Chef Andy Yang grew up in Thailand, and that’s where his culinary education began. “My grandma cooked for the king,” he says. “She taught my mother, who taught me. It’s more like Bangkok-style cooking.” He built on that base by working in different Asian countries, solidifying his understanding of Southeast Asian cooking while adding ingredients from all over the continent to his repertoire.
And he’s applying all of that knowledge at Sachi (713 Second Avenue, 212-297-1883), a pan-Asian restaurant that opened last week in Midtown East.
The food, Yang says, is an “eclectic combination of different regions of Southeast Asia,” and the menu covers everything from sushi to dim sum to pad Thai. “My style is very bold in flavor,” he explains. “I use authentic ingredients, and they have to be the best — organic and hormone-free. You’ll find dishes you’d find in other Asian restaurants here, but we put a spin on it, upgraded ingredients, and everything is made from scratch.”
James Beard Award-winning chef Pichet Ong, who created the pastry list for the place, also helped Yang shape the board, and the pair added liberal influence from global cuisines. Yang says that highlights include chicken lo mein, eel tacos, lemongrass poussin, charshui duck buns, and sushi rolls made with scallop and bacon. The chef also says not to skip the massaman short rib: “This is how people should eat massaman. The short ribs melt in your mouth.”
Ong’s dessert list includes caramelized ginger custard, sesame and milk chocolate ice box cake, and yuzu meringue pie. Food pairs to a cocktail list rooted in twists on classics; look for the “Gun Powder Bramble,” made with Lapsang souchong tea-infused bourbon, blackberry liqueur, and lemon; the “Mehkong Martinez,” a blend of sugarcane rum, sweet vermouth, and maraschino liqueur; and the “Jade Lantern,” with vodka, Matcha green tea, lemon, and mint.
Sachi is currently open for dinner seven days a week, and it plans to open for lunch in a week or two — “I want to make sure my kitchen can handle dinner perfectly,” says Yang. He adds that the restaurant plans to keep late-night hours, too, with a kitchen open until 2 a.m.