Chinesean at Chin Chin

MTChin Chin is primarily a lunch spot, but it has a night-time feel to it.
Chin Chin serves "Chinesean" food, or at least that's what's written on the front of the menu. Other than this amusing orthographical error, however, Chin Chin tends to get things right. It may be located on the basement level of a shopping center, but it does have its own separate entrance. And as the main dining hall is almost entirely separated from the rest of the arcade, it doesn't feel like you're eating in a food court. In fact, considering that Chin Chin would seem to be counting on attracting the weekday lunchtime crowd, it doesn't strike you as a typical lunch spot -- though it does offer free Wi-Fi. Its large main room is dark but cozy, with the bar area bathed in deep red lighting -- quite the opposite of a Pret a Manger-style place.

Chin Chin serves some European dishes from a buffet in a smaller open section off the main hall, but the dishes of interest are on the Chinese menu. The concise selection of Chinese choices includes hot starters such as spring rolls (215 rubles) and eggplant with meat (199 rubles). There are four varieties of rice: simple jasmine (79 rubles), with pineapple (199 rubles), with beef and Bulgarian pepper (99 rubles) and with seafood (175 rubles). There are some two dozen mains, including Thai-style dorado (425 rubles), Harbin-style sea bass (350 rubles), Peking eel (435 rubles), duck with ginger (329 rubles) and lamb curry (299 rubles). The two priciest dishes are the Peking duck (1,199 rubles) and the khei kha crab (1,400 rubles).

There is a reasonable range of cocktails and spirits. Bottled beers include Hoegaarden, Heineken, Asahi and Kirin, all 150 rubles for 330 milliliters. Although not listed on the menu, there is draft Heineken available at 180 rubles a half-liter.

Chin Chin has been operating some strange and irregular hours -- Saturdays are unpredictable and on Sundays it's closed -- so call first if you're planning on coming anytime other than a weekday at lunch.

10 Ul. Arbat, inside the Staraya Ulitsa shopping center, 980-7026, weekdays 10 a.m.-last customer, M. Arbatskaya.