La Chine, Waldorf Astoria


#1

A new entry in the haute cuisine Chinese market. Located in Waldorf Astoria. They bill themselves as offering the cuisine of China. The menu covers a pretty wide range of regional cuisine, including:

South- Guangdong, Yunnan, Taiwan (well, let’s set aside the question whether its part of China), Zhejiang, Huaiyang

Central- Szechuan

North- Shanxi, Beijing

Looking at the menu, they seem to try to reinvent regional dishes with a western preparation twist:

Beef short rib sous vide, aged huangjiu (Zhejiang)- Zhejiang has sous vide? I guess the prep is modified to get a different rib texture.

Sous vide black cod (Guangdong)- same as above, Guangdong typically steams fishes.

Berkshire pork collar with liquid nitrogen crust

The soup dishes look fairly interesting:
Chicken “cloud” consomme, morel, huangjiu yellow wine

Sea whelk consomme, tofu chrysanthemum

Their seafood/ meat dishes look somewhat westernized with the protein typically found in non-chinese restaurants using some chinese sauce: maine lobster, diver scallops, sea bass fillet, prime beef tenderloin. Though I can understand since they are located in a hotel with a clientele that places a premium in these familiar ingredients.

I don’t get the comment about the steamed rice. in chinese, it says, they change once every two days. Does anyone get it?

So far, it seems like the menu is written with both Chinese and western palettes in mind. Has anyone tried the dishes? Are they more traditional or more fusion? Since they have so many regional specialties, are they able to execute well across the regions?

Menu:
http://lachinenyc.com/menus/dinner/


(Jonathañ) #2

I attended their pre-opening reception a few weeks ago.

A few samples were handed out, including I believe the beef short rib noted above, as well as a lobster amuse bouche. The beef reminded me more of a standard issue Chinese take-out than anything else, and the lobster, though well-boiled, didn’t have much flavor.

On the plus side, I enjoyed one of their signature drinks (“Dream;” http://lachinenyc.com/menus/drinks/), and the completely non-Chinese dessert with maracuya and chocolate.

Shucks, why can’t an actual Hunanese place open up? One without anything sweet on the premises…春秋大梦, I suppose.

Jonathan


Hunan restaurants in NYC
#3

That’s a concern. I had higher hopes for the restaurant. At the very least, at their price point, the food should be better than standard issue Chinese take-out.

I suppose the lack of actual Hunanese place is likely due to a lack of sizable number of recent immigrants in NY, unlike e.g. Toronto, LA, Vancouver, SF, etc.


#4

3 posts were split to a new topic: Hunan Manor, midtown


(Jonathañ) #6

They’re in Manhattan now…the price never has to reflect higher quality.

That said, when I’m craving something Chinese - and it’s never take-out - beef is the last thing I’d want. China does seafood, pork and other dishes so much better.