Gong xi fa cai

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.

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4 Responses to “Gong xi fa cai”


  1. 1 joyce February 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    looks amazing! we definitely have to go there the next time i’m in town. my question is: what’s the best strategy to eat soup dumplings w/o burning your tongue? my strategy has been to place said dumpling in a spoon, bite a vent, slurp some of the soup once it’s cooled, and then proceed. am i being a weenie?

  2. 2 winyang February 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    We’ll go, promise. And dude, that’s exactly the strategy you should be using. We may be thicker skinned than you Koreans, but the hot soup hurts us too.

  3. 3 jerusha February 15, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    been here, w? seems worth checking out….
    Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House
    86-08 Whitney Ave. (near Broadway), Elmhurst, Queens
    718-639-3996

  4. 4 Laurent April 8, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one thinking Chinatown Brasserie’s dim sums are so good…and so underrated if you ask me. Certainly among the best I have had the chance to eat over the past few years(including in HK, China and here in Sydney).

    I’m a big fan of your writing btw, including in Art of Eating. Keep up the good work.


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