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“A little gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe China

Cafe China
13 East 37 St., New York City, NY 10016 (Midtown)
(212)213-2810
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Ranked #1,019 of 12,022 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $50
Cuisines: Chinese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Midtown
Tallinn
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“A little gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Blue walls, soft jazz, attentive staff, a menu that is well laid out with fare that is tasty and eclectic enough to entice the palate
Brings a smile to my face ;))

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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    40
    41
    13
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Duck tongue is a must”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

You gotta have the chili oil dumplings. The duck tongue is also a delicious treat.
Fantastic flavors that lasted for hours on my mouth.
The minced pork noodles where terrible.
Service is fast and polite.
Would deffinitly go back

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Miami Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“So-so Cafe”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

Odds are, you hear about Cafe China because you know that it received a coveted Michelin Star. Perhaps you want to impress that hunny you're dating, and want to show her an upscale Michelin experience, without the cost that is usually associated with such fine dining. Either way, you probably wouldn't stumble into Cafe China off the street as its location, as well as its outward facade are not very notable.

Cafe China advertises a lunch specials menu, which was part of the appeal for this half-Jew. A way to save a few more bucks? Absolutely! Unfortunately, the website does NOT clearly tell you that their lunch specials only are in effect Monday-Friday. Meaning my group's arrival on a Saturday afternoon resulted in paying full price.

We ordered:
Scallion Pancakes
Dan Dan Noodles
Pork Dumplings in Chili Oil
Ma Po Tofu
Sautéed String Beans

Total damage: $60.

Now the price isn't what we were expecting to pay (since the lunch specials run about $10 per person), but it isn't exorbitant given that this is a Michelin starred establishment. However, for what we got, it definitely left something to be desired. The only real highlight of the meal was the Pork Dumplings in Chili Oil. Everything else could have been prepared at a place in Chinatown for 1/3 the cost.

Now I know what you're thinking... a white guy reviewing Chinese food, what does he know. Valid point. Except my grandmother is Chinese (I know, you can't tell) and I had some of the best Chinese food this side of Shanghai.

So if you want to say that you checked off a Michelin star, then come to the Cafe China. Especially if you can make it for their lunch special. Otherwise, you can come over to my grandmother's house for better Chinese food. Saturday at noon?

Visited January 2014
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melbourne
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Spicy!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Great selection of dishes and lovely decor. The service was average and they missed one dish we ordered. Luckily we were too full anyway. Memorable dishes were Pork Dumplings in Chilli Oil and Ma Po Tofu (love the szechuan peppers!) Would go back again just for the food!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Authentic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

This is a non-Americanized menu, so not a place to pick up beef with broccoli or ten ingredient fried rice. Be aware, when you order the tea smoked duck or chicken, it's a piece of duck or chicken with bones, fat, etc. The pork dishes, taste porky, not just textured meat in sauce as in many chinese restaurants. They don't just waive a little hot sauce over the top of the spicy dishes, those guys are hot. Many of the dishes are outstanding, including the dumplings, most of the seafood dishes (but not the fragrant fish, which is neither fragrant nor flavorful). Large portions if you order from the main menu. Given the quality of the food, prices are very reasonable. Any complaints by reviewers about pricing must be based on their living in some alternative universe given general food costs in Manhattan. The place has a Michelin start for goodness sake and they serve a lunch special for 11 bucks!. The main menu is more in the $20 range but you can easily get by with a dish off the main and an appetizer to share for two people. That said, I recommend you order more, you get to balance your meal a bit and taste more of the unique goodies on the menu. Generally quite crowded with efficient service.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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