Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I hope this doesn’t come across as ignorant or insensitive, but I have become very confused by the opening of a few new Chinese restaurants. Shorty Tang, The Tang, and Little Tong.

I was excited when I read that a former Smorgasburg vendor (Shorty Tang) would be bringing their classic noodles to Manhattan. And then I read about a former chef from WD-50 named Simone Tong who would be bringing Mixian noodles to the city. And then I walked by The Tang on First Avenue thinking it was at least one of these. But it was unrelated to the other two.

And all of these establishments opened within the last few months. Surely, you see my confusion. Which Tang/Tong is which?

Through it all, the only one I got to eat at was The Tang which is the only one I had not heard of. I stumbled in here thinking it was one of the other two and in fact, I had a great few meals.

It’s also the only of these three restaurants that is open all day long (as opposed to dinner only) and so it was accessible for me to try before one of my tours.

They serve a diverse Chinese menu with influences from all over the large country. Noodles and wraps seem to be the main attractions here, but I was most impressed by an appetizer I ordered on a whim.

Turnip cakes are usually served as part of a Cantonese-style dim sum meal. These were great (and incredibly priced) as a starter before a big bowl of noodles. Four browned fingers are fried perfectly giving the cakes a crisp exterior without excess grease. Inside there are bits of dried shrimp and shredded Chinese turnips. It’s slightly pungent and peppery and is heavenly when dipped into the accompanying chili mayo.

I’ll have to try both Little Tong and Shorty Tang, but I’m not sure any of them will impress me as much as the unassuming and unexpected The Tang did. I just hope I remember which one is which. Price: $5

THE TANG
120 First Avenue (between East 7th Street and St Marks Place),
East Village
(646) 678-3092
thetangnyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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