Fung Tu opens in the Lower East Side
Wilson Tang (Nom Wah Tea Parlor) and Jonathan Wu (Per Se) amp up garden-variety dim sum with an upmarket Chinese-American spot.
Mon Nov 18 2013
Photographer: Lauren Spinelli
Roasted beets with century egg at Fung Tu
Wilson Tang has a knack for breathing life into Chinatown—he's been the reviving force behind Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the exemplar of downtown dim sum, since he took over for his uncle Wally Tang in 2010. For this Lower East Side spot, the steamed-bun scion bands together with Per Se vet Jonathan Wu to give Chinese-American fare a 21st-century overhaul. At the 50-seat restaurant—furnished with Chinese-lattice light fixtures, a lilac-marble bar and walnut banquettes—Wu puts a contemporary spin on the kind of dishes his grandmother used to cook for him in Yonkers. In his highbrow take on herb-laced eggs, he uses garlicky toon leaf—a motif that also pops up in the oxblood-hued wallpaper—to freshen a star-anise-infused poached meringue. Other upmarket riffs include stir-fried celtuce (Chinese lettuce) with popcorn puree and soy-marinated egg, and soybean-curd dumplings with toasted-barley-infused celery-and-shiitake broth. Renowned Chicago sommelier Jason Wagner (L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon) goes beyond Tsingtao for the bar program: Along with 80 all-natural wines, sake and sherry, there are Asian-inspired cocktails like the the Sherry Xiao Xing (Cocchi Americano, Salers, sherry, saline solution, orange bitters) and an Oolong Spritz (ginseng-and-oolong-infused aperol, prosecco and seltzer). 22 Orchard St between Canal and Hester Sts (212-219-8785, fungtu.com)