Tonight, David Chang opens the next addition to his Momofuku fleet, Nishi, at 232 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea. This is the first new eatery the restaurateur and fried chicken pusher has debuted in five years—the reboot of Momofuku Ko notwithstanding—and true to form, he's taking his empire in a new direction. Ko alums Josh Pinsky and Carey Hynes are set to be turning out a hybrid menu of Korean and Italian-influenced dishes; "If people want to call it fusion, well fuck you. It is fusion," Chang railed to Lucky Peach. "Tell me what food isn’t fusion?"

The restaurant's menu hasn't debuted in full yet—surely the fangirl Instagrams will be blowing up tonight—but Chang teased a su jae bi/malfati dish—"essentially the same thing as chicken and dumplings"—a grilled sweet potato with vinegar, burned garlic, hoisin, chilies and crispy fish; and a cacio e pepe made with fermented chickpea paste instead of parmesan.

There are Italian words on the menu but we’re not trying to make Italian food. We’re not trying to make a Korean restaurant. We’re trying to do something that we’ve never done at Momofuku. We’re inspired by Italy but we’re not using any Italian ingredients. Things are moving at light speed here.

The chef also took the opportunity to criticize the implication that Asian food has to be cheap. "Why? Not one person has given me a reason why. All the ingredients that we’re getting are top quality, and just as expensive as any other restaurant," he points out. "We’re replacing the parmesan with our own fermented chickpea paste that took us six to nine months to make. So fuck you guys. I’m not getting on the phone and ordering a wheel of parmesan. Don’t tell me that I can’t charge like Italian food."

Okay Dave, but at some point do we stop getting yelled at and get to eat?

Prices are also likely to be higher since Nishi won't be accepting tips. "Bottom line is we want to pay sous chefs, cooks, and dishwashers a living wage," Chang reveals. The chef points out the insane margins every NYC restaurant deals with and the struggle chefs and back-of-house staff endure to make any money. "We want to be able to grow as a company so we can provide for more people. This is a way we might be able to do that. And if it doesn’t work, we can always go back to the old way."