In the midst of all this craziness about the Corona Virus in China, I felt it was very important to demonstrate that there really is no risk in dining at a Chinese restaurant here in New York City. It sounds scary, and do take precautions when traveling, especially overseas, but by all means: go out to eat! I happen to love Chinese food, so I went. And I’m perfectly fine. Below you’ll find three of my absolute favorite Chinese restaurants. Even if you’re a bit unsure about the current events, at least go try them when all the drama has passed, because the spots are truly great!
My friend and (amazing) hairdresser, Theresa, is a bit of a jet setter, she’s been all over the country, and just recently told I just Had to try Hakkasan, which has a few locations here in the US. So when one of my girlfriends wanted to try it for her birthday dinner, of course I was game. Can I please tell you how beautiful this place is! It’s a labyrinth of chambers, winding on the large ground floor, so much, I got lost twice on the way to the bathroom. It’s dimly lit, the tables tops are made of marble, it’s just gorgeous. The food is not cheap, but it’s worth it! We ordered so much food, and absolutely everything was beyond delicious. Zero complaints here!
We ordered the Hakka Dim Sum Basket with scallop siu mai, Chinese chive and prawn dumplings, and black pepper duck dumplings. Next to it we ordered the Vegetarian Dim Sum Basket with morel crystal dumplings, lotus bean curd rolls, bamboo dumpings and chive flower dumplings. The main courses were a Honey Roasted Chilean Sea Bass, Spicy Cbilean Seabass with Sanpei Sauce, and Mango and Kumquat Crispy Chicken. On the side we ordered Peashoots with garlic, Egg and Scallion Fried Rice and Hakka Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms, egg, and bean sprouts. Our desserts were a coconut cake, and Nashi Pear Orchard, which was absolutely stunning. All the ingredients were placed in a way that it looked like a little garden, it was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
For more info on Hakkasan click here
Hutong is fairly new here in our city, and it took up the old Le Cirque restaurant grounds, which was beautiful to begin with, what Hutong’s people turned this place into something stunning! Dark and glitzy, roomy and elegant, you immediately feel glamorous as you enter. It smells great, I see people in mumbling conversation, nothing is loud, it’s classy and demure. I dined with my sidekick, my daughter Sasha, and we couldn’t get enough. We were both so ready for a new interpretation of Chinese food, we saoked up the atmosphere, and inhaled the excellent food.
We started with Hot & Sour Pork Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), which were orange in color, and Yu Xiang Crispy Pork Dumplings, which were black in color. Beautiful and delicious. Our mains were Sanchen Spiced Chicken with dried chillies, star anise and cumin seeds, and Zhen Jiang Pork Ribs braised in ahead black rice wine vinegar. We also ordered the Seafood Fried Rice with shrimp, scallions, died salted fish and ginger. Needless to say, there were no leftovers….
For more info on Hutong click here
This place is not as fancy as Hutong or Hakkasan, but don’t get it twisted, they stand right next to them when it comes to flavor. Located on Third Avenue, not too far from Grand Central Station, this roomy restaurant is as authentic as authentic can be. A couple of guys from from Shanghai came together and opened this place in order to bring the most authentic taste to New York City, and the menu can attest to that. I’m quite the foodie, but I still shy away from pig’s ears and the likes, which to me means: this place is for real. I might not order the uncommon items, however, whatever I do order is going to be the way their grandma cooked it. That’s exciting to me.
I was by myself, so I didn’t order that much, but the Crab Soup Dumplings were of course my first order (I can never, ever get tired of these). To my left in a little kitchen area, a lovely older lady was making them by hand, and it was awesome to watch her go! I had a little pallet cleanser via Tossed Fragrant Tofu with Ma Lan Tou, with was delicious and refreshing. I then had the Sautéed Chicken with Hot Chili with peanuts, peppercorn oil, hot sauce and sesame. All I can say is: What an awesome place, I’m so glad I found it.
For more info on Little Alley click here