Location: 13 E. 37th St, New York, NY 10016
Telephone: +1 212 213 2810
Yesterday I landed back in New York City for holiday respite. In good hands, I was given a glass of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Extray Dry as an 8am morning welcome drink. Instant gratification! http://www.freixenetusa.com/cordon-negro-brut-extra-dry-sparkling-wine.php
After that, came a slow morning of New York City breakfast and coffee, some errands (ie, fixing my Ferragammo eel snakeskin pumps at the corner shoe cobbler), and of course, my trusty wine assistant supplied me with a few printed articles of new Chinese restaurants all recently reviewed in NY Times, for me to choose that evening's dinner spot. We also mixed in some Sherry tastings at home that afternoon as we tried to pair which would best suit an upcoming dessert to be published in writing by a notable Chef.
I came to choose Cafe China because its menu online listed Cold Dishes which brought me back to meals eaten with my family on weekends and in Taiwan. Bang-Bang Chicken, Spicy Chengdu Wonton, Spicy Beef Tendon, and classic Snow-Pea Shoots sauteed in garlic. These were all authentic dishes, and it was the closest I could get short of flying direct to Taipei. The ambience also depicted Shanghai 1930s which felt attractive to me.
And so after my classic jet lag siesta pre-fiesta, we showed up for 930pm dinner at Cafe China and I was put to strict orders to order more than what we could eat - typical Soledad style because I want to try everything like Dim Sum! Easily accomplished, I went down the menu list and tick-tick-ticked one item off after the other. Our bright and enthusiastic waiter named Hardy, from Mongolia, became more and more excited with each dish I ordered, as he quickly realized that I was ordering the best dishes in the house. Of course! We instantly bonded and diverted to speaking Mandarin Chinese as he shared some of the nuances between dishes. I was ecstatic for all that was to come next. We also learned that the Chef was a non-American speaking Chinese from Chengdu - and this is exactly what I wanted to hear. Authentic Chinese cooking in New York City, from the mainland.
Cafe China is a newer restaurant owned by an educated and accomplished Chinese ex-pat husband and wife team with notable experiences both from Wall Street. Truly heartwarming service and experience in a cozy Shanghai 1930's ambience - cooking by an authentic Chinese Chef using the freshest and most tender ingredients.
Being a globally well-traveled Taiwanese girl, I am very thankful to have replenished my soul by eating the foods that make me feel like home.