Season 2 Episode 11

The Chinese Restaurant

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 23, 1991 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
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  • Arguably the first classic episode of Seinfeld. Jerry, George and Elaine are stuck waiting for a table at a Chinese Restaurant and go through a series of mishaps.

    In it; Jerry is getting out of going to dinner with his uncle and then meets a woman who he can't recognize, George is trying to patch things up with his girlfriend but is unable to giver her a call as people won't get off the phone. And Elaine is very hungrey and her aims to get a table and won't quit until she does. To add to the tension the three of then have to eat or they'll miss a screening of the famously bad Plan 9 from Outer Space but it appears that it may not happen. This episode stands for everything that made Seinfeld so ground - breaking as nothing happens but it's still funny and the budget is clearly nothing as it takes place in the same scene for half an hour. The jokes vary from Jerry's hilarious observations, George's misfortunes edging him visibly closer to a complete meltdown and while Elaine isn't given much to do she lights up in whatever one - liner she delivers. James Hong gives a memorable one - time appearence as the Maitre'd. Perhaps the only bad part of the episode is that Kramer doesn't appear, either because he was meant to be agoraphobic or because with the trio's stories there was no room for him but either way it would've been even better to include Kramer's physical comedy in an already excellent episode. All in all The Chinese Restaurant is a brilliant episode of Seinfeld and defines just what the shows meant to us.
  • This was always my favorite Seinfeld episode.

    It was a classic. Simple but really defined what the show was about-nothing. Little insignificant events that make up everyday life is what made this show great-and this eppy. Waiting for a table in a restaurant is a universal thing-everyone in America has done it-and knows how annoying it can be. But, on top of that-the thing that makes this episode in particular soooo funny is the characters reactions~esp. George. As he waits for a woman to call the restaurant on the payphone, the maitre'd yells, "Cartwright" instead of Costanza. Classic. The best part of this eppy and one of the greatest moments is George checking to see 'if she called'.
  • not a bad episode but not the best

    This episode was left to be made later in the series as it was seen as bland and not funny. I think it is a good episode however i can see how the network may have been weary to air it at the beginning of the series.

    The idea is a good one in that this episode does in a way sum up Seinfeld in general "a show about nothing" yet its entertaining.

    I find it funny how George mentions this in 'The Pitch' to Jerry when he says "Remember that time we where waiting at that chinese restaurant?, that could be a tv show" i found this a rather entertaining episode considering its critics said it would fail.
  • This episode is so bland.

    Whenever this episode airs, I look to see what else is on. This show is so basic and bland. There is no Kramer, and he's one of the best characters. I think that is what is missing. With the whole show occuring withing the restaurant, you are just asking for a boring episode. I love Seinfeld and it's one of my favorite shows but I can't watch this one. Thankfully, this is one of the few episodes I do not like to watch and it is also one of the few episodes, if not the only one, without Kramer. If you are new to Seinfeld, do yourself a favor and don't start with this one.
  • a grate episodes

    funy that they cud never get a tabel and that they menchon it in a later episode. one of my favert episode it ti so just cool and as a my first review i sa i say it is one of the best of the best infact it was thot itwas goin to be bad by nbc but it was in fact grat so i say itwas horabil win i found out that it was canceld i say it shud brot back one day let ever one that so this is good doo by by so long . . .
  • Great episode- but a bit overrated

    In this episode, all four of them go out to eat at a chinese restaurant but they get stuck waiting for a table. The whole episode takes place at the chinese restaurant. Many funny things happen, like jerry betting elaine money to take food off of a strangers table. It really is a very funny episode, but i think it might be a little bit overrated. I mean there are alot of boring parts that are probably just there to take up time. In my opinion, the epsiode really should not have been in the chinese restaurant the whole time. With all that said, its still a great episode and definately the best in the earlier seasons, Its just not the "funniest greatest episode of all time" like some people make it out to be
  • Waiting for a table at the Chinese Restaurant... and waiting... and waiting...

    This is one of the classic episodes of Seinfeld; the gang is waiting for a table at the Chinese restaurant, and that's it. That's the plot. They stand around and talk, and it's one of the best episodes of the series! The only thing that would make it perfect would be if Kramer had been there with them; unfortunately, this is an episode that was filmed to be shown early in the second season, but the network execs were nervous about the lack of plot, so held it back. At the beginning of the second season, Kramer never left the apartment building... which is why he wasn't there.

    This episode really shows the strength of the Seinfeld series; the characters, their chemistry with each other, and the writing. Because that's all this episode has, and it works beautifully!
  • One of the best.

    Why this epsiode is called The CHinese restaurent is quite obvious, the whole episode takes place in some sort of waiting room in a chinese restaurent. There Jerry,Elaine en George deal with the pressure of waiting for a table. The way the three characters deal with the situation shows perfectly what Seinfeld is all about, it\'s about normal people handling quite normal events in a hilarious way. The Chinese restaurent is one of the best episodes of season 1 and 2, it\'s fresh yet so reconisible. And that what Seinfeld is all about, normal fresh events but in a hilarious way.
  • One of THOSE episodes...

    This was one of THOSE episodes. The episodes that can't be sorted by any particular category, but you love 'em anyway.

    Such episodes like this include: The Parking Garage, The Airport, The Limo, etc.

    Anyways, great episode! So many funny lines; I don't think I could name them all if I tried.

    THIS is Seinfeld.
  • Possibly the best episode in the series!

    Jerry, George, and Elaine all go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant before going to see \"Plan 9 From Outer Space\", but are forced to wait an incredibly long time for a table.

    This simple concept with which we all seem to have experience, waiting for a table, was turned into comic genius in this wonderfully crafted episode of \"Seinfeld\". Everything about this episode clicked. From Elaine\'s desperation, to George\'s frenetic anticipation, to Jerry\'s levelheadedness, this is a prime example of why \"Seinfeld\" is considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. Not to mention that this episode has the perfect ending.

    As they all come to the realization that they probably won\'t get a table, they decide not to go to the movie, and to not even bother to tell the waiter that they\'re going. As soon as the door shuts, the waiter comes back to the room and shouts out, \"Seinfeld, four!\"

    So, in summation, this is a definitive \"Seinfeld\" episode, truly showing that nothing can indeed be funny.
  • One of Seinfeld's most famous and defining episodes.

    The Chinese Restaurant wasn't the funniest Seinfeld episode ever, but it was very funny, and was pretty much unprecedented for sitcoms. Jerry, Elaine and George wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant in real time. Thats it. Nothing else happens. I guess its not suprising that the network resisted it, but what made Seinfeld so funny was the hilarious disection of the minutiae of society, and that is what this episode did so well. No one else could have pulled this off. I loved the interactions of the gang with the Chinese host, and their increasingly berwilderment with the situation. Particularly George when he realised he missed his phone call because the host yelled "Cartwright". Classic.
  • Slow-burning episode of Seinfeld that never increases in speed.

    An episode that takes place in a Chinese restaurant and is missing Cosmo Kramer. Probably a bad idea for an episode, all takes place on one set. Slow-burning episode of Seinfeld that never increases in speed. I'd rather have another episode like say "The Outing" or "The Voice" or even one like the season 1 episodes, than an episode that not only omits Kramer, but is slow and weak in comparison to a majority of the Seinfeld cannon. There are no diverging storylines in this episode, just one about the three of them trying to get a table at a Chinese Restaurant in time to make a showing of "plan 9"? as i recall... Needless to say I don't re-watch this episode very often at all.
  • I hate Seinfeld, but I didn't hate this episode.

    Yeah, you know it. I have never enjoyed watching television as much as I did watching this episode. I saw this show air because my friend complained about how much more funnier this sitcom was getting; I remember watching maybe 2 or 3 episodes from season 1 which my friend and I fondly disliked. He continued watching the show because my friend had no life and he still doesn't now, lol. To get to the point, I thought watching this episode was a hilarious expirience because it is so simple which helps making no room for flaws (like one of my favorite films 12 Angry Men), one location, one brilliant plot. The episode had funny dialogue which was a hot seat Seinfeld never managed to lead. -M
  • Boring

    I love Seinfeld but honestly this was a boring episode. Nothing worthwhile happens!

    "Oh No Mr Cohen ALWAYS here. He Live On Park Avenue" Jerry ???? LOL.. That one sentence sums up American bigger than you think. Think about it . Perfect. I take off .5 because KRAMER isn;t in it and Elaine is QUITE Whiney in this one. I love the Chinese perfect. Listen for Larry David's first voice Elaine begs for an egg roll "What Wha'd she say?" Kramer probably didnt go cause he;s too cheap to pay. Kramer almost never paid for food lol