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What's going on with David Chen's?

Stopped there last night with the family to eat in exile (downstairs kid room). Everything except the egg rolls was "off" in some way. Starting with the stench in the parking lot - smelled like rotten eggs, slime in the goldfish pond and a "floater" that my son pointed out.

Going downstairs, the hall smelled like a middle school boy's locker room - not what you'd associate with Chinese food. We ordered meat dumplings for the kids - they were rubbery and stale tasting when they finally cooled down. Also ordered chicken 3 styles to suit everyone's taste. Except the General Tso has quite a few pieces that were fried coating with no chicken!! When I mentioned this to the waiter, he said "next time order white meat chicken" - ??! Does that mean you should expect this with dark meat?

On top of this, we ordered water to save ourself from the overpriced sodas - it tasted like they had recently been washing dishes with it...

What gives? This is not the David Chen's of old - has there been a change in ownership or something?

I'm losing all my favorites it feels like - first Ichi Rikki, now Chen's - sheesh!

Anyone else have a similar experience? Any good "sit down" Chinese places left? We used to frequent Pacific Palace in Thornwood, but the last time there it was pretty bad too.

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  1. David Chen's at best, is INCONSISTENT. One time, the food will be great ~ the next BAD. Inconsistency is a good way to lose customers ~ you NEVER know what to expect.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bakingpw

      2boys4me, you can count on one hand the good Chinese food in Westchester.

      Authentic -- Aberdeen in WP.

      Americanized -- Central Seafood (I think is the name) in Hartsdale, Imperial Wok in North WP, and Bao's in WP.

      1. re: dolores

        I haven't been to Imperial Wok in North WP in years after being traumatized by a "shrimp incident".

        Can I also add to the "Americanized" list: Szechuan Empire on Westchester Avenue in Port Chester? If you want basics like chicken in garlic sauce, moo sho, etc., it can always be counted on. They also make (not on the menu, you have to ask for it) a sizzling rice soup with a tomato base, it's a little sweet and loaded with shrimp. Very addictive.

        Does anyone know the status of David's chinese on Mamaroneck Ave. in WP? It looks like it hasn't opened in a long time.

        1. re: dolores

          Central Seafood is actually more authentic Cantonese style than Americanized (although they may have some dishes from both genres of course). That being said, I don't find it as good as Aberdeen.

          Are you referring to David King's, DimSum Diva? I didnt know it closed. I never thought it was very good anyway, too bland.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Since I started going to Aberdeen, I've seen no reason to return to David Chen's. No regrets.

          7 Replies
          1. re: NickM

            I agree Nick, Aberdeen is the best Chinese in Westchester, hands down. It even beats many places in Chinatown/Manhattan. Dont know about Flushing though.

            1. re: jeanki

              A friend from Flushing declared Aberdeen good but too salty, and I value his opinion on Chinese food.

              Since it is too difficult for me to get to, and there are no drinks, I pass.

              Dim Sum Diva, is Szechuan Empire close to Main Street in Portchester? Near Neri? How does it compare to Bao's?

              1. re: dolores

                I tend to dislike overly salted food and have never found Aberdeen too salty personally. That being said, it might not be as good as stuff in Flushing, which is Asian cuisine central in the area. But hey, we're in Westchester, and I feel lucky to have Aberdeen in my backyard. Don't know what you mean by too difficult to get to since it's right across the street from Bao's. But if booze is what you're looking for, true, Aberdeen is lacking thereof.

                1. re: jeanki

                  Dolores, Szechuam Empire is closer to Ridge street. It's right after that funny fork in the road on Westchester Ave., north of Ridge street. Don't confuse SE with the chinese take out place on the adjacent corner. SE is right next to a gardening store.

                  1. re: Dim Sum Diva

                    Oh, I've always wondered about that place! I'll have to give it a try.

                    1. re: Dim Sum Diva

                      Thanks, Dim Sum Diva, I know exactly where you mean. I'll have to give it a try.

                2. re: jeanki

                  I love Aberdeen. My only regret is that they moved from Harrison to White Plains, as we used to be able to walk to eat there. The food isn't overly salty, in my opinion, and I am not a salt-lover. I have only been to Flushing for Chinese food a few times, so I am no expert in how Aberdeen compares to places in Flushing. But for Westchester, it's the best around. I like Bao's fine for what it is, but there's no comparison if you're looking for real Chinese rather than Americanized food.