Nom Wah Tu, the latest dim sum restaurant in Wilson Tang’s growing restaurant empire, opened its doors for the first time last night at 22 Orchard St.
At the end of August, Tang and chef/co-owner Jonathan Wu closed their critically-acclaimed restaurant, Fung Tu, and reimagined the space as a new generation version of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the Tang family’s Chinatown classic.
The interior has been stripped down and refashioned as a more casual, affordable space. High/communal-style tables have been added to go alongside the bar. There are new light fixtures and wall hangings salvaged from the shuttered Kelley & Ping in Soho. For the soft opening, Wu has put out an abbreviated menu that draws from both the Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Fung Tu. There are pan-fried chicken dumplings, shrimp & snow pea leaf dumplings, hot & sour mushrooms and duck wings with crushed peanuts and cilantro. There were also a couple of chef’s specials on last night’s menu, including a Jonathan Wu-signature dish: pan-fried thick noodles with clams and fermented black beans.
Nom Wah Tu has a full bar. There’s a good selection of beer, wine and sake, plus specialty cocktails. The restaurant will be open from 6-10 p.m. tonight. It’ll be closed Monday but open for dinner next week. Weekend brunch is planned at a later date.
Nom Wah is definitely in expansion mode. In addition to the original Doyers Street location, Tang has opened outposts on Kenmare Street and in the Canal Street Market, and recently signed onto the Market Line, the big shopping pavilion that’s part of the Essex Crossing project.
Fung Tu, 22 Orchard St. Photo taken in 2015.
Fung Tu, the modern Chinese restaurant at 22 Orchard St., is closing at the end of August. It will relaunch in September as, “Nom Wah Tu.”
The restaurant was opened in November of 2013 by chef Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, owner of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, purportedly Chinatown’s oldest dim sum restaurant. According to the New York Times, the new concept will emphasize dim sum and other sharable plates. Jonathan Wu will continue to run the kitchen, adding modern twists to classic dishes. The owners say the new spot will be more casual and more affordable.
In the past year, Tang has expanded the Nom Wah franchise beyond its longtime Division Street headquarters, opening outposts on Kenmare Street and in the Canal Street Market.
Spidey’s new costume – via comingsoon.net.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 promotional machine is getting revved up, as filming for the sequel gets underway. The studio has released photos of Spidey’s new costume (see above) and there was lots of buzz in Hell’s Kitchen yesterday, where star Andrew Garfield was hanging upside down. Now we hear the set moves to Chinatown later this week after a few days in Brooklyn.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is taking over the Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street Friday (super heroes love shrimp dumplings). It seems Hollywood is enamored with Doyers Street. Remember those scenes from Premium Rush last year? In addition to Garfield, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse in Chinatown of co-stars Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx or Sally Field. Nom Wah will, as you probably guessed, be closed Friday, reopening Saturday.
Doyers Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa/nythroughthelens.com.
Editor’s note: Black Friday is, of course, in full swing throughout New York City. Whether you’re braving the crowds today or over the weekend, there’s no better post-Thanksgiving, post-shopping treat than a good meal in Chinatown. And as Wilson Tang, the second generation owner of the Nom Wah Tea Parlor points out, there’s never been a better time to show your support for your favorite neighborhood restaurants.
As a restaurant owner in Chinatown and a lifelong Lower Manhattan resident, I wanted to write a few words to encourage people to dine downtown in the upcoming days and weeks — and especially to come check out Chinatown, a place that’s dear to my heart.
Now more than ever, Chinatown needs customers in its restaurants and shops. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you Hurricane Sandy really did a number on the neighborhood’s commerce. Long after the storm passed, businesses continued to suffer. The losses from spoiled produce and seafood were in the thousands for places like my restaurant, which uses a lot of shrimp. The worst part is that the residual effects are still being felt by most businesses, since rent, utilities and labor costs just keep accumulating. It would not surprise me if some restaurants don’t make it in the upcoming months.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers Street.
Editor’s note: The following article is from Wilson Tang, the owner of the Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown:
How do you decide whether a Chinese restaurant is any good? Do you check out the customers to see if any Chinese people are actually eating there? I know a lot of people do — and some of them are turned off by too many white diners. But I’ve gotta tell you, it’s a pretty messed up way to choose a restaurant. As a guy who grew up in Chinatown, surrounded by family in the restaurant business, I definitely have strong feelings about this topic.
Two years ago, I took over the Nom Wah Tea Parlor from my Uncle Wally, who’d run the place (a Chinatown institution) since 1974. In some ways, not much has changed from the good ol’ days. Our longtime Chinese “regulars” are here every morning when we open at 10:30, just as they have been for decades. Dim sum is traditionally a morning and midday meal, so it’s no surprise that Nom Wah, Chinatown’s oldest dim sum parlor, was historically busiest early in the day. What’s different is that I have put a lot of energy into a “dim sum for dinner” campaign, creating a late day business that never existed before.
This feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. This week, we are featuring Wilson Tang of the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, who was appointed to Community Board 3 this spring. (Wilson was also featured in our print magazine this month).
What do you do?
I run one of the oldest and coolest restaurants in Chinatown, Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street, aka “The Bloody Angle.” The street where gang violence was huge and now, not so much. It’s just a rad street with awesome dim sum and a post office.
How long have you lived on the LES?
I’ve lived on Allen Street between Canal and Hester since my childhood days [except for when] my folks moved me out of the neighborhood and into Queens. It had something to do with the gang violence back in the day, but I was back on Allen through college, when I attended Pace University for my undergrad. My ’rents still live there, but I live in FiDi now with my wife.
Here’s a reminder this afternoon about a few enticing offers in our print magazine. Online readers – don’t be left out!
First, you have a few more days to answer our very simple trivia question — for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Clinton Street Baking Company (see the inviting photo posted above if you need motivation). Just go to our Facebook page to take part.
Second, pull up the Nom Wah Tea Parlor coupon on your mobile device for a free dim sum dish any evening through 8/2012. You can use the QR code in the magazine or go directly to Nom Wah’s page on The Lo-Down.
Finally, get $2 off any purchase at Barramundi, the Clinton Street watering hole, when you show your coupon from the magazine. For this one you’ve got to get your hands on our “analog edition.”
What's next for Oliva, the tapas place at Houston and Allen? April Bloomfield takes a pass.
Restaurant and bar news in advance of the weekend:
- Is the new Pok Pok Wing on Rivington Street living up to all its hype? The first round of feedback is mostly good. (Eater)
- Balancing good coffee with long prep times: a tour around the LES and East Village’s java shops. (DNA Info)
- A behind-the-scenes slideshow of Nom Wah Tea Parlor. (SeriousEats)
- The Grand Street CSA has new farmers for 2012; meet them and register for the new season at an event on Jan. 30. (GrandStreetCSA)
- A visit to Booker & Dax, the new high-tech cocktail bar that just opened in the old Milk Bar space. (NYT)
Illustration by Elizabeth Daggar via newamsterdammarket.org
A few food headlines from around the neighborhood today:
- The New Amsterdam Market holds its first Peck Slip Pickle Festival on Sunday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. On tap: 75 vendor stalls, including 20 serving pickled and fermented products, three regional beers, a talk by Mimi Sheraton on pickles and bialys and more.
- The Village Voice‘s Fork in the Road blog samples the fare at Masala Wala, new on Essex Street.
- The East Village’s pizzeria boom continues: Chef Michael White (of Marea and Ai Fiori) talks to the NYT’s Flo Fab about plans for Nicoletta, his new pie place on Second Avenue at 10th Street.
- Metromix checks in on LES newcomers Viktor & Spoils and Grit ‘N’ Glory.
- If you didn’t get enough Nom Wah news here yesterday, check out the lovely profile of the historic dim sum parlor Amanda Kludt wrote for Eater.
Photo via Nom Wah Tea Parlor's Facebook page. Wilson is the tall guy in the center.
The historic Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street has been serving some of the best dim sum in Chinatown for generations. These days, the New York Post reports, it’s also one of several businesses making Chinatown a “hot” nightlife destination. In the past year since 32-year old Wilson Tang restored, updated and reopened his family’s restaurant, he has become a popular guy both in the mainstream and social media worlds.
Just the other day, Wong Fu Productions, the YouTube sensation, were in the restaurant to shoot a video for Asian supergroup Magnetic North & Taiyo Na (see photo). As the Post article points out, some people (including City Councilmember Margaret Chin) welcome the new nightlife scene in the neighborhood, where the “sidewalks are rolled up by 9 p.m.” Others, however, are dismayed, seeing the threat of gentrification as “hipsters” and other “tastemakers” descend on Chinatown.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor is hanging in there. Better hurry, might not be open much longer!
Nom Wah Tea Parlor proprietor Wilson Tang emailed us last night with news of a little get-together at his newly renovated Doyers Street restaurant. Everyone’s invited to stop by July 27th for a “Summer Get Down in Chinatown,” co-sponsored by Wilson and Craig Nelson, the creator of the new Chinatown Chowdown iphone/ipad App. You can check out the Facebook events page for more info. In other tea parlor news, the restaurant will be staying open later on Fridays and Saturdays (until 10 p.m.) to satisfy your late night dim sun cravings.
It’s been a good week for Wilson Tang of the Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street. He was part of a big spread (and multimedia video piece) in the Times this week.
And now the State Liquor Authority has finally approved his liquor license application. Wilson emailed us last night with the news. Within hours, Nom Wah was serving a selection of beers and wines with some of Chinatown’s best dim sum. Back in April, Wilson suffered through an eight hour Community Board 3 meeting, before the SLA Committee voted to support his application.
It’s going to be a big weekend for Wilson. he’s getting married (the restaurant will be closing early on Saturday, at 4 p.m.)! Congratulations to Wilson and Mae, his wife-to-be!
It’s been quite a week in food and restaurant news on the Lower East Side. In case you missed our new monthly feature about restaurant inspection grades, be sure to check it out; it’s coming your way on the second Wednesday of every month. Our article yesterday about Painkiller’s trademark infringement lawsuit went viral on Facebook and Twitter today, spawning a boycott of the suit’s plaintiff, Pusser’s Rum. In other news around the neighborhood:
- Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor talks about the new generation of Chinatown restaurateurs in a New York Times article and video.
- With backing from Sasha Petraske, Milk and Honey bartender Sam Ross plans to open a new bar called Attaboy at 134 Eldridge St.; Milk and Honey is moving uptown this fall.
- The team behind The Randolph bar and coffee shop plans to open an actual restaurant a few doors down from its current location, at 343 Broome St.
- Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton says she’s “barely interested” in talking about food these days.
- Cafe Charbon at 170 Orchard is closing, a move that’s been expected since it transferred its liquor license elsewhere earlier this year.
He waited… and waited… and waited. Finally at 2:30 a.m. – eight hours after arriving at Community Board 3’s liquor licensing hearing last week – Wilson Tang won the committee’s approval for a beer and wine license. Last Friday, I stopped by the historic Nom Wah Tea Parlor (est. 1920) to check in with Tang, who recently reopened the restaurant after completing a major restoration of the Chinatown institution.
Was the wait worth it? Wilson says “yes,” although it will probably be a couple of months before the State Liquor Authority signs off on his application. Nom Wah is not following in the footsteps of its naughty neighbor, Apotheke. Some customers have simply been requesting a beer or a glass of wine with their dim sum — and Tang wanted to accommodate them.
On Friday, the “New York Times Effect” was readily apparent. Following last week’s “$25 and Under” column, every table was filled throughout the lunch hour. The clientele was mixed: some Chinatown regulars, some tourists, a few uptown visitors.