Maybe the red and white checkered tablecloths gave it all away. The pictured dish of pan-fried noodles with superior sauce was, indeed, from Nom Wah Tea Parlor at 13 Doyers Street (212-962-6047), which Amprost guessed correctly. Congratulations, Amprost. Please email me to claim your cookbook.
The noodle dish is one of the 56 dim sum items featured at this old-school tea parlor (the oldest in the city, in fact), which had shuttered a few times in recent years, and finally underwent some recent modernizations, both in terms of the space and menu. So what can you expect in the new surroundings?
The restaurant immediately recalls a cha chaan teng, which is a sort of diner/tea shop hybrid commonly found in Hong Kong, though you won’t find the milk teas and pineapple buns, which are hallmarks of cha chaan teng cuisine. Here, it’s dim sum (and then some!): steamed buns, rice rolls, fried delights, and larger specialty items.
Shrimp rice rolls were tasty and piping hot.
The house special roast pork bun arrived steaming and fluffy. The roast pork inside was succulent and not overly sweet, though we wished there had been a little more filling.
Shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings came slightly open-faced, with sweet shrimp and just a touch of verdant bitterness.
Fried dumplings were a surprise hit, crunchy yet toothsome, with a filling accented with shiitake mushrooms.
A little on the bland side, steamed spareribs were tender and garnished with black beans and chopped green pepper.
Sui Mai were chock full of sweet, delicious shrimp and pork.
All in all, Nom Wah proved to be an excellent spot — both in terms of food and atmosphere — for a dim sum lunch, and we’ll definitely be back again soon. Dim sum and tea for two was $31 after taxes and tip, and we left the restaurant happily sated, like little dumplings ourselves.