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Aug 23, 2009 07:55 AM

Mr. Chow South Beach

Ate there last night. Room is stunning and feels very opulent with waiters in white tuxes...but in this economy it felt overindulgent and excessive. They start off by carting bottles of champagne to your table and offering you, at the very least, $30 a glass. The prices are conveniently discreetly turned away. The menu is, again, like Hakkasan and Philippe, fancy Chinese food with outrageous prices. We asked the waiter to recommend spicy food and we ended up having the 'chef' choose for us. There are several kinds of prix fixe options there, mainly two sides, two mains, two appetizers at $60 a person. Not one item was spicy and I went thru three bowls of chili sauce. Pork dumplings were mushy...they gave us what seemed to be a meat empanada that was burnt and tasteless...and, hello, the main course--an orange/mango chicken dish? Meh! Sweet and mushy. They also served us their signature green prawns which after bowls of hot sauce tasted decent. Some green beans with garlic and white rice with shrimp were our sides. Sides were tasty. No room or desire for dessert--but we should have. Two MINUTES later, I was still hungry and I am a petite person who weighs less than 110 lbs. Bill , tax and auto tip included, three of those glasses of champagne at $30 a pop and one glass of wine (which reminds me, when I declined the second glass of bubbly I asked to see a wines by the glass list.Waiter says, oh, i can tell you --we have chardonnay, pino noir, blah blah.I was like what kind of each? Long story short, I settled on a glass of Jordan chard) and the grand total was $292 for two people and for Chinese that, again, I could get at PF Chang. Points for service, decor and vibe, but again, it behooves me to spend so much on something that doesnt need a second mortgage to pay for.

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  1. come on hj hakkasan is better than pf chang. Phillippe and Mr. Chow on the other hand, not from what I had in ny.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      sounds like I should just stick to Miss Yip's!!!

      1. re: tpigeon

        tpigeon--honestly, hakkasan was good, but not GREAT. i honestly dont know if i'd be able to distinguish a dish from there and PF Chang. I'd have to do a taste test, but that would be an expensive taste test and for me it's not worth it! Philippe is MEH! Bland. Blah. Chow had flavor(ish), but again....rather pour chili sauce on PF Chang food for a fraction of the price than do so at chow or hakkasan!

        1. re: HabaneroJane

          Thanks for the report. We have a reservation at Mr Chow for tomorrow night which we will now cancel. Our guest wants good, spicy Chinese so I think we will go to Rainbow Palace in Ft. Lauderdale. Has anyone been there recently?

          1. re: dlgc

            before you cancel due to the lack of spice, remember I left it up to the waiter who clearly confused sweet with spicy. I did see a dish on the menu at Mr Chow that I wish he did serve us and that was a chicken dish with chili peppers..but all in all I think Mr Chow leans more on the rendy, tamer, dare I say, blander side of the cuisine...

            1. re: dlgc

              Check out Pepper's in Pembroke Pines, and ask for the Chinese menu. Prices are good, too! As gwai-loh (Caucasians), when the wife I order things spicy, they come out pretty good, not outrageously hot.

              1. re: dbarnard

                If you're looking for spicy I just don't see that Mr. Chow is the right place to go. Indeed, if you're looking for good food I'm not sure it's the right place to go. The originals in NY are not exactly highly regarded for their food, why expect more from the Miami clone?


                1. re: Frodnesor

                  wasn't looking for spicy, per se, but did make the request to the waiter. and yeah, it's not about the food at this's all style, pomp and circumstance. DBarnard--I went to Pepper's a month or so ago and enjoyed it very much. If it were closer to Miami I'd go more often!

        2. I'm glad you wrote about this because my friends and I chose between Mr. Chow and Hakassan this weekend and we went to Hakassan instead. I was not impressed. We made reservations for 10 p.m. (which for us is late). The server didn't come to us until at least 10:30, and we didn't eat until 11:30. The service was not great in that regard. There were 4 of us, we shared two appetizers, got four main plates to share and two side dishes to share. Sans drinks/wine/tip, we paid $330 for the food alone. The food was tasty, but nothing to write home about and the service was not worth the $60 they tacked on for gratuity. We will not be returning. I would be much happier spending that same amount at Gotham.