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Chin Chin

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Chin Chin

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Address: 216 East 49th St.
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10017
Phone: (212) 888-4555
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Area: East 40s
Entree Price: $15-20
Takeout: Yes
Delivery: Yes


Review:

A good man is – and always was – hard to find, but these days, it seems good Chinese food is even harder to locate (outside the overcrowded streets of Chinatown or the faraway reaches of Flushing). That’s one reason to be thankful for the longevity of Chin Chin, the haute Midtown eatery that has been consistently delighting diners for over two decades. While Chin Chin isn’t your average neighborhood joint – either in terms of price or its slightly fancy yet ultimately comfortable décor – it’s not a special occasion place either. Come as you are, whether you’re a midtown businessperson, a nearby resident, or a frequent celebrity habitué like New York Yankee Derek Jeter (who was finishing his meal as I was entering) or comedian Joan Rivers. Best of all, no matter who you are, you’ll be treated with respect and warmth by proprietor Jimmy Chin, who treats customers old and new like one of the family. Jimmy’s family hails from Canton, and it’s the once-familiar, now-almost-exotic cooking of that province which dominates the menu. Those seeking exotic ingredients and heat-inducing spices are better off elsewhere – though you can indulge your taste for shredded jellyfish here – but the rest of us will find plenty to satisfy our palates. I’m always partial to starting off a Chinese meal with dumplings, and Chin Chin does then exceedingly well, whether its delicate steamed shrimp specimens or heartier versions filled with flavorful chicken or pork with a delicious sesame sauce. Spare ribs, scallion pancakes, and even squab are other appealing appetizer options, along with a wide variety of soups. Entrée choices can be rather daunting, ranging from classics like Peking duck (for two) to more unusual choices like veal medallions in a peppercorn sauce or spring lamb with greens. Whatever you do, don’t pass up the fabulous Grand Marnier shrimp, a huge portion of perfectly cooked sea creatures coated in a slightly creamy, citrusy glaze. Orange fanciers might also enjoy the house’s Crisped Orange Beef, another signature dish made with first-rate ingredients. If there’s another advantage to Chin Chin, it’s that you don’t have to leave to get a decent dessert, since there’s a nice selections of sorbets and ice creams, a chocolate mousse cake, and a thoroughly enjoyable strawberry cheesecake. So if you ever find (or already have) a good man (or woman), come to Chin Chin and your life will be complete.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton


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