SHUN LEE PALACE, SHUN LEE WEST :: Are they still good?
I, like many New Yorkers, grew up loving the food at SHUN LEE PALACE and SHUN LEE WEST. It was there that Szechuan and Hunan food were introduced to American diners. . Dining at SHUN LEE is always a great pleasure. Beautiful, delicious food served by professional waiters in a lovely setting. Now, owner/Executive Chef, Michael Tong, has written a great cookbook, The Shun Lee Cookbook: Recipes from a Chinese Restaurant Dynasty by Michael Tong
Reading through my copy, I found terrific recipes to try. One of my all-time great favorites is the SHUN LEE Hunan Lamb recipe in Craig Claiborne's NY Times Cookbook. Hopefully the recipes in the new book are just as wonderful.
I haven't been in a few years, and am wondering if it is still good. Are there any others worth trying?
My last visit to Shun Lee West - about a year ago - was disappointing. Ambience was fine, service was very good, and the food was decorated (seriously - carved vegetables, etc.) and plated attractively. That's the good. The bad was the food itself, which was generally overly sweet and otherwise not particularly flavorsome. Between the four of us, we must have had at least 8 dishes (apps and mains) and not one stood out. The price was very high.
Overall, it was all style and no substance. A good place to impress your visiting small town in-laws, perhaps - if they're totally unadventurous when it comes to food. Kind of a high-end PF Chang's.
I guess I am in the minority here but last spring I ate at Shun Lee Palace. We had the Peking duck and a short rib dish and I thought both were wonderful. Of course the place is very old-fashhioned and kind of stuffy. Not chow-ish, I suppose. But as long as you are not looking for "authentic" it still delivers. Very expensive.
Had lunch at Shun Lee West last Saturday. Lovely ambience, generous booths but the food was very ordinary and pricey -- especially that ultimate test of a Chinese rest: Hot and Sour Soup.
SO and I celebrated Chinese New Year at Shun Lee West. We had the recommended tasting menu, which was nicely plated, ordinary food. It's hard to judge, because New York offers so many delicious Chinese restaurants without the ambience and elegant setting that Shun Lee West has.
I had a wonderful time (the layout of the room was great for people-watching), but I couldn't help but think I could have had three better-tasting meals for the price of one.
Never Again. The last time I was there about 18 months ago, the place was packed, the service was terrible, and the food was mediocore at best. And of course, outrageously expensive. I think my wife (at that time my girlfriend) almost dumped me on the spot.