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LES Bites: Wildair, Bar Goto, Yunnan BBQ, Kopitiam, Dumpling Fest

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From Wildair's Instagram: Sorana beans, ricotta, herb tahini.
From Wildair’s Instagram: Sorana beans, ricotta, herb tahini.

Here’s what’s cooking on the Lower East Side restaurant scene:

The New Yorker is a bit perplexed by Wildair, the casual “little sister” of Contra. While there are “consistently interesting tweaks to classic dishes,” Shauna Lyon finds some of the flavor combinations odd. Summing up, she writes, “It might be trying too hard to be noticed, or it might just be original.”

In the Times’ Boîte column, Bar Goto is called “a welcome addition to the Lower East Side night life theme park, more for adults than those just out of school.” The “tiny but adorable” Japanese cocktail bar on Eldridge Street wins high marks for its attention to detail, inventive drinks and a not-too-annoying crowd.

Yunnan Kitchen on Clinton Street is now Yunnan BBQ. Some favorites from the old menu remain, but new family-style dishes are now emphasized, including: Cha Shao pork ribs ($29), one-half fried chicken with sichuan peppercorn ($21) and tea smoked duck ($41). You can check out the whole menu here.

A new Malaysian coffee house called Kopitiam has opened at 51 Canal St. Owner Kyo Pang is specializing in Baba Nyonya cuisine, traditional delicacies passed on from her grandmother. You may have sampled some of her delicate offerings at the Hester Street Fair. More information available on Kopitiam’s Facebook page.

The New York City Dumpling Festival returns to Sara D. Roosevelt Park @ East Houston Street on Saturday. Click here for ticket info.

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