Erika Chou and Doron Wong’s Rivers and Hills Hospitality Group has opened a string of hits since its founding within the mid 20-teens, led by the wonderful Japanese-Italian hotspot Kimka on Kenmare Avenue, the place chef Christine Lau is on the helm; and the equally nice Thai street-food restaurant Wayla on Forsyth Avenue, which boasts a stunning backyard out again and chef Tom Naumsuwan within the kitchen.
Now Chou, Wong and Naumsuwan have taken over the previous Tartinery area on Mulberry Avenue with Wan Wan, a comfortably appointed oasis of a spot that focuses on Previous Phuket City-style cooking. Thailand’s island province is generally well-known for its seashores — Naumsuwan, who grew up in Bangkok, typically vacationed there along with his household as a child — however it additionally has a singular culinary historical past.
“Phuket was a town where there was a lot of Chinese miners that came in the 18th century, and brought their food and culture with them,” Naumsuwan’s spouse and translator Lalita informed Gothamist final week. “So if you go to Phuket, there’s a section of the city called Old Phuket Town, where all the buildings are Chinese or European style and there’s a lot of dim sum. People go to the beaches and the resorts, and take food tours of Old Phuket.”
The Wan Wan menu showcases the Thai-Chinese language fusion of Previous Phuket City, and is split into two elements, each effectively price your consideration. There are a number of stellar starters (or, when their liquor license comes via, ingesting snacks) within the “shared plates” part, together with Moo Tad Lam Pa, a pile of pork stomach bits, sticky with fish sauce and fried to simply the fitting mixture of chewy and crisp, and a pair of fats Hor Mok Crab Desserts, that are loaded with crustacean and additional enlivened with a spicy pineapple dipping sauce.
Shrimp and pork wonton make an look right here as effectively, as do falling-off-the-bone spare ribs (Moo Hong) bathing in a broth of soy, ginger and garlic, and a few wonderful tempura scallops served over a spicy salad of kinds in a dish known as Yum Koi. Naumsuwan was particularly enthusiastic about his Hae Gune, a crab, shrimp and pork fritter that he wraps in fried tofu pores and skin and slices up for simple dunking in his plum sauce. It is a dish his father, who’s Chinese language (his mother is Isaan Thai), used to make.
We received to eat 4 of Naumsuwan’s noodle bowls, and so they all have been terrific, led by the Mee Hoon Ped, a mountain of wok-fried vermicelli topped with a cool, fatty, crisp-skinned roast duck. The Guay Tiew Nua is constructed from a base of slippery rice noodles, which get blanketed by translucently-thin slices of uncooked wagyu, some bitter broccolini thrown on for colour and chew, and a beneficiant tableside pour of beef broth to warmth all of it up.
Naumsuwan known as the Mee Hok Kien, that are wok-fried yellow noodles laden with mushrooms and kale, “Phuket pad thai” for its ubiquity in that metropolis. The fish noodles (actually, fish pressed into noodles) added pleasure to the in any other case subtly flavored Sen Pla, with its veggie broth and slab of branzino. The baller order at Wan Wan, although, is clearly the Guay Tiew Tom Yum Lobster, which comes with a complete lobster floating round in a fiery lemongrass broth.
The area has undergone a whole renovation from its Tartinery days. Gone is the balcony and the two-story tree that after dominated the room. A extra subdued design has taken their place, replete with velvet banquettes, throw pillows, uncooked brick, darkish wooden and drapes. The downstairs is not fairly completed but, however will probably be a extra loungey space with a full bar.
And that line outdoors? That is individuals ready to purchase $140 vegan sneakers subsequent door.
Wan Wan is situated at 209 Mulberry Avenue, simply south of Spring Avenue, and is presently open each day from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (212-888-6278)