Hell's Kitchen is definitely not the area where I would expect to see such an elegant restaurant as Chaan Teng. This place opened very recently, replacing a New Orleans based restaurant we passed by so many times but never dared to go in. Well I am glad because Chaan Teng is unique in a way, serving Chinese dishes, but with the Chef's own spin. And, if you are familiar with the restaurant scene in New York, you might know this Chef: Pichet Ong, who has an impressive resume, working at the regretted Spice Market as well as 66, also closed, another Jean-Georges Vongerichten's eatery. Do not see a sign there, I am sure this place, with its vibrant and elegant decor, will be successful.
Foodwise, it offers a large menu. As mentioned before, classic dishes with the Chef's own spin. So if you are looking for traditional dishes, you'd better go to the few Chinese restaurants around. At Chaan Teng, the chef masters the art of crafting unique dishes, taking some of them and sometimes branching out to other cultures: at least per my interpretation. For instance, you like fried cheese curd? Then try the fried cheese "sweet and sour", homemade cow's milk cheese curds with a tangy sauce. Although the menu shows a chili for the spiciness (good because I hate ordering a dish that is, without my knowledge, too spicy), it was fine. And these cheese curd were fantastic: chewy and tasty in a sauce not too sweet.
The second dish was the Confit duck leg bao platter. It is a confit duck leg served with housing and peanut sauce, ginger scallion and bao that are little buns. A sort of build your own where you can make any bite different. This was pretty good, although I admit that it tasted more like fried than confit duck and the buns were a bit dense. I also would not consider this a large dish as mentioned in the menu, rather a medium.
The last entrée was the charred lo mein with egg and tofu. Normally this dish comes with chicken, but you can substitute with beef, pork, tofu or shrimp. It is composed of wok charred egg noodles, cabbage and mushrooms. This was a very good and very comforting dish.
Of course, we could not leave without dessert...They had two: the green tea cheesecake and the chocolate bar. We went for the latter that was served with a fantastic sesame ice cream. The bar itself was sublime, but tasted more caramel than chocolate to the point that I was wondering if we correctly understood what it was. But, no, it is a chocolate bar. I definitely recommend this one.
We had a nice dinner at Chaan Teng: original cuisine and delicious dishes. I would definitely go back to try some other specialties like their General Tso's chicken made with their special sauce or cumin lamb ribs that seem sublime.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!