Nom Wah Tea Parlor - New York Restaurant Review


Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover
Nearly Full Restaurant
Before City breaks, we do like to plan a few dining options, and keep space for local recommendations or spots we find from aimlessly walking around the city. New York for us, was an endless city full of wonder and there was no chance we could see everything within our five-day visit, although we did try. One recommendation we had been given was for a dim sum place within China Town, so we rambled across the city on a fresh January lunch time in search of the “Nom Wah Tea Parlor”, which has served some of the best dim sum to New York, since 1920. The Tang family run the business, which has proved popular for locals, tourists and travellers.
The Basic Furnishings
Blink and you will miss the parlor, it is nestled in the heart of China Town, where the area lives up to the stereotype of the district, with every establishment promising the best dim sum or oriental offerings. The exterior doesn’t give much away in terms of the d├ęcor or size of the establishment.
An Interesting Mood Lighting
Upon entering, the restaurant resembles a 1970 diner, with booths and very simple finishes. The place was almost full, which was promising. We took a booth and were served quickly, we also had a view into the kitchen, which in this case was not too desirable, but we went with it. The menu is extensive with a variety of small traditional offerings. It was clear from the start of the service, that this was going to be an authentic experience, and of course it was. They even offer chicken feet, if that’s your thing and are stated in the menu as gluten free, which we found to be an interesting selling point. We  politely passed and here is what we ate:
Green Tea
In the early days, the tea parlour served the local community as a bakery and tea house, hence the name. Things have changed a little since, but the variety of tea on offer is still lengthy. The server recommended this Jasmine green tea, which had a slightly sweet flavour and went well with the meal. This was notably inexpensive at only $1.00 per person.
The Variety of Small Plates
We had walked a fair distance to get to China Town and had worked up an appetite, although on reflection we may have ordered a little too much, however, this was the best way to try a variety of dishes. Here you can see the small plates with the hand prepared dim sum.
 Rice Rolls
We didn't think much of these steamed rice flour servings drizzled with sweet soy sauce, so were a tad apprehensive about what was to come. Thankfully the lunch was a lot better than this first serving. For us the rice rolls were too thick and we did not enjoy the texture without any filling, but this is just our preference.
Spring Rolls
Surprisingly these were gluten free, so we wanted to try them to see if we could notice any difference. The mixed vegetable in the thin crispy pastry were surprisingly divergent to that we have tried before, they tasted a lot fresher and lighter than the normal serving.
House Special: Dumpling in Soup
Wanting to try a real variety of dishes, we opted for this chicken broth soup with pork and shrimp dumplings and vegetables. This was very tasty and particularly well seasoned, the authentic offering was much larger than we anticipated, although we were not complaining. 
Bean Curd Skin Roll
Mr SEO enjoyed these, although the texture on the exterior was debatable. The minced pork, shrimp, mushrooms and bamboo shoot filling was notably nicer and were in fact very filling. The variety of authentic offerings had to be appreciated and we were glad we had tried a few out of the ordinary dishes.
Shanghainese Soup Dumplings
These were filled with pork and broth, both were very tasty, although these did turn out a little messy to eat. Upon reflection, there were the best on the day, tasting fresh with the meat within appearing soft, which melted in the mouth.
Shrimp & Snow Pea Leaf Dumpling
These were the best shrimp dumplings we have both tried, the wheat wrapper was not too thick and the shrimp within was seasoned well and tasted particularly fresh.

Our venture into China Town turned out to be an interesting adventure, the dim sum we tried is notably amongst the best we have tried globally (so far). This is an establishment with no gimmicks or flashy service, just honest homemade traditional servings. The pricing was very reasonable and the servings were much bigger than we had anticipated.

We both enjoyed trying dishes out with our comfort zone, and would urge those visiting New York to do the same. Wonder away from the main tourist attractions and find some independent eateries like this one, serving fresh food at very reasonable prices.

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