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“Duck tongue is a must”
Review of Cafe China

Cafe China
Ranked #504 of 14,396 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $50
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Midtown
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

Thank Fernando_BH
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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295 - 299 of 401 reviews

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?

Thank JasonArroyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

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Thank melb0urnef00die
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank Ira R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

I was so disappointed with this restaurant and to be honest it will be a long time until I can try another Chinese restaurant again. It really did put me off that much.

I will point out that I lived and worked in different parts of China for more than five years so I am no stranger to authentic regional cuisine.

I had dumplings to start, fragrant fish fillet and chicken for mains with side vegetables and rice. I have no idea what element of the meal made me ill, but it was not good and I feel nauseous even thinking about the food here!

On the plus side, I did like the decor but nothing else.

Majorly disappointing. Money totally wasted and a horrible next day!

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1  Thank JJwoking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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