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May 20, 2009 05:18 PM

Where should I go for upscale Chinese

Have never gone to an upscale Chinese restaurant and would like to try it out. I am thinking of Shun Lee, Budakkan, Shang or Chinatown Brasserie. I like small plates and good wine so would rather a place that has a lot of Dim Sum or appetizer/small plates options. Which do you think is best or is there another place I am not thinking of.


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  1. I love Chin Chin
    on E. 49th St., between 2nd and 3rd Ave

    Wonderful selection and a great wine list

    1. I have not been to Shun Lee Palace in many years, but prefer Chin Chin these days to Shun Lee West, for this sort of place. Quite a controversial thead about Chinatown Brasserie:

      I've not been to Buddakan, and haven't heard of Shang. Although I really enjoy the food at Chin Chin, for small plates you are probably better off at CB, where I think the dim sum items are better than the main courses.

      Good luck - I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions!

      1. Do not go to Shun Lee West; it's an overpriced tourist trap that serves (on a good day) mediocre food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ellenost

          Agreed! Shun Lee in any of its incarnations is pretty bad.

          I agree with ian and Chandavkl re: Chinatown Brasserie being good. I particularly like the various dumplings (nice, thin skins, well made fillings, both traditional and non), siu mai, and Peking duck. The pancakes and plum sauce served with the duck are nothing to write home about, but the duck itself is well made, with a wonderful, crispy and flavorful skin. (As an aside... why can't restaurants in the US make plum sauce out of real plums? It's about 20 million times better than the jarred shiznit.)

          Buddakan is, as Ian notes, a pan-Asian *inspired* restaurant. You could find this type of thing in China, but no one really calls it Chinese. That said, the food is not terrible.

        2. Shang isn't a Chinese restaurant.

          1. Chinatown Brasserie has very good to amazing dim sum, which seems to stay pretty true to Cantonese tradition and ingredients, but with high quality presentation, some innovative dishes, and top ingredients. It is certainly a bit sceney, but I think whats good about the food is it still seems distinctively Chinese, whereas Buddakan (I have not been) might be going for the more pan-Asian/American food with a focus on China.