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The Best Menu Items At: Hwa Yuan

In my series, "The Best Menu Items At...," I cut the fluff and get straight down to business: Which food/drink items are so stand-out that I'd order them time and time again?

Restaurant: Hwa Yuan

  • Cuisine: Chinese (Szechuan)
  • Location: 42 East Broadway - Manhattan 10002  
  • Pricing: $$-$$$
  • Reservations? Yes, via Resy
  • Why go? Chef Tang's famous Cold Sesame Noodles / Clean, opulent and spacious atmosphere perfect for large groups or an event


Comprised of three spacious and plush levels, Hwa Yuan has made quite a splash in its recent return to Chinatown (post closure in the 1980's).  And no trip to the restaurant would be complete without at least one order of its piece de resistance: Chef Tang's famous Cold Sesame Noodles.

Fresh and chewy Chinese egg noodles are lightly tossed with and served atop a shallow pool of a mysteriously delicious sauce that tickles each of the five basic tastes: Sweetness (ginger, sugar, sesame and, perhaps, peanut butter), sourness (tangy, a hint of vinegar), bitterness (subtle heat from chili paste), savoriness (soy sauce, sesame oil, and a mother-load of umami), and saltiness (soy sauce).  

Cold Sesame Noodles 

Oodles of Cold Sesame Noodles! 

While my dining partner, Natallia, and I ordered other dishes, as well (Xiao Long Bao, Dry Sauteed Tangy Crispy Beef, and the Traditional Taiwan Style Rice), none were as outstanding as the Cold Sesame Noodles. 

Chef Tang (Shorty, the original chef's son) enthusiastically made his way around the first floor dining room, swimmingly interacting and engaging with diners.  He even took Natallia and I on a tour of each of the three levels, including the banquet rooms, kitchen, and the walk-in refrigerator!  I wish him/his business partners and fellow employees all of the success in the world.  I, for one, look forward to returning in the near future for my noodle-fix and to sample the prized Beijing Duck.


Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

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