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“Wonderful surprise”
Review of Pearls

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Pearls
Ranked #6,461 of 13,684 Restaurants in New York City
Neighborhood: Midtown
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Midtown
Level Contributor
53 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wonderful surprise”
Reviewed April 18, 2012 via mobile

I decided to give this place a try and was not expecting much. I ordered off their takeaway menu and for under 10 bucks got a real good meal. The hot and sour soup is as good as any you will find and my main, Szechwan beef, was cooked well and very flavorful. The restaurant it's self is under impressive, but if you want a well above average meal at well below average prices this is your spot.

Helpful?
1 Thank Coldclipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    6
    6
    1
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Despite Appearances, Great Value Chinese”
Reviewed March 3, 2012

First things first: there are two kinds of Chinese food in NYC from a tourist's point of view --> expensive full-service places like Shun Lee (very good) on one end of the spectrum, and delicious but inexpensive places like Pearls (outstanding value) on the other end. I've been going to Pearls for a long time. The place has been very consistent over many years -- something you can't say for most places in Times Square where stores and restaurants change like the weather.

Pearls has a standard fast-food type Chinese menu focusing on Szechuan and Hunan-labeled dishes. What sets it apart from other Chinese is that the food is a bit better (very tasty even though the place looks like a hole in the wall), they don't skimp on meat in the dishes (very common at this price range), and despite being in a tourist area, the value is excellent. You can get a good lunch for $6 (beverage is extra) and dinner for $8. The restaurant also tends to be a favorite among the working stiffs in the neighborhood. You'll see a stream of workers in suits come in to grab their take-out during lunch time.

Seating in the restaurant is spartan on the first floor, but there's a second floor with more chairs and tables. Service is abrupt but efficient and very quick. And the prices can't be beat at this level of quality.

I saw someone complain that certain dishes aren't sufficiently spicy. Simply ask them to make a dish spicier, and they will. Remember that many Europeans and South Americans (e.g., Brazilians) don't generally eat spicy food, so the hot spice tolerance level for tourists from these places is often low, and restaurants try to keep their dishes tourist friendly.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Two-Wheel_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Affordable Chinese food near Times Square.”
Reviewed June 30, 2011

Very close to Times Square. Not crowded. Very fast service. Food was OK, the spicy dishes were not very spicy.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mightmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“As good as it gets”
Reviewed May 16, 2010

Pearls was fantabulous...
Lobster rolls were as good as you would expect if you were standing at the harbour waiting for the fishing boats to come in at Halifax harbour in the spring.
The seafood was great, the chowder was perfect and the atmosphere was pure nyc....
No complaints other than the prices. However, know what youre in for and plan accordingly. ie...bring lots of cash!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank foodmanToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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