This loud and dark stylized place with its ornate cocktails, Rat Pack-style red leather booths, and electronica soundtrack might look like yet another faux-Asian downtown boîte. Then you tuck into the dim sum and realize that you haven't eaten like this since your last trip to Hong Kong. With a little coaching from famed China hand Eddie Schoenfeld, dim sum maestro Joe Ng offers up a parade of perfect textures and flavors, each dumpling completely distinct from the next. Here are the twisted Shanghainese crab and pork pouches bursting with broth, and the perfectly plump pan-fried pork pot stickers. Here, too, are moist lacquered-skinned slices of barbecued duck, delicate steamed shrimp and snow-pea triangles, and crisp turnip cakes with ham and XO sauce. Ng even turns the usually banal egg roll into a shatteringly crisp—and greaseless—masterpiece.
Tip: Though dim sum is served at all meals, come for a weekday lunch when it's quiet—the room looks both crisp and opulent in the daylight, and the waitstaff is less harried.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.