Café China is, strictly speaking, a Sichuan restaurant and its chef Lu Ziqiang is a native of Chengdu, but there are clearly traces of Cantonese (e.g., the dim sum menu) and Shanghainese cuisine as well. Indeed, the restaurant’s design in inspired by the cosmopolitanism of 1930s Shanghai where “the East is embracing the West for the first time.” There is a retro exoticism to the décor with photographs of starlets gracing the pale green walls and a vintage bird cage dangling from the ceiling.
The cuisine is, on the whole, very fine, with signature dan dan noodles having a delightful torque from a roasted chili vinaigrette and stir-fried Chungking spicy chicken melting under the heat of red chili peppers. There is also dim sum, including steamed soup buns and crystal shrimp dumplings. The fact that the restaurant received a Michelin star is a bit bewildering, but the restaurant shouldn’t be penalized for that: simply consider it an excellent addition to the city’s Sichuan dining universe, enhanced by the unusually atmospheric design.
13 E. 37th St.
New York (nr. Fifth Ave.)
212-213-2810 Mon-Sun, 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
- Lu Ziqiang, Chef
RECOMMENDED DISHES See All
- Shanghai Spring Rolls
- Steamed Soup Buns
- Shredded Pork Sandwiches
- Crystal Shrimp Dumplings
- Dan Dan Noodles - noodles with minced pork chili vinaigrette
- Pork Dumplings in Chili Oil - Szechuan pork dumpling in chili oil
- Spicy Chengdu Wonton - wonton in Szechuan peppercorn & vinaigrette
- Chungking Spicy Chicken - stir fried diced chicken with red chili peppers