Restaurant Review: A Chinatown Noodle Dynasty Returns in Style

Chien Lieh Tang is the chef at the resurrected Hwa Yuan, and although his cooking is not hard to appreciate, a little orientation may help. First, a warning: Those who believe that the only good Sichuan food makes you weep, sniffle, moan, call 911 or crawl under the table will need to adjust their standards. Hwa Yuan serves many family recipes that reflect an earlier stage of Sichuan cooking and Shorty Tang’s time in Taiwan. While chiles are often present, they rarely dominate. Nor does the kitchen try to lard extra umami into every dish. The best food at Hwa Yuan tries to impress through charm, not arm-twisting.

Family pride being the point here, dishes that carry the names Tang or Hwa Yuan tend to be excellent. Not, I’m afraid, the Hwa Yuan dry-aged shell steak, which got…

Read Story