When a restaurant gets a lot of hype, half of me wants to try it and half of me wants to avoid the crowds and inevitable disappointment. Still, the combination of history and promising dim sum made me check out the Nom Wah Tea Parlor in New York’s Chinatown.
Yes, it’s a restaurant, but I was probably more turned on by the style of it and back story (as highlighted by the Gray Lady). That’s why I brought along the lovely I Yum New York lady to serve as the official food critic for this tea party (in the nonpolitical sense of the term).
We’re both used to getting our dim sum from rushed ladies pushing carts around crowded restaurants. That was what my first dim sum experience at China Pearl in Boston was like, and I use it as my measuring stick. The furthest I’ve gotten from that is Ping Pong in London, but London’s so damn cool, it can almost do no wrong.
What’s the Nom Wah Tea Parlor like? Faded on the outside, and sweet like a Georgia peach on the inside. Seriously, it’s got some sort of southern diner charm going on inside. But it works. I especially love the bathroom sinks that are small enough that they wouldn’t look out of place on a train compartment. Are they original?
Out of the seven plates we ordered, I loved the roast pork bun the best. Unfortunately, on the hot July night we went they were all out of red bean ice cream, but there wasn’t much room left in my stomach for it anyway. Head over to IYumNewYork.com for the official and trademarked food review.
The night ended with a couple of celebrity sightings: the Rent is Too Damn High guy (eating takeout while sitting in a parked car covered in his own photos, naturally) and Goldenstash (stuck near the Fung Wah station to Boston, naturally)