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Aug 5, 2008 12:06 PM

Chatham Sq Restaurant - best dim sum ive had in Manhattan

So my roommate and I decided to try Chatham Sq Restaurant at 6 Chatham (not to be confused with the old school place at 9 Chatham). Its a kind of long narrow banquet hall with two floors we ate at the upper floor. Typical banquet hall decor of kind of yellow / gold with red. Place is pretty new, so its reasonably nice

It's a sort of mix of order and carts (i'd say 75% ordering to 25% carts), the carts come by occasionally, but we ordered everything off a check list (which i like much better). Not sure if its different on the weekends. Probably 90%+ chinese clientele although I don't think language is a barrier as the people next to us ordered everything in english and the waiter's english was pretty much perfect. Service was surprisingly good b/c of the layout and the # of waiters they have, they are constantly passing by you, so its easy to grab someone.

We got alot of stuff:
- ha gow (steamed shrimp dumplings): pretty good, skins were a little thinner than I like, but the filling was good and the shrimps tasted fresh
- siu mai (steamed pork dumplings): this was the only think I thought was so so, the skins were fine, but the filling was minced fine enough and was chewier than it should've been
- niu rou cheung fan (beef rice noodle crepe): very good, they minced the beef properly (i hate when its like chunks of beef) and the ratio of rice noodle to beef was better (most places skimp on the beef
- lo bat go (pan fried daikon cake): good, would've been excellent as the cake itself was minced finely (hate when its big chunks of daikon) and had a good flavor, but i could tell that it'd been sitting out for a bit as it was luke warm (prefer mine fresh off the grill)
- pai guat (pork spare ribs in black bean sauce): good, the quality of the pai guat was good as the meat was nice and tender. the sauce was good b/c it wasn't overally oily, but i prefer more chili peppers and black bean
- zha liang (fried donut stick with a rice noodle wrapped around it): good, typical zha liang, but just well executed
- steamed cha siu bao (steamed roast pork bun): decent, im pretty particular about these, they were definitely fresh which is a big plus, the bread was nice and soft, but the filling was the red kind that is sweeter, which isn't my favorite (prefer the mei lai wah / sun say kai recipe of more savory brown sauce)
- zhong zi (sticky rice in a lotus leaf): surprisingly pretty good, came with lap chong (sausage), shrimp, chicken and a salted shrimp...these were tasty
- stuff eggplant: pretty good, eggplant stuffed with a minced shrimp cake that had been breaded and fried on one side...these were pretty tasty
- dan tat (baked egg custard): decent, but had been sitting around for a while and i also think the crust was slightly undercooked (like it to be a bit brown), but the filling wasn't bad

Overall, we both agreed this is the best dim sum we've had in manhattan, its not as good as some of the places in flushing (jade asian, ocean jewel, gala manor, perfect team), but its not that far off although i'd say it doesnt have quite the breadth of dim sum dishes as those places. Definitely think dim sum fans should try this place out as its substantially better than the other dim sum places in manhattan, which i think are garbage for the most part.

Based off the dim sum execution im pretty curious to try dinner. Brian S or others - anyone try it yet?

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  1. Thanks for the review, Lau! I haven't gone to Chatham but must do so at some point in the future. It's so disappointing when the turnip cakes aren't fresh. Actually, since I've been making them at home, I don't like to order it out as there's no comparison.

    Did you try the soup dumplings? I read in a post somewhere on these boards that they sere actually good. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of that comment. But as we pretty much see eye to eye on Asian food, I was wondering if you tried them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      i didnt try it, but i was actually thinking about that when I was there as i read that post as well (im skeptical as well, but who knows?), but we had already ordered alot (all of the above was for 2 people, the people across from us were gawking at us b/c we ordered so much food haha) and it wasn't on the menu at least not that i noticed

      1. re: Lau

        Wow! I thought you guys were a party of three or four. Quite impressive!

        Yes, I agree with your "who knows?" comment. That's why I was curious about the soup dumplings. I've had some pretty good ones at Yank Sing in San Francisco -- not exactly the place I would have expected to find good soup dumplings.

        ETA: I remember going out for dim sum 15 years ago at Jing Fong with a couple of guys and a girl. One of the guys ordered so much food that we ended up paying $50-70 EACH! The guy who ordered more (and ate more) paid the $70. That's quite a lot for dim sum.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          haha yes i didn't feel so hot after eating that ridiculous amt of food

    2. Great review (as always), Lau.
      I agree 6 Chatham is a winner for dim sum

      I just hope it doesn't become *too* popular ...

      1. Thanks for this - I think they do a lot of wedding parties there. Have had lunch there but not dim sum yet!

        1. Hi Lau,

          I went there before for a banquet-style menu, and we had quite a few dishes. I think their dim sum is definitely better than their dinner. Their stir fried dishes are fine, but the seafood weren't as good as oriential garden. It was above average Cantonese, but I woulnd't say it was excellent.

          Their service was very good though, much better than Oriental Gardens. And they have TVs so if you like that, it will be a plus.

          1. Lau, thanks so much for the report. We've been going to Jing Fong (and sometimes Dim Sum Go Go) and Chatham is next on my list to try. Now I'll have to walk there sooner!

            1 Reply
            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Went yesterday. Dim Sum and the Olympics in Beijing, does it get any better? We also had the eggplant stuffed with shrimp (much better than Jing Fong's, we had to ask for it and when ready they brought us some), some vegetable dumplings (round ones and crescent shaped ones) and salty fish and diced chicken fried rice (from menu). We were seated way in the back at one of the two large round tables (street level floor). This made it a little hard for the carts to come by. Nonetheless, the service was so attentive, servers always called to/stopped by our table. We shared our table with a family who ordered chicken feet, tripe, some of the same dishes we did. Very good. Our new favorite, thanks to Lau and this post.