Fung Tu is finally cooking with gas.
It’s been a long two months, but the gas is back on in the kitchen at Fung Tu (22 Orchard Street; 212-219-8785) and Jonathan Wu is happy to be cooking with it. “It’s been a saga,” sighs Wu. “A contractor working next door didn’t have any permits and lengthened a gas line. Then an upstairs neighbors smelled gas and Con Edison acted really quickly and shut the building off. We were lucky, really, that nobody was harmed physically, but obviously for the business…”
A restaurant with a defunct kitchen? Yeah. Rough.
“We rewrote the menu, which thankfully is seasonal, and it was summer, so we were able to focus on some cold dishes. Then we had some butane burners that we got at New Year’s when we made hot pot, and we borrowed two inductions, and we made it work,” says Wu. But his relief to have his kitchen back to full power is palpable. “Oh, man! I’ve missed so many things!” he says. “The tasting menu is back on! That’s huge for us. The fryer is back on! I’m excited to experiment again. I’m playing with a version of beef and broccoli that uses jerky and dried broccoli, with an oyster sauce vinaigrette.”
Stir-fries are back. Rice noodles are back. Garlic chive scrambled eggs are back. Blistered shishito peppers. Fried rice with rhubarb. Roasted brussels sprouts. The hugely popular chicken wings are once again tossed in mustard sauce, a nod to South Carolina’s BBQ sauce, and to the hot mustard that’s ubiquitous in American Chinese restaurants.
“I am so relieved and happy,” says Wu. “It’s been a very long couple of months. But nothing can hold us back!”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 10, 2015