Monday, June 28, 2004


20 Mott St @ Chinese Church, 212-964-0380

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Cost per person: $12
"YGWYPF" factor: 7/10 (you get what you pay for)

This was a chance discovery. I was flying back from LA (from the Mt Whitney hiking trip), and had an Asian person sitting right next. When we landed, after a 4 hour sleep for me, I asked her where she was headed. Lo and behold! She lived 2 blocks from my place! So we split a cab, and in the absence of any common theme, start talking about food. I gave her a few suggestions in Chinatown, and she returned favor with this recommendation.

Since then, I have visited this place 3 times already - and that's just in a week's time. So now you know which way this review is headed.

First off, this is a very different dim-sum place. Unlike the traditional ones where people roam around in carts and speak absolutely no english, or Mandarin, or anything other than Cantonese for that matter - Sweet and Tart has dim-sums up for order. If you go for a lunch on weekdays, you have all of 3 menus to choose from! One's for dim sums, one for drinks, and one for special dishes. The restaurant (20 Mott St) has Chinese, Japanese and English in the menu, with a brief explaination of each item. The cafe is cheaper (?), faster (definitely), and has a reduced take-out style menu.

Definitely recommended: the carrot-apple-ginger-celery fresh juice. Tea is served in nice little metal pots, and the leaves are left steeping in the pot, which makes the flavor stronger with each successive pour.

For dim-sums, there's hardly anything that I didn't like - except the Sticky Rice Balls With Hazelnut, which was rather sweet - should have been listed under desserts instead. Steamed Shrimp Dumpling, Steamed Spareribs & Bean Curd , Shanghai Style Steamed Pork Dumplings and Steamed Beef With Bamboo Piths are all awesome. Stay away from Pan Fried Scallion Pancake if you don't like too salty, too oily stuff.

For lunch items, I liked Beef With Tomato over Rice and Minced Beef over Rice. Try the Pan Fried Noodle Casserole With Dried Scallops, Ginger & Scallions or the Sliced Chicken with Chinese vegetables. There are a few dishes prepared in Japanese style, that's a little different from the usual fare at Chiantown places.

This place is supposed to be really good for desserts and after-lunch drinks - but unfortunately my office does not allow me that much free time!


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