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Client dinner in Philly

Please recommend a restaurant in Philly (downtown or Center City) that would be a good place to host 25 or so clients. We are looking for a restaurant that is upscale (around $35-$50 pp) and preferably has an Asian bent.

To give you an idea of what we are looking for, in NYC, we normally have our client dinner at Ruby Foo's Uptown.

One must - it must be a restaurant where you don't have to scream to be heard to talk to one another.


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  1. If on a weeknight--Budakkan is good. Susanna Foo is excellent but may be too expensive. Tangerine is also excellent, and I've attended a very high-end business function there. They did a prixe fixe dinner for us. Non-Asian option is Alma De Cuba which also often hosts business dinners upstairs--good upscale Cuban Food in Center City.

    1. Long's Gourmet Chinese: http://philadelphia.menupages.com/res...

      They have a lovely dining room and serve quality asian with gourmet dishes including ingredients not normally found in traditional chinese restaurants. It is byo.

      1. I haven't been in a while, but Buddakan has a second floor that you can probably rent out for a group - I've done it in the past for slightly larger groups. They can serve family style which works out very well as your clients can try a lot of different things off their excellent menu.

        1. As a former sales exec, I can assure you that perception is as important as reality. When your clients see the prices at Long's they will think your cheap no matter the quality. The most expensive entree is like 13 bucks and you have to bring your own wine. Not a good investment of your time. For your price range, Buddakan would be fine although all Starr resturants have a problem with sound. If this is a business deal and you were working for me, I would "encourage" you to go to Susanna Foo.

          1 Reply
          1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

            Yep I agree that Long's doesn't have the snob appeal of a Susanna Foo and if the object is to impress it's best to go somewhere else. My focus was on the need for quiet atmosphere and good food with an asian slant. They have a lovely dining room and great food. If it were me I would go there and bring in some fabulous wines which are sure to impress.

            Alternatively you might consider nan in west philly. It is a small restaurant tho and the group would probably book the entire place.

            Also Siri's in Cherry Hill for french asian fusion. Also byo.

            Brasserie Perrier has private rooms upstairs which are very nice for a group but it is not asian.

            Since Philly really isn't known for asian cuisine why not try a nice Italian place?

          2. Thanks, everyone. We also held a client dinner at the NYC Buddakan and yes, it was noisy. A few years back we had our dinner at POD and the food was excellent, but it was definitely noisy, not to mention the decor literally left us in the "cold."

            Keep the recommendations coming...

            1. I definitely think you should contact Susanna Foo- they have amazing private rooms and are great to deal with for parties. They are pretty accomodating with budgets.

              Other nice spots in the city for hosting that size group would be Moshulu & Estia- although neither are Asian.

              1. You might want to consider Ly Michael at 11th and Arch. While I have never eaten there,it appears that it has a very good rep amongst my fellow 'hounds. If you want to see reports on it, simply type in the name of the restaurant in the "Search" box. Good luck.

                1. Okay, Ly Michael's is coming up as a good choice. Can anyone tell me if the ambiance is nice enough? I searched and the reviews all gave great comments about the food, but have not heard anything about what it looks like inside and out. Thanks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AhhTahoe

                    I hate to say this, because I really like the owner/manager of Ly Michael, but I don't think the ambience - or lack of it - is what you would want.
                    If you could give up on Asian, someplace like Estia, which is beautiful and classy, would really be better. They have a private room downstairs; I don't know how big it is.
                    There are other places with private rooms - Capital Grille, for instance, has many small rooms and a good menu. As someone suggested, check out Susanna Foo.
                    Ly Michael has been inconsistent lately; still okay for casual, but not what you are looking for.

                  2. I am agree that Ly Michael is not appropriate for your group. Not sure I understand why you are insisting on Asian, but if you are then really your only choice is Susanna Foo. If not Estia and Capital Grille are wonderful suggestions.

                    1. The reason we go with an Asia bent is because we are an adventure travel company which focuses on Asia, SE Asia and South America. Hence, we don't want Italian, European or American cuisine - wouldn't "fit" our clientele. Actually, I'm originally from Cherry Hill and worked in Philly, but moved west 8 years ago and have lost touch with the dinner scene. Thanks, everyone... I'm checking out S Foos, Buddakan and Ly Michaels as the final choices.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AhhTahoe

                        I worked at Susanna Foo briefly several years ago and I know they do a lot of corporate lunches/dinners in their upstairs dining room and they have menu options at varying prices. I can also recommend the food because the staff got to eat it once in a great while when there were no shows for these big dinners. Definitely get a menu with the crab cake - it's fabulous.

                        Think it fits the bill exactly for your requirements. Good drinks too if your clients are the drinking type!

                      2. Fork has a very nice area for business events or large parties. The head chef is Asian (from Vietnam I believe) so maybe he can provide a special menu.

                        1. i just dined upstairs at buddakan and i would vote for that! i didn't think it was too loud. the partitions seem to block all the noise from downstairs. upstairs was actually quite relaxing.

                          i had the edamame ravioli as an appetizer which i would recommend to anyone dining there - it was beyond fabulous!

                          1. what about Morimoto? I think they have a private room downstairs.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nc213

                              We had our holiday lunch at Susanna Foo. This was my first visit there and truthfully, I was not impressed. We arrived with about 15 people as we had informed them, and they told us we were going to have to sit at separate tables! Eventually they pushed some tables together for us in the large dining room. The presentation of the spring rolls was boring. The set up for the salmon was pretty, but the taste was just average. The "warm" chocolate cake desert was not warm at all. Overall, the food was no better than my local Chinese take-out.

                            2. Well, we booked the big table at the foot of the Buddha at Buddakan, so we'll see. The dinner is at the end of the month and I will be sure to report back!

                              1. Well, our client dinner at Buddakan last week was amazing. We pre-ordered the food (they offer several set menus) and the food just kept coming and coming, all excellent dishes. It was a Thursday night and booked solid, so it was pretty noisy no matter what, but it was an enjoyable night. Thanks for everyone's recommendations.