Chinatown just got a couple of new spots — one an ambitious Szechuan and dim sum spot and the other a homegrown lunch counter.
First, Flaming Kitchen celebrated its grand opening on the Bowery late last week. According to the owner, some of the kitchen staff hails from East Village Szechuan spot Hot Kitchen, but the menu here is considerably broader, with an entire dim sum selection (mostly buns, dumplings and rolls — sorry, no carts on wheels) and the option of cooking your own items in a communal hot pot. As with Hot Kitchen, there are nose-to-tail items like ox tongue and tripe with chili sauce, steamed fish head with pickle chili, and pork blood curd in spicy chili broth, as well as more straightforward Szechuan favorites like the lip-numbing dan dan noodles.
There’s also a sizable drink menu: smoothies, savory shakes (pumpkin and corn drink, anyone?) and milk and bubble teas including a tasty Orea-flecked variety.
As you can see from the photo, Flaming Kitchen is a bit on the fancy side, with a wavy light box built into the high ceilings and purple lighting behind the service bar in back. On the other end of the spectrum is 68 Dumpling, which is basically a kitchen operating out of a deli on Canal Street. Here you’ll find the usual dumpling-spot fare (dumplings, buns, sesame pancakes) with the addition of specialities like some peanut-butter noodle dishes (intriguing).
Peep the menus below.
Flaming Kitchen, 97 Bowery, nr. Hester St.; 212-925-8083 open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
68 Dumpling, 97 Canal St., nr. Forsyth St.; 718-869-6661