I’m celebrating Chinese New Year over on the WNYC blog series (Welcome, by the way, if you made it over here from there).
The latest: They’ll make you rich, and they’re tasty too
I was fortunate enough yesterday to get to celebrate CNY with Ed Schoenfeld, noted authority on food (and Chinese food in particular). He suggested Chinatown Brasserie, where he’s a consultant and where he installed Joe Ng, genius dim sum master, formerly of World Tong in Bensonhurst.
Ed is a font of anecdotes, restaurant lore, and dining advice. I learned that you should go to dim sum early — not, as I had always mistakenly assumed, because of the lines that form later on, but because the food starts to get old, tired, and stale. Go at 11.30am, and you’re sure to get the fresh stuff. (The chef’s been there since 5am.) I also learned that the optimal way to get a lock on those tricky little xiao long bao without puncturing them and losing that precious soup is to dip your chopsticks in the vinegar sauce, then pick one up. Also, the best way to achieve a nice firm texture and added flavor when you fry enormous Puget Sound oysters is to blanch them first in salty water.
Ed believes that Joe belongs right up there in the chef firmament with Keller, Boulud, Vongerichten, and the rest. That Joe is three-star Michelin material. And I don’t know that I disagree. This is pretty amazing dim sum.