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Hwa Yuan

42 E. Broadway (Catherine St.) Send to Phone
212-966-6002
Chef Shorty Tang’s original cold sesame noodles have returned to Chinatown.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch & Dinner daily
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Hwa Yuan, New York, NY

Hwa Yuan Restaurant Review

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About the restaurant & décor: In an enormous space next door to the original Hwa Yuan Szechuan Inn (which closed some 30 years ago), chef Shorty Tang’s Sichuan-inspired influence lives on thanks to the dedication of his son, chef Chen Lien Tang. With Hwa Yuan, Lien Tang has brought back to life the originator of the Chinese restaurant staple cold sesame noodles. The three-floor emporium, a former bank (note that the bottom floor has the original vault), is the setting for family-style dining served with a joyous formality. If that sounds like an oxymoron, it truly isn’t here. Service is as professional as it was in the restaurant lauded in the 70s and 80s, and the mirrored ambience encourages guests to dress up for the experience. Tables are set formally with china embossed with the venue’s logo, and there are many rounds accommodating larger parties.

Likes: Return to classic somewhat formal Chinese restaurant dining.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: Although the menu has some modern (and less successful) dishes like Caesar salad and sushi, pretty much everyone goes for the classics: Peking duck, the cold sesame noodles and soup dumplings. Hwa Yuan suggests its Beijing (Peking) duck signature dinner (served for a minimum of four people), a seemingly endless extravaganza of noodles, soup, and protein dishes that’s more food than four people need to eat at once. If you choose this option, come with a large group and order wisely so you can share and supplement with other selections. Expect a glistening presentation of the duck with pancakes, scallions and hoisin sauce. Try some Szechuan dumplings, too. These gems don’t often appear on menus and here they nicely reflect Sichuan tradition rather than the contemporary tendency to over-spicing. The whole fish in hot bean sauce with chile oil, fermented soybeans and chopped scallions is a worthy non-meat alternative. If you have any room after your Peking duck feast, you can have mochi for dessert. Wine and saké are offered along with cocktails and beer.
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