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“Outstanding soup dumplings - non-existing service”

Grand Sichuan International - Chelsea
Ranked #3,948 of 14,592 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: US$21 - US$30
Cuisines: Chinese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery
Neighbourhood: Chelsea
Reviewed 8 May 2014

Locally living friends took me here after they had already praised the restaurant's soup dumplings on our lovely walk on the near-by High Line. I listened with awe to stories about long lines of customers waiting outside this inauspicious- looking joint at dinner time.

On this sunny May afternoon the restaurant was empty. The staff greeted us in a manner somewhere between indifferent and blatantly rude. It is a no-frills joint. The interior is, in the style of so many low-price Chinese restaurants decorated with empty bottles, crates and upside-down chairs and tables. (Don't bring your romantic date.) We conquered the table at the window overlooking 9th Ave, premium seating, nice for people watching. (May be you can bring your date anyway?)

The dumplings - I admit - were the best I have had outside of South East Asia.
If you are not accustomed to soup dumplings be warned: Do Not Bring Your Favourite Shirt or Trousers!

Spicy Sichuan dishes headline a large menu of low-priced Chinese fare. I saw dan dan noodles and tea smoked duck on the menu but had no space in my stomach. I need to come back!

The bill was ridiculously cheap. We paid for the three of us what I would have regarded as very reasonable for one person. (But then I live in high-cost Sweden.)

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1  Thank Kurt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 - 46 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2013

They move you in and out at lightning speed, which can be a little frustrating, but the food is pretty good for American-style Chinese food. They do have a Sichuan menu, but I've never ordered from that section so I can't speak to the quality. The service is no frills, but fine. The real reason to eat here is that you can walk in with a group of people, order enough food to stuff yourselves silly, and end up owing only $15 each.

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Thank slsnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

At one time, this was the pride of NYC when it came to authentic Sichuan cuisine. Now, it's just a joke. The food is passable at best -- generally too greasy and barely distinguishable from the spicy fare you can order at your local take-out Chinese joint. The real issue is the service. To say this restaurant is indifferent would be putting it charitably. No one really has any interest in walking you through the menu or answering questions. But the worst part for us came when a fish dish we ordered suddenly surfaced as a chicken dish. "You'll eat it, right?" asked the server, who then seemed incredulous when we actually said we might prefer the dish we ordered. No apologies or explanations. Apparently, the yuppified customer base -- have they every been to a decent Chinese restaurant in any of NYC's Chinatowns???!!! -- doesn't notice. Oh, and don't surprised if the staff rushes you out -- they'd rather turn over tables then worry about making customers happy. Currently, the restaurant gets a B from the city for sanitation, but it's worth noting they were shut down about a year ago for a failing grade. My guess is that if their attitude about sanitation is anything like their attitude about service, they're probably back to a failing grade. (And it really doesn't seem all that clean -- boxes are piled up everywhere.) I'd advise you to avoid at all costs... There's a much better Sichuan place on 8th Avenue nearby and there's also Legend on 7th Avenue.

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Thank chazpbg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I love that the first section of the menu says "American Chinese Dishes". So they want you to know that they know. I love it!
then comes the Sichuan section with all kinds of good stuff - I loved the twice cooked string beans with chicken - just right. But they also have a few items for most other areas of china mixed in. We haven't found the specialties yet, but are looking forward to going back to dig through the menu deeper.
One note: they normally serve beer cool (not cold) which is customary in many parts of China. But if you ask for really cold beer, they have that too!

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Thank 6Continents2toGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

This restaurant makes good affordable Chinese food but I'd say it's specialty is 'xiao long baos' - soup dumplings. The sign of authenticity in making xiao long baos is the ability to retain the soup in the dumplings; so the chef here must be incredibly authentic. Very flavorful soup coats your mouth when you take a small bite to first break the dumpling skin and slurp the yummy soup. Give this place a try!

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

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