Departures editors share some of their favorite Asian restaurants in all of New York City.Less
Chef Taka Sakaeda and Lisa Limb met during their days working at Masa — the only 3-Michelin-star sushi restaurant in the United States, and one of the best in the world. After over a decade training, the two started their own venture, heavily inspired by a toro-and-caviar hand roll that was served at Masa toward the end of its iconic omakase meals. Nami Nori is a highly intimate and casual dining experience, where even the biggest sushi snobs can feel right at home.
A recent visit to Jongro, a barbecue restaurant that occupies the second and fifth floors of an office building in Koreatown, provided a different kind of transportive experience, with K-pop blaring from the speakers while swiftly efficient servers grilled meat at the table. After too many meals cooked at home, we could have wept for the explosion of different flavors from the banchan alone.
Open for over 20 years now, Joe’s Shanghai is known for their famous soup dumplings, some of the yummiest you’ll find in all of Manhattan. The restaurant specializes in Shanghainese cuisine and has a cozy, casual atmosphere that nurtures their loyal customer-base.
For some more soup dumplings, we headed to Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, recommended by Michelin for nine years as some of the best Shanghainese food in the city. We stuffed ourselves full, opting for dumplings, noodles, and braised beef, all of which did not disappoint.
Located in the Flatiron District, the interiors are big and stunning: a luxe, modernized take on the inside of a traditional hanok-style Korean home. Their five-course prix fixe is refined yet explosively delicious. Standouts were the Oiji Bowl with sea urchin, sweet shrimp, and seaweed rice; the chili lobster ramyun; and the dry-aged duck. This is your next NYC special-occasion restaurant.
Wan Wan in Nolita is phenomenal — an homage to the Old Phuket–style cuisine blending both local Thai and immigrant Chinese cooking into a gorgeous blend of savory broths, meats, and sauces. In terms of shared plates, do not miss their tempura scallop Yum Hoi dish, crispy tofu Taw Hu Tod, or shrimp & pork wonton Giew Goong.
This elevated restaurant marries Asian cuisine with New York City inspirations, giving every dish their unique perspective. A three-story building within MoMa’s extended wing, 53’s space is modern, grand, and gorgeous. For an intimate setting, they also have a private dining room fit for special occasions.
Gaonnuri specializes in Korean BBQ, with a five-course tasting menu as well as a traditional menu. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Koreatown on the 39th floor of its home, providing an astonishing view of the city. The ambiance is alluring and the lively energy is unmatched.
This Williamsburg restaurant is all kinds of cool, filled with lanterns and oozing a sexy, red light. The Shanghainese food is a can’t-miss in the city, and the best part is that they’re open until two in the morning — so the late-night craving will not go unsatisfied.
Cho Dang Gol serves up authentic Korean food in a warm, rustic, hole-in-the-wall space. They’re known for their homemade tofu, a key ingredient that got them unofficially named, “Tofu House.” For a twist on traditional Korean favorites, don’t miss their seasonal and weekly specials that never fail to surprise.