Shun Lee Remains Closed as Health Department Details the Violations

High-end Chinese restaurant Shun Lee West at 37 West 65th Street remained closed as of Friday night after health inspectors shut it down earlier this week because of health violations. A message on the restaurant’s answering machine said they’d been closed due to “unforeseen circumstances” that it hoped to rectify by the weekend.

Inspectors said they found evidence of mice, roaches and flies. See the violation report below:

Violation points: 59
Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.
3) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
4) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
5) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.
6) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
7) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
8) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
FOOD, NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Iris Agar says:


    2. Mantonian says:

      Oh how the mighty have fallen!!!

    3. Sean says:

      Dirty and disgusting!

    4. Culture Vulture says:

      Wait! Here’s a simple solution:

      The nearby Metropolitan Opera is doing “The Exterminating Angel”

      Maybe, when he’s not performing, they could get the title character, Angel-the-exterminator, to swing by and get rid of the filth flies and cucarachas.

    5. Anthony Smith says:

      Ye gods! Sounds as those the DOH should have been there sooner and more often!This cannot have happened just in a few months…. When was the previous inspection??? Who did it? Has that inspector’s record been checked? Sounds very “curious…”

    6. Cloreen says:

      Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people. The few times I’ve been to Shun Lee the service was dismissive and rude, especially so in the cafe. Maybe this will bring them down to earth a bit, but I’ll never set foot in there.

      • Cat says:

        Whenever I read comments like this I wonder how you or any complaining customer has treated the wait staff. We’ve been going to the restaurant and cafe for over 30 years, and the staff has always been friendly, attentive, and professional.

        • Cloreen says:

          You know nothing about me, you have no right to cast doubt about how I act in restaurants or any other situation.

          I am not a rude or demanding customer. In fact, I despise others who I witness acting otherwise. I realize those working in the industry are often underpaid and overworked, and try to give them the benefit of the doubt when there is a minor or even modest lapse of service. That said, it is the hospitality industry, and I expect the staff to act accordingly. I expect to be acknowledged within a reasonable period of time of being seated; at Shun Lee I’ve sat 15 minutes without anyone so much as looking my way. I’ve had servers offer dim sum to tables on both sides of me but ignore mine. I’ve ordered drinks that never arrive. Never even the simple act of a smile. I can’t say anything against the food, what I’ve had has been acceptable, but being there has left a bad taste in my mouth. Coupling this lack of service quality with a hefty paycheck makes for a bad combination in my book.

          I’ve also walked on the street when their delivery people have quite nearly run me or others over with their scooters, without displaying any sort of reaction, let alone remorse. They also have a penchant for disposing of soapy water or some oily concoction directly onto the sidewalk, where slippery stains are often plainly visible.

          I wish I could say I felt otherwise, I’d be happy to patronize a high-end restaurant that offers attentive, if not friendly, service, but they have done nothing to warrant that from me. If nothing else, the fact that the restaurant had been warned and had many weeks to rectify problems that had been found in September is directly in line with the experience I have had there. Instead, I’d prefer the cramped, noisy, long waits at Red Farm for that meal, or travel out of the neighborhood, rather than revisit Shun Lee if it reopens, especially in light of these unseemly, dangerous and disgusting health violations.

          That all said, to each their own, so if it reopens and if you continue to patronize this establishment, I hope you also continue to enjoy whatever may be on your plate.

          Bon Appetit!

    7. annie says:

      No surprise. The restaurant has been skimping on taste and quality of food for at least two years now. Cleanliness —or its lack— was less evident but hardly surprising. And the customer is always wrong seemed their slogan.
      I certainly stopped eating there and suspect i’m not the only ex-customer! I prefer Red Farm!!

      • Richard says:

        Agree. Lost all interest in this place when a few years ago I ordered Peking duck and it came with Mexican tortillas instead of the thin light floury moo shu style pancakes.

    8. Sherman says:

      Aside from the nice and vermin I always found Shun Lee to be very mediocre and overpriced.

      It’s closing is no big loss.

    9. Sean says:

      We must all now shun Lee.

    10. B.B. says:

      Seems as if the place never or didn’t rectify things from that previous inspection, and upon a follow-up city shut them down.

      Responding to complaints from restaurant/business owners Bdeb and city council have been trying to “work with” restuarants and other businesses who claim the city sees them as a cash cow; constantly imposing fines and so forth.

      After that whole rat infestation at restaurant in Chelsea went viral (and it was exposed DOH inspectors were on the take and or lax) the city went into over drive inspecting and shutting places down. That again lead to charges the city was playing hardball. So now we’ve seen a kinder and gentler approach. And look what that got…

      This place should have been shut down several weeks ago when issue were found. Rather than remain open (and keep their “A” rating) while the public was possibly at risk.

    11. Yael says:

      Oh, how vile & disgusting. THANKS, Dept of Health!!

    12. arlene says:

      I see more vacant space on the UWS

    13. Chris says:

      I will miss this place roaches and all. Have ordered weekly for the past 10 years from this place not sure that will continue if they reopen.

    14. Tammy Fesche says:

      I am glad the health Department finally took action
      And close shun Lee I am hopping it closes for good!!!

      Restsurants like Shun Lee that they don’t care
      About the customeres don deserve to be in
      More Poeer to the health Department 👍

    15. I’m shocked and disappointed at these findings!
      I appreciate this disclosure which provides safety
      to the public.

    16. BillyNYC says:

      Too bad – it was my favorite… – NOT ANYMORE!!!

    17. Sean says:

      Trader Joe’s has frozen orange flavored chicken.