, which I enjoyed. We ordered a bottle of Sancerre and then started ordering dim sum. We ended up having:

Crabmeat and Pork Soup Dumplings
Tempura Shrimp Stuffed Chiles
Shrimp and Chinese Chive Dumplings
Rice Noodle Rolls with Peanut-Sesame Sauce - the only disappointment - as described, but not so interesting.
Fried Oysters with Sweet and Sour Sauce - not too sweet, which I liked
Barbequed Duck Spring Rolls
Malaysian Eggplant with Shrimp
Hoisin Pork in homemade Mandarin Pancakes

All except the rice noodle rolls were very good - the different sauces for each dish worked well with them and the flavors were very clean. I think the duck spring rolls, the oysters, and the soup dumplings were our favorites. The place isn't cheap - I think the total bill was about $200 - but we did eat a lot and I would go back. And, we warmed up to our waiter who was perfectly affable if a bit hesitant and the host came by our (and the other) tables on several occasions to check on things. The table next to us seemed to be having issues about waiting too long for their food, but we did not have that experience.

Chinatown Brasserie
380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

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