Pinch Chinese New York | Pinching You Softly

Pinch Chinese, located on Prince Street in downtown Manhattan, is a restaurant known for its soup dumplings, small plates, and plenty of Sichuan and other Chinese mains. With a black-framed storefront facade, it might seem minimal but the amount of glass allows for passerby to catch enough of what’s happening inside the restaurant.

Enough to get people to walk in and try.

Enough to get people to wonder why it’s called Pinch Chinese.

Through its glass storefront, you will notice the modern and chic interior with the right amount of cultural decorations and details. You can also see the different kinds of seating provided in the restaurant, the open bar, and the window opening that reveals the dumpling-making area of the kitchen in the back of the restaurant. Guests can sit on high chairs at tables or the counter along the wall by the entrance; or more intimately at the bar with a few drinks, or at tables beyond the bar for bigger groups or families. The ambiance makes it a solid dining location for a date, small gathering or family dinner. The further back of the restaurant you are seated the closer you are to the soup dumpling chefs working hard and pinching away to create some of the best soup dumplings in New York City.

Starting off with some soup dumplings is without a doubt, a must! Whether it be pork, chicken or seafood & pork dumplings, it definitely won’t disappoint. Arriving at your table, the six soup dumplings sit beautifully in a bamboo steamer, ready to be devoured. You will quickly realize that these soup dumplings are extremely pretty with rather thin skin, unlike the baggy and saggy ones you usually see. But it doesn’t mean the ones at Pinch aren’t juicy and full of delicious broth. It is rich and full of flavor and will leave you wanting more.

The Wind Sand Chicken is made from organic chicken that has been marinated for two days. It is topped with freshly roasted garlic, giving each bite an extra layer of flavor. The chicken is surprisingly juicy and tender while the chicken skin is extremely thin and crispy. The Snow Crab in a Chinese Restaurant is a glass noodle dish with a fermented black bean sauce and topped with snow crab legs. The sauce is extremely charming yet luring, and you will find yourself finishing faster than expected to. As a side, the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce goes really well with the Steak Fried Rice. The garlic sauce complemented the simplicity of the fried rice and added onto the aroma of the eggs blended with the rice.

Throughout the meal, guests can choose from an extensive list of varieties of drinks from beer to wine to cocktails, or whatever works best with the food. To finish the dinner off, there’s dessert; typical steam buns also in a bamboo steamer, but filled with a surprising white chocolate and dark chocolate filling. If you’re a fan of Chinese buns with sweet fillings like red bean paste, then this dessert twist will be just right for you.

Pinch: Grip tightly and sharply between finger and thumb.

Pinching is an important step and procedure in making soup dumplings; the step to seal all the flavors, broth and meat in each dumpling and making sure nothing spills out in the process. Exactly what Pinch Chinese is doing, enwrapping everything they have to offer – from food to atmosphere, within every one of their guests, leaving more than just a simple impression.

Pinching you softly and leaving a mark…

Words by Tom C. Lau, Photography courtesy Pinch Chinese Restaurant & Grub Street