A one star review like the one Sam Sifton awarded to Midtown standby Chin Chin can be seen as a blessing and a curse. One the one hand, he's offering some publicity for a dusty old timer. On the other, ouch, it used to have two.
A tipster who dined at the restaurant recently congratulated the owner Wally Chin on his recent review, thinking the restaurateur would appreciate fresh press for his decades old restaurant. Instead he told him that it "broke his heart." Chin elaborates to Eater:
The article was very well written, but the single star was awful. I was very disappointed, and did not feel the rating compared to the writing. The end did not justify the means. The quality of the food and service should be the only things that matter in rating a restaurant. The decor is only secondary to the former.
I appreciate the extra publicity generated by the review, but it became a controversial issue I had to address to my clientele. After the review was published, I received a lot of calls from people inquiring about it. In the end, it brought in curious diners to Chin-Chin and allowed us to strive for better improvements.That's the spirit. New diners! New business! It's not all about the star count.
Now, Chin is focusing on his new project with chef Chris Cheung, Walle. Apparently the project has been in the works for six years and was originally scheduled to open on the Hamptons last year before the economy went sour. He says this new space on West 251 West 53rd St. "allows for seating of 100+ including the bar space. I have lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years and know everyone here."
· All Chin Chin Coverage [~ENY~]