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Why do people go to Shun Lee?

d
dpastor Mar 6, 2011 11:39 AM

Years ago I would get dim sum at shun lee cafe before Philharmonic concerts. Not bad. And Shun Lee West would have some hong kong or banquet style dishes not seen on other chinese menus. S o when a friend wanted to go there, I agreed. What a rip! 4 mediocre, floury dumplings for $13?? Szechuan peppercorn duck that was just regular peking duck - but bonier. A tiny portion of chinese broccoli, with wonderful mushrooms that were doused in a thick inedible brown sauce.

The one standout dish- stir fried sweetbreads and green peppers. Excellent.

Along with a half bottle of saki, and an order of fruit, the dinner above cot $170 before tip.

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Shun Lee West
43 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

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  1. ellenost Mar 6, 2011 12:36 PM

    Maybe years ago Shun Lee West was good. Today the food is over priced and mediocre. It is a true tourist trap. I won't return.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ellenost
      b
      bearmi Mar 6, 2011 12:43 PM

      Omg that sounds scary. Is there a difference between the one on the east side vs. the one on the west side? I have been to neither of them but was going to check it out one of those days.

      1. re: bearmi
        a
        AubWah Mar 6, 2011 01:06 PM

        Shun Lee = Upscale Wo Slop

        1. re: AubWah
          b
          bearmi Mar 6, 2011 05:49 PM

          Wow that sounds bad. I guess I will stick with PF Changs here in the suburb at least I can get some shopping done at the mall and the price is much lower.

      2. re: ellenost
        s
        scotty27 Mar 6, 2011 04:50 PM

        I agree, I loved it as a teen. Nowadays the guys in tuxes are so sweet, but the food, well, let's show some respect, but maybe eat elsewhere. Adam D is right: 30 years ago. But what great memories!

        www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

      3. a
        AdamD Mar 6, 2011 03:05 PM

        Because there was a time when that food was new to Americans. And tasty as well.
        About 30 years ago.

        1. coasts Mar 6, 2011 03:09 PM

          Ha! I was at Bouchon this morning and overheard a group say they were on their way. apparently the wait at Landmarc was too long. i had to stop myself from intervening.

          1. MMRuth Mar 6, 2011 04:41 PM

            I went for years, until I discovered CH and learned better!

            1. s
              small h Mar 6, 2011 05:11 PM

              Shun Lee was the first place I had upscale Chinese, so it will always have a place in my heart. If not my future dining plans.

              3 Replies
              1. re: small h
                MMRuth Mar 6, 2011 05:12 PM

                These days I go to Chin Chin instead.

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                Chin Chin
                216 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

                1. re: MMRuth
                  s
                  small h Mar 6, 2011 05:30 PM

                  I have a rather ridiculous bias against Chin Chin based, believe it or not, on my hatred for the defendant in a trial I was on the jury for years ago - he ate there before side-swiping a cab with his Rolls. I should really get over this, especially if you recommend the place.

                  1. re: small h
                    s
                    Stuartmc910 Mar 7, 2011 08:49 AM

                    Not as ridiculous as mine; I had a horrible Indian manager several years ago, and, as a result stopped eating in Indian restaurants. (I would always think of him and it would ruin the meal.)

                    When I met my current wife, who loved Indian food I had to get over that hang up. Now I'm "cured" and have Indian food at least once a week.

              2. r
                rushbikes Mar 6, 2011 06:24 PM

                NYC is such a transient place, I imagine 95% of people in this City (and on this board) don't remember when the city was more about loyalists frequenting their neighborhood digs than chowhounds seeking out the newest and most exciting. I grew up near Shun Lee East and Chin Chin, and went to Shun Lee West after every performance at Lincoln Center with my family.

                I'm generally against paying high prices for good ethnic food since I know it's readily available in NYC much cheaper. But so long as I'm greeted like family at Shun Lee, or with a warm handshake at the door by Jimmy Chin himself, I'm more than happy to uphold my loyalty to these NYC establishments.

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