We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way.
This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”
When Chinatown Brasserie opened last year, its high production values and pointedly non-challenging menu misled many of the city’s self-appointed Asian food experts into dissing the place. But the city’s Chinese community was well aware that Joe Ng, the dim-sum chef there, was the city’s finest and one of the top in his field nationwide. (The process of making dim sum is a complicated one and demands its own chef and its own kitchen.) We dropped in on a recent Saturday morning to see how Joe did it and invited former Almond Flower chef Chris Cheung to help us with our eating.
Kitchen Insider: Chinatown Brassiere [Video]
In January, dim-sum aficionados reveled in the news that Joe Ng, the city’s top dim-sum man, was being promoted to executive chef of Chinatown Brasserie. Indeed, we named Ng’s creations the best in the city. Now the cook has introduced a new lunch menu centered on his delicate Cantonese-style work. The dim sum (beef and scallion buns, lobster-tail tempura, fried lobster-and-cream-cheese sticks) is complemented by a number of light dishes (wok-fried noodles, udon omelettes, and various kinds of soup noodles). If you’re still hankering for the heavier dishes they were serving at lunch, you can get them by special request. But as far we’re concerned, the new menu is all you need to know.
Chinatown Brasserie lunch menu [Menus]
We recently heard from our friend Francis Lam, a connoisseur of Chinese food who had some intriguing things to say in response to our post on the wooing of Chinatown Brasserie's Joe Ng by Bensonhurst restaurateurs.
"Frankly speaking, the dim sum I know of in the city just doesn't match up to the best stuff in Hong Kong and Vancouver. What you can get in those and other places is much more in line with Joe Ng's work at Chinatown Brasserie, which I would definitely call head and shoulders above anything else here. (Secretly, I'm glad he's being headhunted back to a Chinese community in Brooklyn, where it will be more affordable and the product turnover will be higher.)"
Okay, Francis. So where do you get decent dim sum in the city?
Whether you're ragin' for Asian or perfectly fine with pizza and meatballs, this week's weekly roundup of roundups delivers.
Continuing its quest to find the mother of all bánh mìs, Porkchop Express breaks bread at Pho Sàigòn and A Chau Deli. [Porkchop Express]
Five K-towners that go beyond grill-it-yourself. [NYT]
Some dim sum. Okay, a lot of dim sum. [amNY]
Artichoke renditions, from the dip everyone gets at Freemans to the slice everyone gets at DiFara's. [NYDN]
Ed Levine: My (top five meatball) heroes. [Ed Levine Eats]
Tien Mao wolfs 25 slices in search of Strong Island's best. [Gothamist]