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Best Chinese Restaurant 

Jen Jen's

If you don't give a damn about aesthetics but crave authentic Chinese fare, Jen Jen's will be an epiphany. Located in a dreary building just south of the T.J. Maxx parking lot at 91st Street and Metcalf, Jen Jen's has a décor best described as utilitarian. Some tables are draped with flimsy sheets of plastic, and there's an aquarium filled with brackish-looking water at the entrance, just across from a refrigerator case filled with soda. But the clientele comes for chef-owner Sun Lee's cuisine. His menu lists plenty of dishes rarely seen on local menus, including shark fin's soup (rather costly at $25 a bowl), steamed chicken with dried lily flowers, and fish maw soup (made with the gas bladder of a large fish). On weekends, sexy veteran waiter Ken Tse oversees the dining room. "Ninety-five percent of our customers are Asian who want food that tastes like home," Tse says. Some standout choices are crispy shrimp balls (dip them in hot chili sauce at your peril), braised short ribs in black-pepper sauce, braised pork and taro, and fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp. Sure, you'll find sweet-and-sour pork and young chow fried rice, but it's the unfamiliar that's most satisfying.

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