March 11, 2016
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of March 8, 2016. Craig LaBan: I'm curious to hear updates from the Philly Chefs Conference at Drexel, for which Joy Manning wrote an excellent preview. A lot of big names this year, from Glenn Roberts (of Anson Mills) to pioneering food science author Harold McGee, not to mention Philly's own stars. Highlights? Reader: The conference was a great event for anybody that would like to open a restaurant. It gives you some great insight on what pitfalls to avoid when starting out. But I must say the best part were the lunch spreads: tacos from South Philly Barbacoa, burgers, ramen, I believe, from Kensington Quarters, and the wine, liquor, and beer tastings in the afternoon.
January 29, 2016
Sweet new slice of Chinatown The matcha mousse cake from À La Mousse is not your typical Chinatown dessert. Baker and owner Anna Chen, wife of Jack Chen, who owns Sakura-Mandarin next door, took over Audabon in the fall to bake Western-style desserts with an Asian twist. For this elegant, layered mousse cake, she uses the powdered green tea known as matcha to give the creamy filling its leafy green color. The minimal use of sugar in the dessert allows for the distinctive tea flavor of the matcha to shine through on the finish.
January 22, 2016 |
A family affair When Xu Lin's father died two years ago, the longtime Chinatown community activist decided it was time to spend more time with his siblings. His siblings happened to be restaurateurs in Canada. Lin persuaded his brother Sean, his sister Ping and her husband, Edison Wang, to come to Philadelphia, where last week they opened Bubblefish , a contemporary BYOB in a former shoe store at 909 Arch St. in Chinatown (267-930-7634). The name combines the specialties: bubble tea and brewed teas (including sea salt tea, which has a creamy whipped salt topping)
January 14, 2016 |
Joy Tsin Lau, the Chinatown eatery where 100 lawyers and law students were sickened in February, received another scorching helping of criticism last week from the city Health Department. The dim sum restaurant "does not have adequate refrigeration equipment [or the] capacity to maintain all refrigerated foods at a temperature of 41 degrees or below," inspector Thomas Kolb wrote Thursday. Temperatures over 41 degrees promote the rapid growth of potentially toxic bacteria. In his report, Kolb wrote that jellyfish, duck, and bean sprouts were being stored at temperatures of 50 degrees or more at Joy Tsin Lau. The inspector also cited the restaurant for two additional serious risk factors - an employee eating in the kitchen prep area and another who did not follow proper hand-washing protocols - and seven lesser infractions.
December 18, 2015
Congee comfort beyond Chinatown Riffs on Asian street food, from spring rolls to bao, have become common in mainstream restaurants. But the gruel-like rice porridge known as congee had yet to make that leap beyond Chinatown - until now. In Queen Village at the Living Room, which replaced Cups & Chairs in September, Ting Wang was hoping to create her own version of the American-style brunch places that have apparently become trendy in her native China....
November 9, 2015 |
Several business operators in the city's Chinatown district Saturday praised the warming relations between China and Taiwan. "It is good for peace," said Joan Zhong, 41, who moved from mainland China to Brooklyn, then to Philadelphia's Chinatown, where she has been managing Legend Furniture on Arch Street for the last six years. "And it is good for business. When you have more of a relationship, you open doors for more business. " Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou met for the first time on Saturday, on neutral ground in a hotel ballroom in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore.
October 2, 2015 |
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat Of Sept. 29, 2015: C.L.: There has been story after story about the disappointing dining crowds and miscalculations that contributed to what restaurateurs say was their worst September weekend in memory. (There were some bagel cafe and burger shop exceptions, as Michael Klein noted.) Some misplaced derision has been leveled at "greedy" owners who dared to complain, as if it were their moral obligation to forfeit a weekend's revenue.
September 8, 2015 |
It's not a secret garden. But people are still surprised to see it - sprouting from a parking lot, the vines climbing a cinder-block wall in Chinatown North. "I used to think it was just flowers when I walked by," said Joyce Randell, who lives not far away. Set between a Shell station and a Catholic school, this small, corner-store-sized farm has big ambitions: to provide food to the homeless, purpose to the aimless, and satisfaction to everyone willing to get their hands dirty.
August 14, 2015 |
Crepes filled cone-style Sweet and savory crepes are the specialty of the high-energy, NYC-based T-swirl Crepe , which just opened its first Philadelphia location at 150 N. 10th St. in Chinatown (215-238-0111). Ordering is done at the counter for the wraps made with naturally gluten-free rice flour batter. The crepes are filled cone-style and wrapped in clear plastic to go. Seating is available along the side wall. Among the 11 sweet varieties ($6.50 to $8.75) are banana chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, lychee, and caramel Fuji apple.