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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Posted by polaz on 02/26/2012
Nothing about this restaurant met expectations. Both food and service was poor and it is also expensive. The pork dumplings in Chili sauce were okay and the sauce on the blossom fish was good. But there was little fish actually in the fish. Everything else we ordered was bland! Mushrooms and Bok Choy were fresh but flavorless. Spare ribs were also tastless and steamed, making them more like tastless washed out pot roast than pork. I didn't like the duck although some of my party thought it was okay. And the service was poor. Lots of people running around, but they didn't seem to have much purpose. They didn't change the plates so fish bones and duck bones remained on the small plates. When we asked however, they did bring fresh plates. Then they began removing plates even before we were done and when one of our party took out his credit card, and just put it down on the table very near him, a waiter came & grabbed it. We hadn't even gotten our bill and there was more than one credit card yet to come. Had to protest very quickly. The restaurant was crowded and I don't get what all the hoopla is about. Overpriced, poor service, not good food, and obviously we will never be back.
Posted by lickin the chops please go home on 02/07/2012
Order the baby ribs in bamboo leaves and tell me this isn't the best Chinese food in Murray Hill. If you want Chinese fusion or General Tso's chicken this isn't the place to go to.
Posted by lickin the chops on 12/18/2011
We have recently moved, so we are on the hunt for a solid new Chinese spot to order from. We read the reviews and expected some tasty vittles! However, this was quite a disappointment. One person, wrote this is the best chinese in the city, seriously people? The food was weak from Dim Sum to entree.
Posted by anonymous on 11/09/2011
I love Sichuan food and have lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Beijing. China Cafe has authentic Sicuan, especially the spice and the flavors but its kitchen is a work in progress. The husband and wife team owners are terrific and the chef is experienced. Needing work are the dan dan noodles (mushy noodles); the pot stickers (ouside pi or shell is too thick); and the ma po tofu (way too salty). On the mark are the simple baby cucumbers, the three pepper chicken, the scallion pancakes and the spicy cumin lamb. Enjoy.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/03/2011
This is mid town's best kept secret! The food is absolutely amazing! For all those spice lovers - do not miss the three chili chicken! Its to die for!! Its spicy! But soooooo good! Adorable lil place, absolutely going back again and again and AGAIN!
Posted by Steve on 09/28/2011
We tried Cafe China because owners have been claiming publicly that they provide "an experience that is unlike any other Chinese restaurant." We were skeptical! First of all, the décor of Café China is wonderful - quietly sensational and elegant, evoking the mood of a long-ago Shanghai. We asked ourselves "Are we really in Midtown Manhattan?" As our dishes arrived, I discovered my favorite - the Fish Blossom, a crispy whole fish in sweet and sour sauce, which melted in my mouth, was tender, flavorful and expertly cooked. The Tea Smoked Duck with a sweet sauce was heavenly! In my culinary past, I have unfortunately eaten too many limp and bland cold noodles, so I was surprised and found myself LOVING Café China's cold noodles Szechuan style, which are not served as an ordinary staple but as a delicacy. Another highlight was the Shredded Tripe in chili oil, which was VERY HOT and out of this world! Perhaps some of the dishes may be too exotic for the timid eater, such as "Mao's Blood Tofu Stew" and "Ox Tongue with roasted chili-peanut sauce," but I've heard there's no place outside of China that serves such unusual creations. After the main courses, the grand finale arrived -- a sorbet called "Coconut Ripieno," served in a natural coconut shell. Following the hot and the spicy dishes, this cool sorbet extinguished the fire in our palates, and reminded us of the heroic efforts of New York's finest firefighters! A shiver of pleasure arose from our party! All this wonderful eating took place in an atmosphere that is warm and friendly, made possible by the kind staff and the owners. Again, we asked ourselves "Are we really in Midtown Manhattan?!" Finally, this question -- is it true that Café China provides guests with "an experience that is unlike any other Chinese restaurant?" If I say yes, I am afraid you won't believe me - I recommend that you try it for yourself - this sensational and highly original Café China.
Posted by XLB on 09/14/2011
Szechuan Gourmet quality food in a nice setting. Dan Dan Mian, Loofah, Sauteed Mushrooms, Chungking Chicken are all well done with clean vibrant flavors. Service is a little shaky although hopefully this will iron itself out in time. The owners are very nice.