Chin Chin- Fine China

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: Hmmm...large open dining room and smaller rooms off the main entrance; lightly colored walls showcase sepia tinged family photos
  • sip: full bar available; bartenders are happy to put on NY sports and remember when you like a team...
  • savor: pan-fried pork dumplings; peking duck; hot and sour soup; spare ribs; shredded garlic chicken; Grand Marnier Shrimp; softshell crabs when in season
  • sit: with your family; with your friend who doesn't buy into "fancy" Chinese food; anyone who wants Chinese on a Sunday night
  • spend: $$$
  • address: 216 East 49th (right off of 3rd)
  • phone number: 212-888-4555
  • website:

Chin Chin is by far my favorite Chinese food ever.  I have been going there for what seems like forever and  I have never been disappointed.  Jimmy the owner is a true class act, and has a way of making everyone feel welcome and special, regardless if you are a regular or just happend to walk in off of the street.

When I think of the decor of Chin Chin, I compare it to when you tell someone the date you are setting them up with ” has a great personality”. The looks of Chin Chin are absolutely fine enough, but it is really about internal beauty, or more accurately, the food. Chin Chin is a better class of Chinese food- it is not greasy or heavy, and as much as I stuff myself to my limits, I never get ill or feel gross the next say, common side effects of indulging in Chinese food.

Now, about that food. Chin Chin scores big on both more familiar dishes and original creations.  The pan fried pork dumplings are perfectly browned and filled, a winning mixture of flavor and texture. The hot and sour soup is the least oily that I have ever tried, and has a perfect level of spice, enough to get your heat up but not cancel out other flavors. The lobster roll (a nod to you, Bill Hong) is huge, but filled with delicious chunks of lobster, crunchy veggie stuff and a crunchy veggie shell. Oh, and the Peking Duck is divine, and also less greasy than a lot of other places.

The star of the show at Chin Chin is the Grand Marnier Shrimp, a truly unique creation that does not necessarily seem Chinese in its origin, but has earned a devoted following for a reason. It is lightly fried shrimp, served in a creamy citrus sauce, served over lettuce. You just have to believe me when I tell you that this dish will not make you vomit, and that you will love it.  My other favorites include the shredded chicken (it is more like thinly sliced), and anything with soft shell crabs when they are in season.  Oh…and the orange beef.  The ten ingredient fried rice is also a winner, but I get annoyed with the little shrimp, they just seem so out of scale and unnecessary, but asking for 9 ingredient fried rice does not seem the same.  Chin Chin!

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