Chef Josh “Shorty” Eden of August (791 Lexington Avenue; 212-935-1433) is a native New Yorker, and he’s spent his life hunting down amazing local eats. He worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten for twelve years, and spent time in China’s biggest cities before working with several Chinese concepts here at home. So he takes Chinese food seriously. And with confidence, he proclaims the dim sum from chef Joe Ng at RedFarm (529 Hudson Street; 212-792-9700) to be the best thing he ate this past month…which he did on quite a regular basis.
“Being a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, I have a certain affinity for Chinese food. My mother taught a lot of Chinese students at Washington Irving High School, and many of their parents had restaurants, so I grew up eating all Chinese food around and consider myself somewhat of an aficionado. I also spent time working on my own Chinese concepts and have spent time in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Around the city, I go to certain Chinese restaurants for certain things, and for dim sum I go to RedFarm.
“Chef Joe Ng is the most talented dim sum chef in New York, no question. I’ve been eating his food since he worked in a restaurant on Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn, and I can say confidently that he’s the most talented dim sum chef we have. He makes all of his own dough, and it shows. His cuisine is super progressive overall; the Katz’s Pastrami Egg Roll is amazing.
“The crab and pork soup dumplings are incredibly traditional but also so well made. In general, soup dumplings are pretty challenging to make because the filling and dough both need to be just right so that you can handle them. Many people don’t know how to eat a soup dumpling the right way: you put one on a spoon, poke a hole in the top, pour in your ginger and vinegar, suck out the juice, and then eat the dumpling, rather than just putting the whole thing in your mouth at once. To be able to do that, the dough has to be thick enough and the filling has to be worthy. Joe’s are beyond superior.
“To reconfirm how much I love them: I went a month ago and then went back two nights ago just to have them again. If you want fantastic dim sum, RedFarm beats anywhere else in the city.”
Where do chefs go to eat on their nights off? We’re asking them — and they’re divulging the best things they’ve eaten in the last month in this weekly column.