Nom Wah Tea Parlor
13 Doyers Street (Pell St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 962-6047
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Cuisine: Dim Sum
2nd Cuisine: Chinese
Nom Wah Tea Parlor is Chinatown's oldest dim sum house. Opened in 1920, the restaurant is located off the beaten path on Doyers Street, a narrow street with a number of different angles, that has a somewhat sorted past. In the 1930's it was reportedly known as the "Bloody Angle" after a number of shootings linked to the Tong Gangs of Chinatown. Today, the street is home to restaurants and a cocktail bar.
When you think of dim sum, you think of good things in small packages. Mini steamers filled with dumplings and other goodies rolled up in rice wrappers that are either steamed or fried. Nom Wah's dim sum ranks among the best. Delicate shrimp dumplings mingling with snow pea leaves are as tasty as they are beautiful. A personal favorite of mine, steamed spare ribs, are cooked perfectly in a black bean sauce. While it's a little messy dealing with the bones, it is worth the effort. Also worth seeking out is the fried crab claw. It's coated with a minced shrimp paste turning it into a giant ball with a crab claw handle.
Other dim sum offerings include bacon-wrapped shrimp, rice rolls stuffed with minced beef and drizzled with sweet soy sauce, and chicken feet cooked tender in a vinegar and sugar broth. Plates of dim sum range from about $3.50 to $5.95 for "The Original" egg roll and are meant to be shared. Larger plates, including salt & pepper shrimp, sweet & sour ribs and pan-fried noodles run between $8 and $10.
Nom Wah is a neighborhood gem that is currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance as it becomes a popular destination for hipsters and tourists in search of a culinary adventure.
Review By: Thomas Rafael