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Philippe by Philippe Chow

Clad in white elegance and black lacquer floors, this room is as debonair as one might expect from a Chinese restaurant named Philippe. The space soars with supper-club sophistication, central focal points being a circular bar and a large window that offers peeks into the big, bright, spotless kitchen. The fare is fresh and tasty, if not a whole lot different from that at your favorite neighborhood Chinese-American joint. What distinguishes Philippe is price, meaning a considerable amount more than one is used to paying for this particular ethnic food -- though you do get some South Beach scene. Skewers of chicken satay are a signature starter, and the bright orange strips of meat, dyed in carrot juice, are lusciously enlivening via a sweetened, very buttery, hot-Buffalo-wing-like crust. Other high points are the dishes crafted by master noodle chef Wai Ming Cheng -- such as his "noodles with veal bean sauce": firm-to-the-bite linguine-shaped rice noodles topped with a meaty ragout. Dumpling dough is dainty and delicious as well, whether steamed with pork filling or pan-fried and plumped with beef. Peking duck for two is a dandy too, but skip the American desserts.

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