For centuries, the diverse cultures of Asia have been borrowing culinary traditions from their neighbors, transcending borders to swap cooking techniques and seasonings. At China Spice, chefs that hail from locales such as China, Nepal, and Tibet illustrate these time-honored pastimes on plates, harmoniously uniting the spices and styles of Indian, Sichuan, Thai, and Nepalese cuisines. Flecks of coriander and turmeric—hallmarks of Indian and Thai kitchens—might pepper dishes doused in classic Chinese soy sauce. Provincial Hakka specialties, such as chili chicken, neighbor dishes from cosmopolitan Shanghai. Ample rice and noodle dishes, vegetarian fare, and seafood populate tables next to long banquettes, which unfurl amid low lighting and deep earth tones.
You don't have to look far into the menu at Thumbs Up Chinese Restaurant to notice their authenticity. Each menu item is first written in Chinese symbols, with the English description and the level of spiciness following. Once your eyes make their way to the description, some of the ingredients may prove unique or untried, such as the edible tree fungus salad. Chefs cook up these unique dishes alongside classics such as Kung Pao chicken and fried buns topped with sweet cream. A true Chinese experience requires trying the Chongqing hot pot, in which staff serve Chinese food staples around a steaming pot in which guests cook cuts of meat and steam vegetables or wrinkled shirts. The restaurant's desserts take both unique and well-known forms, such as sweet sticky beads soup or scoops of ice cream.
It’s been open since the early 1980s, but there’s nothing dated about Chengdu 46. The gourmet Chinese restaurant has managed to keep a steady crowd of happy customers for the past 30 years thanks to two things: its romantic ambiance, and crack team of native Sichuan chefs. Families and dinner dates alike gather beneath red paper lanterns to savory crispy peking duck and empress chicken by the flickering candlelight. One chef specialty known as Spicy South Sea Pearls consists of whole sea scallops that have been fried, sautéed, and arranged to resemble a more grown-up version of a candy necklace. All food can be prepared for dine-in or takeout, and parties of four or more can reserve a private room and dine from a multicourse banquet menu.
In a dining room the 2010 Michelin guide described as "a fresh, modern interior soaked in beautiful, natural light," according to their website, servers at Indian Clove deliver a diverse roster of Indo-Chinese dishes. As patrons sip salted, spiced lassi, daily lunch buffets heap plates with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian entrees. Grilled-chicken tikka and lobster cook inside the traditional clay oven known as a tandoor as chefs with a "serious talent for Indian fare," according to Michelin, prepare classics such as samosas and lamb vindaloo. Drinks and live DJs complement these classic flavors in the bar and lounge, where hanging orange lamps sprout from carefully watered light bulbs to illuminate cocktails.
Tommy Chengs' chefs consolidate the flavors of China, Japan, and Thailand into a single kitchen. The menu of Asian indulgences is well suited to fit any budget, from lunchtime Japanese-style bento boxes that neatly arrange bites of beef teriyaki or pork katsu alongside shumai, rice, and soup or salad, to lavish platters of peking duck and sumptuous 17-piece sushi dinners for two. The BYOB restaurant stays open until 10 p.m. every night of the week, excluding every February 31.
The cooks at Chopstick and Taste of Bollywood fuse traditional Indian cuisine with Chinese cooking techniques, mixing in hints of Thai and Malaysian culinary traditions as well. Masterminded by chef Alok Pratihar, the menus include succulent seafood, piquant lamb entrees, and vegetarian dishes.