Options for casual Asian cuisine should not be limited to sketchy holes in the wall. New NYC additions Silk Rd Tavern, Chop Shop, and Biang! are plating elegant dishes that go light years beyond takeout hit or miss.
Flatiron newcomer Silk Rd Tavern puts pan-Asian twists on classic American comfort foods. Look for mash-ups like Everything Egg Rolls, with duck and foie gras, or a house mac ‘n’ cheese with Korean rice cakes and Vermont cheddar. Potpies upgrade pub grub, combining blue crab, black bean, and Singapore chili.
Chop Shop is the brainchild of Danny Emerman and Mah Chan of Bottino, which is just three doors down. The space is casual (no reservations), but the food is refined. The kitchen works Southeast Asian and Chinese angles, with black beans, chiles, and cumin putting some pop in your dining.
Golden Mall staple Xi’an Famous Foods finally has a more upscale outpost, deep in Queens, with the opening of Biang!. All the classics are here, as seen on TV. There are also skewers of beef stomach and cubes of pig’s blood in a garlic-chile-vinegar sauce. If you’re adventurous enough for the haul to Flushing, you’re probably bold enough to give these delicacies a shot.