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Exemplar of a modern restaurant genre that might be termed Hipster Chinese, Yunnan Kitchen seeks to produce a menu from a remote region of southwestern China for an audience not well versed in the cuisine. In doing so, the place is only partly successful, though dishes such as fried potato balls with a soy-vinegar dip; cold noodles with ground pork, fresh herbs, and peanuts; and the marvelous tofu ribbon salad would be reason enough to visit. In general, though, the food is much blander than the regional designation would suggest, and a bit more expensive that it ought to be. The room is comfortable but crowded, and the open kitchen -- visible from both the dining room and the sidewalk – a welcome diversion.
Yunnan Kitchen is the new Asian hipster “it” place on the Lower East Side. Housed in a neat, trendy space, this spot is staffed by an extremely affable crew.
Travis Post, the chef, and Erika Chou, the owner present a small plate menu which is inspired by the flavors of China’s Yunnan province. It features dishes with plenty of fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits and edible flowers along with meats and seafood. With all of these wonderful elements in place I couldn’t wait to dig into the food. For me this was the most disappointing part. None of the dishes blew me away.
See what NYC's restaurant critics have been up to this week: Robert Sietsema pays a visit to Yunnan Kitchen and says that although the food can be quite good, some dishes are "mind-numbingly" bland... More »
Yunnan Kitchen is yet another reimagined Chinese restaurant located on the Lower East Side, and you can be sure there will be more. It somewhat resembles Mission Chinese Food in outlook—meaning that questions of authenticity, though they must be... More »
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