If I can make a quick joke here, I would say that Pinch Chinese is loosely translated to “pinch me, because this food is just too damn good”. That was my experience when I headed to the new Soho hot spot late last week to experience their comforting Chinese cuisine that included out of this world dumplings, insanely tasty broths, and more.
We have covered news in the Manhattan area about other places that serve unique and interesting dumplings (Take Beyond Sushi for example), but Pinch Chinese goes above and beyond this concept with the taste and execution of each one they make. The menu itself is designed, like so many others in Manhattan, to have plates that are shareable with your party as the items on each section of it have so many fantastic options that you will want to try more than just one.
The location itself is about a 10 minute walk from the 6 train and a couple others, which isn’t too bad even though the weather we have been having has been making walking almost unbearable for any sort of commute. Nevertheless, the service was wonderful throughout our meal, with the setup of Pinch Chinese having two seater options on the right with larger groups dining on the left. It’s size is moderate, as most Manhattan locations should be, although the spacing I did find to be a bit cramped at times.
That doesn’t deter from the food, which was simply spectacular. The items on the menu range in three different arenas: First, Second and Friends, which is pretty self explanatory except for the latter in friends which is designed for the shareable options. However, I think each section is shareable as the excitement on both myself and my friends faces were pretty evident throughout the meal.
Here are the highlights from that night. Let’s start with the dumplings. You have meat, seafood and vegetarian options to try for, however we opted to do a bit of both with their Seafood & Pork Surf Dumplings, which were simply divine. I’m a big fan of surf and turf, and these do not disappoint. The soy sauce is a great add on, however it may not be needed based on the taste level that each dumpling brought to our mouth.
I do think the next dish is more of a fall/winter type given how hot it was, however it was superb and my favorite item that night. This was their Seafood Stew & Rice, which came with mussel, clam, octopus + sichuan peppercorn and a side of white rice. The broth in this dish was spoon licking good, and complimented the seafood itself brilliantly. It might be the one stew where the actual broth outdoes the seafood inside of it, and was the highlight of the night.
Other standouts on the menu include their Three Cup Chicken with Bell & Evans Organic Chicken and Shallot in a yummy sauce. I know what Bell & Evans tastes like, as it has a much cleaner and higher quality taste which you can totally get with this dish as it is swimming in a sauce that makes you want to dive in head first to try. In their “Friends” category, a simple Sichaun String Beans with Niman Ranch Pork will be a great side dish for any of the above and tasted greatly. Overall, Pinch Chinese exceeded our expectations and I think this is a great place to try the next time you are in Soho.
For more information on Pinch Chinese, please check out their official website.