Chinatown Solace for Tong Shui Fans

Indeed, this is a lousy photo. To be honest, we were too busy enjoying our dinner to think of you until the prettier items had been inhaled. (For the record, the "braised stew beef" might not be photogenic, but it was delicious.)

But then we did think of you, dear reader, especially those of you who, like us, are still mourning Manhattan's loss of Sweet n' Tart Cafe and Sweet n' Tart Restaurant. XO Kitchen, on Hester Street, isn't new, but this was our first visit, and though the menu meanders as far as Japanese dishes and European influences (specifically, the cheese-filled casseroles we were not man enough to try), there are also items almost identical to some of our favorite Sweet n' Tart dishes. Among them, egg noodles in soup with pork and shrimp dumplings, salt-baked spare ribs, a few tong shui options, like our favorite peanut-filled glutinous dumplings, and fresh juices like papaya and watermelon.

Of course, there is still Sweet n' Tart in Flushing, but you should add XO Kitchen to your Manhattan Chinatown list. And don't miss the sticky rice with Chinese Sausage.

XO Kitchen 148 Hester Street (212) 965-8645

Sweet n' Tart -- Flushing 136-11 38th Avenue (718) 661-3380

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