Leaves—whether brewed or bound—imbue the brand new Eastside location of Radiance with the distinctive culture of China, steeping the small tea shop and restaurant in Chinese traditions within the heart of midtown Manhattan. On the glass shelves, a collection of loose-leaf teas includes green and black teas and special herbal and floral blends as well as rarer varieties such as pu'er. Guests can pair the teas with classic Chinese entrees such as steamed sea bass for dinner and shrimp dumplings for lunch, dining in a brightly lit room between high ceilings and hardwood floors. Beyond the , Radiance helps guests expand their knowledge of eastern cultures through a selection of books for sale as well as special events such as educational tastings, during which tea sommeliers help uncover the subtle differences between the best teas and the worst coffees.
Emanating echoing chuckles across the surrounding neighborhood for more than 25 years, Stand Up NY has staged dozens of nationally acclaimed comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Caroline Rhea, and Judah Friedlander. Comedy fans can attend a show at the recently renovated venue after choosing from as many as three available nightly performances. Comic Brian McFadden sprains funny bones with goofy standup that landed him spots on the Late Show, Late Late Show, and then in detention for habitual tardiness. Bonnie McFarlane delights audiences with controversial quips about such comic standards as parenthood, pregnancy, and The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Rob Cantrell struts onstage with the confidence earned from appearances on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central. While sipping a choice of cocktails, wine, or beer from a full menu, duos and quartets enjoy up-close views of comedians’ goofy poses from the intimate, 100-seat venue.
Oriental Cafe's chefs toss flavors from all over Asia into pans to produce Chinese-style stir-fries and Japanese tempura-fried eats wrapped in rice and seaweed. They decorate bowls of edamame with careful portions of salt to awaken sleeping appetites for hearty sushi rolls bursting with tuna, salmon, eel, and yellowtail or platefuls of sweet-and-savory tangerine beef. Diners nestle up to intimate hardwood tabletops as the wait staff bustles back and forth from the sushi bar, bathed in the warm light reflecting off the pale-pink walls.
The menu at Yip's may be succinct, but the dishes are all the restaurant really needs—each item boasts its own distinct flavor inspired by a traditional Asian recipe. Diners can spear sweet forkfuls of barbecue chicken breast or commission tiny bulldozers to dump savory bites of garlic shrimp or crispy pork chops into waiting mouths. Meanwhile, plates of sautéed mixed veggies sate herbivorous patrons, as do steamy bowls of hot-and-sour soup.
Amid sleek wooden tables and framed panels of Asian floral artwork lounges Alpha Fusion, a Manhattan eatery that serves cuisines from Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Japan atop artistically crafted plates. Menu offerings such as vietnamese mango-vermicelli salad and thai crispy crab cakes blend with sushi morsels and light and healthy lunches such as sautéed mixed veggies, representing the most successful pan-Asian fusion since the Second Sino–Japanese Sock Hop.
You'd expect a marriage of Indian and Chinese cuisine to produce tangy, delectable offspring—though you might not have predicted the lollipops. Still, chicken lollipops are a staple of Chinese Mirch's wide-reaching menu, described as an ideal treat for spice-seekers in a 2004 New York Times feature. The article highlights the morsels of red chilis that speckle the chicken's crispy batter, which is but one example of "the kitchen's considerable skill at deep-frying." The same talent is showcased in the gobi Manchurian, a mix of cauliflower florets and seasoning, as well as in the momos: Tibetan dumplings stuffed with meat or veggies, served onsite or from the restaurant's wandering food truck.
Whether your dish is prepped dry or with zesty Manchurian sauce, fiery flavor seems to take center stage. In fact, the chili chicken in gravy earned a spot on Time Out New York's list of the City's Spiciest Dishes for the "slowly intensifying blister" of its green bird's-eye peppers. The blend of Indian, Cantonese, Hakka, and Sichuan culinary styles also adapts to suit more sensitive palates without forcing patrons to substitute fire extinguishers for salt shakers. Behind the scenes, chefs refrain from adding MSG or preservatives to their plates, and they craft the majority of their entrees from scratch. This elemental approach is in line with owner Vik Lulla's upbringing in Bangalore, India, where he learned to prioritize freshness and innovation when brainstorming his signature fusion dishes.