Hwa Yuan in Chinatown

hot tang tang noodles (NOT the cold noodles with sesame sauce)

What do you do when a restaurant runs out of its signature dish? This would be like going to Momofuku Ssam Bar and finding out they ran out of the pork buns, or walking into Russ & Daughters only to discover that they were out of bagel and lox for the day. The equivalent of this happening at Hwa Yuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant run by deceased restaurateur Shorty Tang that was recently revived by his son in its original space, is if it ran out of its famous cold sesame noodles.Read More

RedFarm Upper West Side

The server at the UWS branch of RedFarm was pretty upfront with me in describing the food there as Americanized Chinese food, which I thought was super helpful in setting expectations. You shouldn’t come to RedFarm expecting cheap plates of tasty dumplings or noodles. This is Chinese food for rich white people, so prices will be at least double, and American tweaks will be made to some traditional recipes such as putting Katz’s pastrami meat into an egg roll or adding applewood smoked bacon to scallion pancakes. Some of the mashups are actually quite good, and others will leave you wondering where your money went.Read More

Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan NY

tim ho wan…without the crazy lines

Tim Ho Wan is a wildly popular dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong due to its reputation as the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. My friend Terrence described the food there as “first world flavors at third world prices,” which is pretty accurate. So naturally there was a lot of fanfare surrounding Tim Ho Wan’s first US opening in NYC last December. There were stories of epic waits just to get on the waitlist for a seating that would happen hours later. Adam Platt on Grubstreet said that a three hour wait was worth it.Read More

Pinch Chinese in Soho

saturday night at pinch chinese

When you hear that a former executive chef of Din Tai Fung is making soup dumplings in Soho, you run, not walk, to that restaurant as soon as possible. While the soup dumpling scene in New York is improving, nothing quite compares to Din Tai Fung, and since we’re not getting a NYC branch anytime soon, I figured this might be the next best thing. We dropped by Pinch Chinese, the restaurant in question, on a Saturday night, praying that there wouldn’t be epic waits for a dinner table.Read More

Shu Jiao Fu Zhou, A Fujianese Hole in the Wall

pork and chive dumplings at shu jiao fu zhou

There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Chinatown that you wouldn’t think twice about. Shu Jiao Fu Zhou, however, is one you should actually step into, despite the misgivings you might have about its dingy signage and furniture. The only one with second thoughts will be you, because inside there will be a ton of people, mostly consisting of Chinese locals and a few in-the-know diners, happily eating their way through a bowl of noodles and dumplings.Read More