Our Place Shanghai Tea Garden

16. October 2006 Chinese, Midtown 0

141 East 55th Street between Third and Lexington
$365 for eleven, with drinks, without tip
♥ ♥

It was a challenge to organize the Dr.’s second birthday celebration with his married friends but they all showed up for brunch with their children at Our Place. (Part one was at Le Bernardin and tapas with wine at Jadis the night before.) Once all the Bugaboos and BabyBjörns were all set aside, we sat down and enjoyed the dishes selected for us by the kitchen staff. We all started with a mixed plate of appetizers: a vegetable and shrimp egg roll, two soupy buns and two shrimp shumais. Then they passed around the main dishes: beef, chicken, baby bok choy and mushrooms, all in semi-sweet brown sauce.

They gave me the impression that they were extremely busy on weekends because they called twice to confirm my reservation for twelve people. We walked in at noon but we didn’t start eating until at least 1pm and we still had the space towards the back to ourselves. I appreciated that we were never given attitude even though it took us all three hours to eat and pay the bill, babies crying and all. Go to any of the restaurants in Chinatown for a more down-to-earth meal without the orchids, but stay in midtown if you want an English-speaking waitstaff with plenty of patience.