Jing Fong, the largest dim sum restaurant in the northeast, debuts their darling smaller sibling Monday evening when the Upper West Side extension soft opens. The palatial downtown restaurant boats 20,000-square-feet of space for dozens of carts to meander through big banquet tables. By comparison, the new restaurant has only 2,000-square-feet—and sadly, no carts.
The clattering carts have been omitted, but owners are hoping the 10-seat Chef's Counter—where diners can overlook chefs creating the bao and dumplings destined for the bamboo steamers (or the fryer)—will make up for it. Another enticement is the outdoor patio which seats 40. And you don't have to leave your table to track down the har gow, so there's that.
All the classic dim sum dishes are available uptown, like bbq roast pork buns, vegetable dumplings, turnip cakes, shrimp wontons and siu mai. Those who didn't take advantage of Jing Fong's kitchen entrees might be more inclined now that it's all menu-based. There are dozens of possibilities from eggplant in garlic sauce, to wok-seared noodles, to honey walnut prawns. The only thing missing: the chicken feet, a sad omission. We're told the phoenix claws might be added to the menu later or served occasionally as a special.
The restaurant has a full liquor license that includes about a dozen beers and a similar amount of red, white and rose wines. Cocktails have names like "The Wall" (rum-based with sugar, bitters and club soda) and "Listening to the Wind," (blended whiskey, papaya juice, lime, palm sugar and sage).
There are no carts to track down at the new location, but here's a refresher on the dining experience at the Chinatown original.
Jing Fong is located at 380 Amsterdam Avenue, 646-678-5511; jingfongny.com