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Chance, Carroll Gardens

I went to Chance last night with my mother last night (visiting--we just wanted a quick, simple meal) and we were very disappointed in our dinner. I haven't been in awhile, but used to enjoy the entrees and dim sum quite a bit. I always felt I could rely on them for a tasty meal. Chinese food in Carroll Gardens is tough, but they were my go-to place. Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering if something has changed there. The restaurant was even more empty than usual.

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  1. Funny, the only time I go to Chance are when my mother is in the neighborhood as well. (If I liked the place more I'd go there other times...) I ate there with her a couple of weeks ago and thought that I'd give a duck dish a try, in that I remembered reading some decent things about their duck on this board.

    I ordered the duck with black pepper sauce and left over about half of it. I know that duck is very fatty, but I found myself struggling to get at the meat for all the fat and skin. If the duck's skin had been crispier then it would have been more palatable, but the meat came out more or less submerged in the pepper sauce, which rendered everything uniformly slimy.

    I much prefer China Hong, slightly up the block from Chance. Even though it's a take out joint without Chance's French pretensions, I find it a more reliable choice for "New York" Chinese food. And since I mentioned duck, Le Petite Marche does a much better job of preparing it than Chance.

    1. I was there as recently as one week ago and it was as tasty as ever. I've probably eaten there a dozen times and can't remember a bad meal....we don't really eat order their entrees. We typically share a lot of dim sum, some fried rice, some bok choy, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nehna

        Maybe I should stick to dim sum next time. We did have a crab pork dumpling appetizer which was pretty tasty. I got their entrees the last few times I went though, and was impressed. This visit was very surprising.

        And thanks for the China Hong recommendation, jeffy--I have to admit that after many bad experiences I had pretty much given up on takeout "fast food" Chinese in NY, but it's good to hear that this place is reliable. I'll add it to my list! I love Chinese food but I find there's slim pickings out there, especially in this thai-centered neighborhood. If anyone has other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

      2. i like their peking style pork chops (though they are ridiculously sweet and some ppl might not go for that) and i do think their soup dumplings are pretty good

        2 Replies
          1. re: mandmbklyn

            i think i had soup dumplings there recently... though maybe i hallucinated the entire experience.

        1. I went there for the first time last week and was really disappointed. We started with the Shitaki Mushroom Salad, which was not bad - the mushrooms were nicely grilled and the dressing was tasty, but the greens were pretty limp. Then we had steamed chicken shumai (strange consistency, not great) and the steamed sweet custard bun (this was the best part of the meal by far). For entrees I had the wok ginger chicken, which was so mushy and flavorless that I barely had two bites and my boyfriend had the chili chicken, which wasn't bad, but tasted a little bit like buffalo wings. We will not be going back. (although I might get take out custard buns for time to time to take home for dessert...)

          1. I've had great dim sum the few times I've gone there. Great dumplings and not typical fillings.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Carol Gardens

              I tried the foie gras dumpling the last time I went and it wasn't like it used to be... maybe my expectations were too high, but the dumpling wrap was a little too thick and doughy and the foie gras wasn't really there... more shrimp than anything.

              It's a nice place, but as with most other Chinese restaurants, you gotta watch out for some sanitation issues. My bokchoy still had dirt between the leaves (all 3 of them).

            2. I love most of their dim sum selections, including the scallop and mushroom dumplings, the shrimp sticky rice, the pork buns and the custard buns. Also, both of the bass dishes are amazing! (one was a bit greasy though)

              1. yeah so i been back since that earlier post... they may not be soup dumplings per se but what i was referring to where the crab and pork dumplings i thing, and they were damn good again. i think i got them confused with soup dumplings because they are so juicy.