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Ching's Table - New Canaan, CT voted #1 Best Chinese Restaurant in Nation (Chinese Restaurant News)

My husband just told me that News 12 reported that Ching's Table in New Canaan, CT was ranked #1 nationwide. Who would have thunk a place from CT could win this.

"LAS VEGAS – Chinese Restaurant News announced today the Top10 Chinese restaurants in the country. The winning restaurants received the Overall Excellence Award, the most coveted award amongst Chinese restaurateurs. The announcement was made at the 6th Annual Top100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards show held at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Organized by Chinese Restaurant News, the Top100 Awards Show is a national event that recognizes, cultivates and preserves the best in Chinese cuisine."

Below Link to read further.

Of note: Lau Sze Chuan (The Chicago location) was also listed in the Top 10, and those of us in the New England board love their Milford, CT location.

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  1. Same management, same menu as Wild Ginger, which has gotten numerous harsh complaints in the past here on CH.

    My favorite of the group is Penang, Greenwich. Consistently good for years.

    1 Reply
    1. re: menton1

      Yes, friends brought home an unexpected visitor with their take out from the Ridgefield location of Wild Ginger. YUCK.

    2. Cool info--thanks for sharing, and yes we certainly do (love LSC in Milford)! :) And, as you're the one who started the whole thread that got everyone going and posting, cheers to you, cheereeo!

      Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant
      1585 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460

      1. Yeah, it's funny that one of the criteria is cleanliness and their sister restaurant, Wild Ginger (mentioned in the article) has been often mentioned here on CH as failing many Health Dept inspections...

        2 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          I remember that vividly and agree that's pretty funny. While we're discussing Wild Ginger, I'd like to clarify it's completely different from Wild Ginger in Orange, CT (which is one of my favorite sushi spots in our state).

          1. re: kattyeyes

            I thought April 1st was in, uhmmm...you know, April...?

            What a laugh...the whole of flushing must be green with envy...

        2. holy crap that's a terrible survey. I mean, Ching's Table? It's nothing more than above average suburban Chinese. I guess I could see that ranking if it were the best suburban American-Chinese in Connecticut, maybe. But there's far better (and far more authentic) just over the border in Westchester, and far, far better in New Jersey, and far, far, far, far better in Manhattan and every borough. And there are hundreds and hundreds better in San Fran and in LA... I could go on and on.

          It's not that I'm being overly harsh on Ching's. I like it just fine and go there on occasion. But putting it on a national level just reveals the overwhelming poor taste of the general public. That sounds really elitist and I'm not elitist - far from it - but a vote in survey like this is just inane. I just guess the folks that own Ching's must have a lot of friends...

          5 Replies
          1. re: adamclyde

            Yes, it's a really DUMB survey. Perhaps even corrupt. Silly. Yes, I agree, Adam, that there are dozens and dozens of better Chinese restaurants in NYC and Flushing!

            1. re: menton1

              I think they must have got it wrong...I think it probably won the "best shit representation of suburbanized chinese food on main street new cannan". They got my vote on that for sure...

              1. re: Scotty100

                You're right, Scotty. If Ching's is THE BEST in the country, this is one pathetic country.

                Ching's is good, but Bao's and Central Seafood and Spring Asian are good too.

                THE BEST in the country.

                What a joke. Sounds like someone was paid off.

            2. re: adamclyde

              In the area, Ching's is the best. However, as oft lamented on other threads, Lower FFD Cty lacks truly outstanding Chinese. The most glaring reason of course is there is no indigenous Chinese community here ... theirs is an urban culture. cf: Flushing, Chinatown. If there's no Chinese in the Hood, don't expect good Chinese restaurants. (The growth if the Indian community in Stamford accounts for the recent explosion of great Indian fare. As well as PC hispanic)

              Secondly, the Chinese-American suburban food tradition traces back to the "glop" that Jewish families craved on Sunday nights in their midcentury diaspora from the City to LI, Jersey, and Ct. ( The very territory of this Board.) Arthur Schwartz writes affectionately of this in his wonderful Jewish Home Cooking, especially the attraction of Jews to Chinese because of the non mix of dairy and meat, their disguise of forbidden foods, and the cheap prices, not to mention they're open Christmas Eve. Tradition Tradition Tradition.

              Finally, there's nothing like chinese for food on the run, cheap dates, and takeout. Not the setting for fine cuisine.

              Guess our best hope is Cook It and They Will Come.

              1. re: louuuuu

                Saturday, not Sunday nights for us to go out for Chinese

            3. Jfood thinks the world of Chings and it, with Sushi 25, are the best Asian in FFD county. Extrapolating that to the rest of the country is a long putt though.

              But in any event, jfood has his hat off to Ching's for winning an award for great food, which it has, and placing our small town on the culinary map. New Canaan does have some really great eating spots.

              The Szechuan dumplings and Pad Thai from Sushi 25 last night were outstanding.

              8 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                J-On the New England board there is a thrread about Lao Sze Chaun in Milford. I was chosen as an inspector judge in this industry magazine competition. I also reviewed 2 of the top 10 winners. but not in Connecticut.

                The reviews were all performed by NON-industry professionals, with strict grading standards. However subjective taste was NOT allowed into the judging.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  thanks B and welcome back from the frigid south.

                  good thing they leave the tasting to us chopstick-challenged foodies.

                  1. re: jfood

                    There were more than 150 items on the judging form, decor, service, timimg, food portion size, temperature, meets menu description, etc. BUT nowhere did the judge get to say whether the dish tasted good. This would be too subjective.

                    Judges were people who do professional service evaluations (mostly undercover) in hospitality, retail, banking, etc.

                    I was told that after the list had been narrowed down, some professional food people were sent out to a number of plac es to break ties.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Wonder where they would be rated for service, Bet not top 100 in Fairfield county!

                      1. re: tgseaver


                        given the service level, people still swarm in droves. Imagine how much better it would be if the service was as good as the food.

                      2. re: bagelman01

                        wait, hold on. You mean they did a restaurant ranking but didn't allow the taste of the food as a criteria?

                        Man, if only I had had college finals like that.

                        1. re: adamclyde

                          This ranking was in an industry magazine and for the trade, it was NOT for the public.

                          The public needs/wants reviews of food to make a decision whether or not to eat at the restaurant.

                          When an industry chooses a 'Best' restaurant it acknowledges standards and excellence as opposed to the cooking prowess of the chef.

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            Interesting.The general public won't know that and when Ching's puts up the 'best in the U.S.' sign on its window, the general public will think it really is.

                            Very interesting.

                2. How could Wild Ginger be closed for health dept violations and Ching's be awarded the #1 rating? (Same management).

                  Ching's food is OK, but the best in the country? With all the great restaurants in Flushing and NY Chinatown? Flushing is still in the US, isn't it?

                  1. NEWS FLASH...THIS IS ABOUT CHING'S NOT WILD GINGER...has noone on these boards been to a good location of a group of restaurants owned by the same people.

                    C'mon guys.

                    1. does this restaurant actually serve foods of china?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: tommy

                        Man you guys are critical. If every restaurant in the world were as good as Chings, it would be a lot better world. As for best in the country, obviously it's an absurd catagory. I mean, it does me no good if there's an awesome restaurant that's 3000 miles from my home, right?

                        That said, the first time I went to Chings (05?) was better than the latest time, but
                        I'll still eat there anytime, because it is, at the very least, pretty darn tasty for the money.

                        1. re: shark_attack


                          Have you found the szechuan dumplings different recently, and not for the positive?

                          1. re: jfood

                            That is, my friend to the immediate northwest, precisely my critique. What else do you know about the dumpling situation at Chings?

                            One of these days we ought to head over to Cherrystreet for a quasi-official celebratory beer and burger, Chowhound-style:)

                            1. re: shark_attack

                              1 - jfood walked into the house two weeks ago and little jfood said..."dad what's the deal with the Ching's duplings?" even a 20-year old foodie in training has noticed the difference
                              2 - the scene for a burger-down is further west

                              1. re: jfood

                                Further West? Where'd you have in mind?

                        2. re: tommy

                          tommy, most folks don't care about authentic. They only care if it tastes good. I guess the survey used the term "Chinese" loosely as well. More discredit to the survey.

                        3. NEWS FLASH-- The survey itself mentions the fact that Wild Ginger is owned and managed by the same proprietorship!

                          So, let me get this straight--

                          Ching's gets the highest ratings in the country for a Chinese restaurant, and one of the criteria used is cleanliness.

                          Then, its sister restaurant, Wild Ginger, is cited by local health department for code violations, and even closed for a period of time for that reason.

                          So this management team is so good, so consistent, that they have disparate standards in 2 restaurants that they own. Good job.

                          (This survey is a lot of crap!)

                          1. The best part of this whole "survey" is that Ching's isn't even a Chinese restaurant! Even the restaurant bills itself as "Asian Fusion". That's code for "sticky sweet". IMHO of this ilk, Penang in Greenwich (same management) is a lot better.

                            Ching's is about as "Chinese" as chow mein and egg rolls.

                            1. The Chinese takeout up the street from me in Tarrytown made this "Top 100" list in 2007, and they still have a huge sign in the window proclaiming this. This place is fine for suburban takeout, but believe me there's absolutely nothing special about it. So I always figured there was something fishy about this "Top 100" thing. Maybe like the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence"---pay a fee, and you get your award.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Boswell

                                NO, you don't pay a fee and get this award. I have posted about this on the New England board concerning Lao Sze Chaun in Milford, CT. I was one of the paid professional judges who judged 6 restaurants, including 2 who made the top 10 (not in the northeast).
                                The contest was sponsored by an industry magazine. TASTE of food was not being judged, Service, ambiance, etc were strictly rated. More than 100 items on the checklist to be judged. The restaurants did not know who the judges were, they were hired through companies that do mystery shopping in the hospitality industry. I have many years hospitality industry experience, owned restaurants and a catering business in the 80s. One of the restaurants I judged that made the top 10 had superb service and ambiance. The food presentation was innovative, the food taste was good, but not top 10. This award is to recognise within the industry, it is not done for the purpse of showing off to potential customers.

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Yes, but -- when Ching's puts up the '#1 Best Chinese Restaurant In The Nation' sign in their window, will there be an asterisk?

                              2. I was attending a performance in town on Saturday night and arriving just 80 minutes before curtain took a chance and tried Ching's. I was alone with no reservation, but although there were lines of people waiting the hostess offered to seat me immediately at the bar, where I had a birds-eye view of the scurrying wait staff and the extremely busy, but friendly bartender who rushed my order through.

                                I settled on the Thai Coconut Curry Casserole, as tasty as it was alliterative. It came in a very hot covered bowl containing large shrimp, chicken, beans, mushrooms, and several unidentifyable other components. Some parts were mild, others hotter, but overall it rated only one pepper on my 3 pepper scale, but left a nice aftertaste in my mouth as I left for the theater.

                                The noise level was quite noticeable and not suitable for a romantic evening. Although I was happy with my choice, with this small sample I would not go so far as to agree with the quote that this is the best Chinese restaurant in CT, let alone the nation. It is, however, worth a return visit, hopefully at a less crowded hour.