Eddie Schoenfeld is a bubbly fellow who lives in Brooklyn and happens to be an expert in Chinese-restaurant cooking. After years studying with exiled Chinese chefs in France and here, he went on to help open Shun Lee West, Pig Heaven, Auntie Yuan’s, Chinatown Brasserie, and many other restaurants. We asked him where to celebrate Chinese New Year, the eve of which is February 6th.
The best way to do Chinese New Year is to order in advance and get a banquet. If you can’t do that, you want to get some of the typical menu items which the Chinese New Year traditions associate with luck and money – “prosperity dumplings,” for instance, or dried oysters with black moss. Chinatown Brasserie, which I have a professional connection with, is doing great things with Joe Ng’s dumplings, as is Shanghai Tea Garden, whose chef, Tony Yip, was at Shun Lee for many years. And of course Shun Lee itself is venerable, having been doing their northern style, very fine mandarin cooking for many years. It’s more full-flavored, herbaceous, garlicky, and oniony style, as opposed to the lightness of the Cantonese style at Chinatown Brasserie.
Schoenfeld also told us about a new Hong Kong–style noodle shop at 13 Mott Street:
It’s very good; it’s a genre of Cantonese shop that specializes in fish balls and cuttlefish balls, with thin egg noodles and a very long-cooked broth with a sophisticated favor. The place is very modern and clean, too. It’s in the old Sun Luck Kee spot, which was the same restaurant for 20 years and always successful; I think this one will be too. Joe Ng from Chinatown Brasserie says it has the best noodles in Chinatown.
Having lured Joe Ng to Chinatown Brasserie from Brooklyn, Eddie must’ve perked up when he heard that — and we did too. We are hasting Mottward immediately.