Danny Bowien at Nom Wah Tea Parlor; Photo: Jasmin Sun
May has been busy for Mission Chinese Food chef Danny Bowien. He was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for rising star chef; previewed dishes like Sichuan peppercorn-coated chicken wings at F&W's offices; and last week, officially opened the NYC outpost of his San Francisco-based restaurant for lunch and dinner.
Bowien recently found an apartment near the new restaurant, but he's no newcomer to Chinatown—which he explored while living in the city prior to the launch of his West Coast flagship. He took us on a tour of this fantastic food neighborhood and revealed his top five places to eat off-duty.
Henan Flavor: “This is my favorite place for Chinese food right now. They do this ‘Big Tray of Chicken’ with pieces of par-fried chicken that have been braised in beer, chili, fennel and Sichuan peppercorns. You have to get them to put their handmade pulled noodles on top. That’s the best thing in the whole world.” 68B Forsyth St.; (212) 625-8299
East Corner Wonton: “I don’t even order the wontons here. I always go for the roast duck soup. It’s so good. I get it with flat rice noodles and some ginger-scallion sauce on the side that I just dump in there. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that or not, but I think it’s awesome.” 70 E. Broadway; (212) 343-9896
Xi’an Famous Foods: “I’m sure everyone already knows about this place, but I love it because it was one of my first experiences with Xi’an-style food. There are like five of these around the city—the one in Queens is the best. I like the lamb face salad, it’s pretty out-of-control. It’s just straight up lamb head. It’s probably my favorite thing here—it’s spicy, tingly from the Sichuan peppercorns, and cold. Some of my favorite Chinese dishes are the cold ones, because they’re really refreshing and clean.” 88 E. Broadway; (212) 786-2068
Super Taste: “This is a step above Xi’an Famous Foods. They have great knife-cut noodles. If I feel like eating noodles, I’ll come here.” 26 Eldridge St.; (212) 625-1198
Nom Wah Tea Parlor: “I think this is the oldest dim sum place in New York. If it isn’t, it’s still historical in some sense. This place has a cool story: the sons took the restaurant over from their parents—I think they wanted to keep the family business. It’s one of the main places I go to for dim sum right now." 13 Doyers St.; (212) 962-6047
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