380 Lafayette Street
New York, New York
Last night I was lucky enough to get into Chinatown Brasserie on its first night of service. It’s a beautiful, huge indoor space, seating about 400 people, serving what I would probably call “Tweaked” American Chinese food with interesting twists, along with very hardcore Hong Kong Dim Sum. The menu and restaurant concept was refined by the legendary Eddie Schoenfeld, a restaurant consultant well known for his involvement in four star Chinese restaurants during the 1970’s (click for podcast). There are two complete kitchens, one dedicated entirely to Dim Sum production under Chef Joe Ng and the other a full kitchen for main dishes and Chinese barbecue under Executive Chef Tyson Ophaso, a Thai-born ethnic Chinese chef who has trained under 3-Star Michelin Chef Claude Troisgros. During the day and on weekends, the restaurant is slated to produce over 40 different selections of Dim Sum, using Joe Ng’s reported repertoire of over 1000 varieties.
The restaurant on Lafayette Street.
A view of the main dining room from the parlor area. The ambiance is very much 1930’s Hong Kong and Shanghai retro combined with modern fusion, particularly the very loud trance soundtrack playing in the background that evokes something of the discotheque scenes on TV’s “Alias”. I think they should ratchet the sound down a few decibels, because if this is supposed to be a “date” or a “destination” restaurant, you can’t hear yourself think.
Chicken Chow Mein. The American Chinese classic is updated with a giant fried noodle shell, much like a tostada, into which sauteed white meat chicken with vegetables and nicely caramelized onions is poured. A fun starter.
Snow Pea Leaf and Shrimp Dumplings
Barbecue Pork Loin
Beef and Broccoli. Another American classic, updated with high quality Flatiron steak, fresh shitakke mushrooms, fresh sweet water chestnuts, and some sliced hot chillies to add some zing. A Thai-style soy sauce is used to give this dish a slightly different and distinctive flavor from the classic.
Hong-Kong style Seafood Pan Fried noodles, in a reduced chicken stock, with shrimp, mussels, diver scallops, fresh tomato and Thai basil.
If you order too much food, you get to take your leftovers home in these cute microwave safe takeout containers.
Banana and Peanut Butter Parfait
Almond Cake with Raspberry
Chocolate Fortune Cookies
Executive Chef Tyson Ophaso