Fung Tu bills its food as "creative Chinese-American" (oy) and it's a venture between partners Wilson Tang (of Nom Wah fame - one of our favorite dim sum parlors, btw), Jonathan Wu (Per Se), John Wells (Mas Farmhouse) and Jason Wagner (L'Atelier, plus stuff in Chicago). I think the chefs are Jon and John, because I believe we were being served our wine/cocktails by Jason, but with all these names, I'm a bit confused (remember, jet lag).
Walking in the door we were greeted by a darling hostess, who took our coats and asked us where we wanted to sit - that's one of the plusses of going out to eat early. Sig Eater and I often like to sit at the bar, but after taking one look at the bar stools, we chose a banquette instead - that's not to say the stools are uncomfortable, because I'm sure they're fine if you're in your twenties and wear a size zero...I'm not and I don't. But the place is adorable (and I gotta say the seating at the table was very comfortable)...
For our first courses, we enjoyed the "Smoked Chicken and Cilantro Salad with Masa Scallion Pancake and Cashews," almost pictured here (note to self: the cheap camera doesn't work as well as I thought it might)...
We paired a couple of glasses of wine with our food - I had a Koehler Ruprecht Riesling (I think Rieslings go great with pan-ish, Asian-ish, fusion-ish, Chinese-ish food) and Sig Eater had a fine Close des Trielles "Chenin Méchant," which also went well with our food choices. There are well over a dozen wines by the glass offered, none of which duplicate what's offered by the bottle. There are a couple of sherries, a couple of sakes, and 6 or 7 beers on the nicely put together (OK - curated) list. The by the bottle list is short (I count 22 bottles), and if you're looking for an eminently drinkable $30 a bottle of wine, stop - you won't find one here, as the lowest-priced white is $44...still reasonable, in my opinion.
For a main course, Sig Eater and I decided to go healthy, and instead of the dumpling knots (she wanted) or the fried pork chops (I wanted) we chose the "Whole Steamed Fish with Fennel, Tangerine Peel, Chili, and Fermented Black Beans (FOR TWO)."
And since we couldn't leave without having dessert, the "Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Sesame Balls" were just right - almost like a Chinese-American Reeses' Cup - they hit the spot of bitter sweetness we were looking for.
So - what will a meal like this run you? This isn't Nom Wah. And this isn't Chinatown, Jake - it's the lower east side, where the likes of Skal and Fat Radish are right across the street or around the corner. Our bill - which included 3 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails was $155 before tip - not cheap, but really right in the wheelhouse for any place serving food like this. The service was exemplary too. And we'll be back for sure - those fried pork chops are so calling my name.
Fung Tu - 22 Orchard Street, NYC