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Chinatow Brasserie - review needed

I am heading to Manhattan in a few weeks to meet up with some friends and i saw a review on TV for this place, it's at 380 Lafayette (& Great Jones). Anyone hear of it?

Any reivews?

Thanks!

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    1. It's another nightclub/restaurant with an Asian theme. This one, unlike Bukkakan, is not good. I've had better shrimp with black bean sauce at my local take out joint.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BronxBoy

        Have you had any dim sum items?

        1. re: BronxBoy

          i have the exact opposite view. buddakan was very scene-y, and is a beautiful space but the food was mediocre at best. while some dishes were hits, others, like their general tso's dumplings were an abomination.

          i haven't had any dishes at CB, but have had a number of dim sum items. all were very tasty with high quality ingredients and bursting with flavor.

        2. Do not go there. I have eaten at many Chinese/Asian Fusion places in the city and took my girlfriend here a couple weeks ago. We were both very disappointed. The service, atmosphere and food were horrible.

          We had a 9pm reservation and were not seated until 945. Service was as porr as I have ever received and were sitting on top of another couple and could hear their entire conversation because you have to yell above the loud music.

          On to the food........we stated off with the lobster tempura and some dumplings from the dim sum menu and also got the chicken lettuce wraps. The lettuce wraps had no chicken and tasted like sauce with nothing in it but pine nuts. The dumplins and lobster were average at best. We aredered a beef and chicken entree and both were dishes you could order at your local chinese restaurant for 1/3 the price. The sechuan beef was beef smothered in a brown sauce.

          The entire experience from start to finish was one of the worst I have had in the city and I eat out rather frequently. Hope this helps.

          1. I concur with Bronx Boy. Buddakan is much better. The food and atmosphere are better. The best place to sit it sdownstairs in a room called the "library". It is very quiet and intimate with a secret bar down there. If you can get a table I recommend you go there.

            1. Chinatown Braserie is good. No complaints. Great service and menu. I'd DEFINITELY reccomend it OVER Buddakan.

              1. P.S. I have been to CB quite a few times...and will continue to go back.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rjm

                  going for dinner next saturday. for the posters who like this place.... what do you recommend? does CB have a good bar scene or will we need to go elsewhere after dinner? thanks

                  1. re: jenniebnyc

                    I liked the bar there, and they make excellent cocktails. Get dim sum items. You can look here for the things I got and loved:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34004...

                2. Definitely go with some dumplings to begin ....you'll be safe with whatever you order. Enjoy!

                  1. Went last night for dinner; would strongly recommend ordering the black cod as an entree.

                    1. I don't understand the Buddakan thing -- I found it a gimmicky restaurant that's the type of place you get taken to in a smaller city as a "hot restaurant." Mediocre food and the presentation is Disney with airs. Chinatown Brasserie I've gone to three times (before the Dim Sum chef took over the whole kitchen). Twice for dim sum lunch, which I found impeccible and delicious. Once was for dinner, very nice to hang out, and a friend of mine and I ate a WHOLE Peking Duck between the two of us. Memorable evening. I understand why people might not like CB, but I find it festive, with a level of cooking to back up the price level and presentation -- unlike the EPCOT on ecstasy approach of Buddakan.

                      www.SnapshotArtifact.org

                      1. I really did not like Chinatown Brasserie. The service was inept, the dumplings were a joke. I thought it should have been shut down months ago.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: girlcritic

                          I just don't understand people totally ripping into the dumplings at this place. Either they've gone way downhill in the few weeks since I went there, they're totally inconsistent, the other types of dumplings I didn't try are unbelievably inferior to the ones I did, or something else is going on. I just have to wonder whether people who are finding the dim sum items hateful are actually eating the same food I ate. I also wonder how many of the people who hate the dumplings at CB loved the dumplings at World Tong when the same chef who's now at CB was making them. Is it the higher prices that are causing some of you to dislike the food? girlcritic, please don't think I'm impugning your honesty in reporting on how you felt about what you ate, but there seems to be a severe and unbridgeable difference of opinion reflected in this thread, and it's perplexing.

                          For the record, what kinds of dumplings did you order, and what made them a "joke"? Also, please tell us what places in Manhattan or Flushing you like for dim sum.

                          1. re: Pan

                            as i'd mentioned before, i only went there once, during their soft opening: the dumplings we had then tasted like leftovers caked w/ glue...so bad we didn't even finish them...

                            i've never been to World Tong -- i usually go to Golden Bridge or Triple Eight Palace...but i've been eating dimsum for 20+ years, in Chinatowns in DC, Boston LA, NY, and in Shanghai, Bangkok, etc...

                            Perhaps you caught them on an excellent day or i caught them on a bad day or they are just very inconsistent?...dunno...

                            1. re: Pan

                              I'm really puzzled by the wide discrepancy in opinions about this place, probably the widest gulf I've ever seen in chow opinions. Out of curiosity I poked my head into the place a couple of Friday nights ago and I was taken aback by the composition of the crowd there. (Clearly not too many people there strolled over from Chinatown.) Given the World Tong connection I believe you when you praise the restaurant. But based on the clientele that I saw I'm really wondering if the majority of the people who patronize the place would appreciate the quality of the food. What do you think?

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                I think some of them are there just because it's a good-looking lounge. Definitely not all of them are connoisseurs of great Chinese food.

                          2. I agree...rubbery...lacking flavor and taste...one was very sour. I can't even remember what i ordered, but they brought an assortment because i was writing a review...it was during the first week it opened and i was so shocked because i was looking forward to trying the magic dumplings i had been hearing so much about.

                            1. If you're looking for just great Chinese go South 10 blocks and you have better food, way smaller bills and less pretense. If you want something closer to a real dining experience (ie dinner takes longer tha 30 minutes) and Chinese food that doesn't make you feel like you're in the Boroughs (excluding Queens , of course) then this could fill the bill.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: foodies

                                Please give a specific recommendation for dim sum 10 blocks south of Great Jones St. I haven't had anything in Chinatown that was close to the deliciousness or high-quality ingredients I had at my one visit so far to Chinatown Brasserie, but Oriental Garden was better than the rest I've been to in Manhattan (such as Jing Fong, Golden Unicorn, Harmony Palace, Nice - none more than tolerable/OK).

                                1. re: Pan

                                  pan -

                                  what did you order? i am going tomorrow night for dinner. Thanks.

                                  1. re: jenniebnyc

                                    nevermind. you had already responded to me a few days ago. Thanks!

                              2. Like someone mentioned earlier, its really bizarre how different everyone’s review of this place is, even newspaper reviews seem to be extraordinarily mixed.

                                I’m so intrigued...........now i'm dying to give it a try!

                                1. It's ok. I kind of hate the atmosphere - it's way too dark - but the food is ok. The scallop and saffon hotpot is pretty tasty. But the restaurant is totally overpriced and just not good enough to justify it when there is much better food very close by. I like Five Points much better and it's less than a block away. There's also Leela Lounge, which is a little uneven, but still better. Or head to the Lower East and go to Peasant, Clinton St. Baking Co. or Katz' for real New York dining experiences (all very different, but very NYC). If it's Chinese you want, definitely head down to Chinatown. Try the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai or go to Oriental Garden for the best seafood.

                                  1. This reminds me of threads on Megu (Downtown) which I have contributed to and which is a place that seriously divides opinion. I find myself having to justify my positive stance on the food at Megu because in the eyes of many it is purely a form over substance, sceney place for undiscerning corporate expense account diners offering nothing of culinary note. And I agree with the majority of this assertion in that I find the scene to be utterly vile and some of the pricing to be scandalous but have become a staunch defender of the quality of food on offer.

                                    And beyond that I would agree that a lot of "scene" restaurants are underwhelming on the food front (Spice Market, Buddakan [non omakase] to name two places I have been disappointed by) but to tar all these places with the same brush doesn't make any sense to me.

                                    1. OK, so I went tonight. I liked it. I didn't love it, but I did like it. NOT overly crowded. Seated at a table for four for the three of us. The tangerine cocktail was one of the better drinks I have had in a while. Definitely not too sweet. Also tried the frozen Mai Tai which was yummy too. This was more sweet, but to be expected.

                                      The soup dumplings and pork potstickers were good as were the steamed roast pork buns. The shrimp and snow pea dumplings were way overdone and rubbery.

                                      The roast pork lo mein and bbq spare ribs were very good. One of the better lo meins that I have had in a while. Very fresh noodles. We also had a filet mignon special with white asparagus. The meat was tender as were the asparagus, but the sauce was pretty bland and overly cornstarched.

                                      We finished with the brownie sundae which was average.

                                      Overall I would give it a 6 out of 10. We were seated promptly, had a good table, the staff was friendly, the drinks were great and the food was good......just good.

                                      I liked the vibe and the lounge which again was not overly crowded and pretty cool.

                                      The bill was $170 which included 6 cocktails, 4 dim sum, spare ribs, a noodle dish, the filet and a dessert. I guess not too bad.

                                      Lastly, it seems the bridge and tunnel crowd has not found the restaurant or the lounge yet, which was nice for a Saturday night out in the city I call home.

                                      1. I finally went this weekend. I tried all the shrimp dumplings and also the General Tso Chicken. Like everyone has already mentioned, the dumplings all seemed some what tough and rubbery. Not horrible, but noticeable. The fillings were good, but not great. I kind of got the impression that all the dumplings needed more salt or something. What also annoyed me was the portion sizes. They could of at least given you 5 dumplings instead of 4. Strangely enough the stand out for me, was the General Tso chicken. WOW!! It had such a wonderfully intense flavor, I was really surprised.

                                        To sum it up, this place really, really isn't worth the prices their charging. If I'm paying 8 dollars for dumplings, I'm expecting something extra special. The atmosphere is nice, but it felt a little bit too much like eating in Dracula's castle.