Celebrating Mother’s Day in Noisy Style

My wife and I spent part of this past weekend celebrating Mother’s Day with our two families. The festivities included dinner at CinCin, a classy Chinese restaurant in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia that is a favorite of my family and which I wrote about in late 2021. 

The restaurant sits near the eastern end of a stretch of Germantown Avenue that is known for eateries and browse-worthy shops. It’s been around since at least the 90s, when I used to eat there with my then girlfriend who lived in Chestnut Hill. Both the exterior and interior are more elegant than is typical of Chinese restaurants in the U.S.

It was packed when we arrived and remained that way throughout our meal. There were a number of parties that appeared to be celebrating the holiday a night early. While nothing in particular about the restaurant’s interior would lead me to believe it would be excessively loud in there, the noise level Saturday night was brutal, making conversation very difficult. 

CinCin is in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.
This large decorative glass was right next to our table.

The menu is a mix of traditional Chinese restaurant fare with a few pan-Asian and jazzier dishes.

My wife started with hot and sour soup, while I went for pan-fried dumplings filled with ground pork, scallions and cabbage. I don’t order dumplings as often as I used to but was suddenly craving them Saturday night. These were on the small side, but very good. They came with a soy based sauce. 

Hot & Sour Soup
Pan-Fried Dumplings
The soy-based dumpling sauce

Crispy spring rolls and steamed crab saumai rounded out the appetizers at our table. Everyone seemed pleased with their first courses.

Crispy Spring Rolls
Steamed Crab Saumai

Our entrées arrived within a couple minutes of the appetizer plates being cleared. That was probably a good thing given the noise level.

Four of us ordered shrimp dishes. My mother – the evening’s star – and stepfather each selected jumbo shrimp in Thai sauce topped with crushed peanuts, which looked very good from my vantage point. My sister opted for grilled shrimp and vegetables, and I had jumbo shrimp with honey walnuts.

My lightly breaded shrimp were perfectly cooked in addition to being genuinely jumbo. And the sauce had a touch of vinegary tartness that contrasted well with the sweetness of the honey walnuts.

Jumbo Shrimp in Thai Sauce
Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables
Jumbo Shrimp and Honey Walnuts

My brother had chicken with cashews, which also looked excellent, while my wife went vegetarian by ordering tofu with black bean sauce.

Chicken With Cashews
Tofu With Black Bean Sauce

As was the case with the appetizers, there were no complaints to be heard after everyone had finished their entrées. Of course, I likely wouldn’t have heard them if there had been. 

While everyone enjoyed the food, I would only return to CinCin during an off time. When I had lunch there about a year-and-a-half ago, my friend and I arrived early and it was a perfectly pleasant experience with no difficulty conversing. 

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the Moms reading this. Here is a shot of mine with me in our hotel room at Niagara Falls during the summer of 1969. She chose my outfit.

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

9 thoughts on “Celebrating Mother’s Day in Noisy Style

  1. That is a very interesting and creative menu. I can’t say that I’ve seen a Chinese menu that had so many unfamiliar selections to choose from. Most Chinese menus don’t stray too far from what every other Chinese restaurant offers. So I applaud them for their inventiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A loud restaurant can completely destroy a meal. It’s really misery, especially when one or more at the table is highly susceptible to loud noises. Banging dishes, loud talking, cackling laughter. Disgusting. Just because people are out for a good time doesn’t mean they should ruin the evening for others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree! Noise is becoming a real problem in many places I go and owners compound it with increasingly loud music which drives the diners to speak louder. It can ruin the meal as you said.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We enjoy reading your blog! Your distinctive perspective and authentic voice are game-changers in the world. Keep sharing, because your thoughts have a lasting impact. Thank you for being yourself!

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