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
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
Everyone knows that Din Tai Fung makes the best soup dumplings ever. And NYC doesn’t have a Din Tai Fung, so when we eat out and order soup dumplings in the city, we are knowingly eating something inferior. We have to make our way through leathery, lukewarm xiao long baos from Joe’s Shanghai and watch in envy as the West Coast keeps getting all the new Din Tai Fungs.Read More
Ever wonder where some of the best chefs in the world like to eat during their time off? It must be really good if it meets the standards of the most discriminating palates. Some of the answers may surprise you, though. For instance, in NYC, chefs like Andrew Carmellini and David Chang highly recommend Great NY Noodletown, a modest, no-frills restaurant in Chinatown. The service is brusque and the surroundings are dinghy, but it’s hard to argue with super cheap, filling food and a no corkage fee.Read More
If you’re in the mood for a quick, casual sit-down meal or for some take-out, here are two spots that you might consider. The first is Baby Brasa, a Peruvian restaurant in the LES run by Franco Noriega, a male model-turned-chef. It specializes in Peruvian rotisserie chicken and also offers a small selection of healthy salads, sandwiches and seasonal sides. The male model angle initially piqued my interest, but by the end of the meal I only had eyes for the chicken. The meat is tender and extremely flavorful, and prepared in a clean and healthy way, so that you can preserve your abs the way Noriega preserves his six (or eight?) pack. My only complaint is that the quarter chicken is way too small. Spring for the half chicken, which is more than double the size, order a side of the arroz con choclo, an addicting mix of jasmine rice and white peruvian corn, and you’ll have a solid meal.