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SHUN LEE PALACE, SHUN LEE WEST :: Are they still good?

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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?

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  1. 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.

    1 Reply
    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: erica

        I always enjoy the food at Shun Lee West - especially the Crispy Prawns in XO sauce. I'm no expert on Chinese food though.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. great..if you're rich and don't mind spending a ton on dinner..very authentic..try Mee on 2nd Ave. and 48th St...feastmeister

              4 Replies
              1. re: feastmeister

                Since I go to Mee all the time and thus know what you're trying to say, let me help you with your punctuation. It probably confused most people.

                [Shun Lee is] great, if you're rich and don't mind spending a ton on dinner. Very authentic! Try Mee on 2nd Ave. and 48th St. [instead].


                1. re: jakew8

                  If you wish to go to mee I won't stop you (I personally do not like thier food and prefer to use Our Evergreen half a block up towards 47th) but to each thier own. I must however warn you at mee do NOT get the fried squid not only is it tasteless in and of itself but something in the batter interacts with the taste buds to make tea completely undrinkably bitter (rather a handicap for a chinese place)

                    1. re: jakew8

                      For the record, I overlooked which Mee location fm was talking about. I go to the one on 50th and 9th. I do not find the food there to be tasteless. Indeed, it has a taste.

                  1. I though I made it clear in the previos post That I, personally don't like ANYTHING from Mee and when I want chinese and am in the Vicinity I use Our Evergreen . It just that everything else I had there was merely tasteless it didn't actually ruin the edibility (or drinkibility of the other parts)

                    1. I dissent. I have had lunch at Shun Lee Palace several times over the past years and have enjoyed it thoroughly. We generally have Mayflower fish fillet, string beans, and veg. mock duck.