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Uncle Lou

  • Restaurants
  • Chinatown
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Uncle Lou
    Photograph: Courtesy of Uncle Lou
  2. Uncle Lou
    Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
  3. Uncle Lou
    Photograph: Courtesy of Amber Sutherland-Namako
  4. Uncle Lou
    Photograph: Courtesy of Delia Barth

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A terrific new Cantonese restaurant that's great for groups.

If New York City has become boring recently, nobody told Uncle Lou. 

Chinatown local Louis Wong opened Uncle Lou on Mulberry Street with a lengthy menu in a large venue late last year. His “dream to contribute to Chinatown’s exciting dining scene” that “exemplifies the vibrant intergenerational dynamics that makes Chinatown so special” is now a confirmed reality. 

There was already a twenty minute wait at 6:45pm on a recent weeknight, when a smattering of hopeful parties populated the entryway. A few seats were available at the bar adjacent to Uncle Lou’s 75-seat dining room. 

The restaurant is warm and buoyant with a convivial, casual dinner party atmosphere. Globe lights and lanterns are suspended overhead. A long banquette spans the length of one brick-lined side and tables in various configurations populate the rest of the space. Everything seems abundant. 

Uncle Lou’s menu is divided into standard categories: Dim sum, noodle soup, beef, chicken, seafood and so on. The “lo wah kiu favorites” column “takes grandparents back to the Cantonese villages in Toisan, Sunwui, Enping, and Hoiping.” That list is a couple dozen dishes deep, including lamb or oxtail stew casserole ($24.95/$29.95), pan-fried lotus root and pork patties ($18.95) and a terrific half chenpi duck ($14.95). The duck is sliced and generously plated, enrobed in a lightly tangy, near-sweet sauce that’s speckled with citrus rind. It's prepared to the ideal doneness under a manageable layer of pleasant fat. 

The vegetable section’s Buddha’s delight ($16.95) is also overflowing and vibrantly bursting with sliced lotus root rounds, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and hunks of tofu laced with dainty rice noodles. Crucially, the “mixed vegetables” as they’re undersold on the menu, retain a fresh snap where they should, and the integrity of each one’s individual flavors and textures are intact. 

Another highlight from the dizzying array of the kitchen’s bright spots, the HK-style char siu lo mein ($8.50), tops its noodles with a lovely layer of carefully cut swatches of smoky pork, only the best of which make it to the plate. The substantial, lunch hour-priced item is tucked away all the way down on the menu’s lower left hand corner, which stirs curiosity about what other soon-to-be favorites are hidden in plain sight among Uncle Lou’s oodles of options. 

It’ll be exciting to keep coming back to find out. 


The Vibe: Warmly buzzy like a huge, no-pressure dinner party. 

The Food: An abundance of items including the standout half chenpi duck, Buddha’s delight with mixed vegetables and terrific HK-style char siu lo mein.

The Drinks: A beer and wine permit is pending. 

Time Out Tip: Uncle Lou accepts reservations by phone for any size party.

Uncle Lou is located at 73 Mulberry Street and is open daily from 11am to 10pm. 

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako


73 Mulberry Street
Opening hours:
Daily from 11am to 10pm.
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