By Taylor Heath
When the entrées are delivered, diners once again realize that the Beijing/Shanghai marriage is one that should last forever.
Anyone will find it difficult to talk about high-end Chinese cuisine without bringing the name ‘Mr. Chow’ into the conversation. Not only has Mr. Chow made us realize that, yes, there is Chinese food beyond what you get at your local take out place, but more importantly that the Chinese food experience can be lavish, trendy, and downright upscale. He has accomplished this through his six restaurants, all aptly named ‘Mr. Chow’, located in Miami, London, Beverly Hills, and New York. In fact, it was the success from his New York Midtown location that inspired him to open Mr. Chow Tribecca (121 Hudson St.).
As you approach the chic-industrial façade, with an iron deck for outdoor seating and floor to ceiling windows shedding glimpse views of the extravagance that awaits inside, you realize again that this is not your local Chinese restaurant. This realization gains further momentum as you enter and are greeted by staff that appears more dressed to be on the way to the opera than to serve you. As they gracefully show the way to your table, you realize yet again why Mr. Chow’s sets himself apart from the others: Mr. Chow himself designs the entire layout and most of the furniture– even the tableware has his signature on it, literally.
Staying with tradition, Mr. Chow Tribecca offers up his signature cuisine that is Beijing-based coupled with Shanghai nuances. The Beijing base builds upon the cuisine that evolved from the Emperors fine palates, keeping the dishes sophisticated and light, while the Shanghai influence represents more of the bold flavors from China, resulting in a combination that is not only elegant, but also exciting.
This exquisite combination of flavors lends its way to appetizers such as the sesame rice-paper wrapped prawns, which were accompanied by an incredible red chili dipping sauce that shared as much sweetness as it did spice. Another dish worth noting is the Chinese water dumplings, a dish that is traditionally served for celebrations. These crescent shaped dumplings are filled with minced pork and napa cabbage, and then boiled in purified water until moist and tender, finished off with a light coating of lemon-ginger soy dressing.
When the entrées are delivered, diners once again realize that the Beijing/Shanghai marriage is one that should last forever. The ‘Fiery Buffalo’ dish is created when naturally lean buffalo cubes are stir-fried in a special XO sauce with oyster mushrooms, bean sprouts, and red bird chilies. The result is kobe-like tenderness in a delicately sweet glaze that is followed by an equally surprising kick of heat as the meat leaves your tongue. Equally as tender was the butter poached lobster, in which whole lobster tails and claws are bathed in butter until perfectly cooked, then served with a choice of three flavor variations: Lemon salt and white pepper, ginger and garlic, or straight black pepper.
To put the finishing touches on this magnificent dining experience, diners may choose from a wide array of desserts. Such dishes of note include a seasonal warm apple-berry tart accompanied with honey ice cream and the far more indulgent molten chocolate soufflé topped with an airy creamed foam and candied kumquats.
121 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013