By Sanique Lim
Located in the heart of the haven of Asian cuisine, New York City’s Chinatown, Full House stands out with its authentic Shanghai and Sichuan style. Full House has dedicated its greatest passion to bringing the delicious flavors of authentic Chinese style cuisine to the people of New York City. With a new and innovative menu comprised of Shanghai and Sichuan style cooking, Full House reveals its secret behind their dishes today to Asian Fusion Magazine.
“Hu Bang” cuisine (沪帮菜), (chef Wei Cheng Wang told me this mandarin word with confidence on his face) is known as the local Shanghai school (style) of culinary art. Chef Wang grew up and learned his outstanding cooking skills in Shanghai as a local resident. Chef Wang has been holding the wok for more than 30 years (he’s actually lost count) to pursue his passion of life: Shanghai cuisine. Having lived within the cultural diversity of Shanghai’s neighborhood, Chef Wang is skilled in a variety of different styles of cuisine.
“Only the people who have tasted the local foods since they were young, would know the definition of authentic”, said Chef Wang while he tried to enlighten me with that particular vocabulary. Indeed, his specialty “Wu Xi” style spare rib has created extensive word of mouth from the Chinatown neighborhood! “Se, Xiang, Wei”, are known as the fundamental three elements of a perfect dish: colors, aroma, and taste. These elements are readily emphasized in Chef Wang’s cuisine. “It has always been the first principle”, he said. Chinese people love to cook their meats with a mild oil base while emphasizing the aesthetics and not being too greasy. The Wu Xi style spare rib, with its flavorful aroma, and a texture so tender and juicy that it competes in flavor with a medium rare steak, is accompanied with a unique salty and sweet sauce.
Another signature dish to share is “Race the Crab”, or the minced flounder with ginger. Here’s the story of how this dish became known as “Race the Crab”. Over one hundred years ago, the Empress Dowager Cixi had a sudden craving for crab meat; however, the Forbidden City of Beijing is too far away from the ocean and there’s no way the chefs could obtain any crab within that day. With a little innovation, they utilized egg white and minced fish to create the taste and texture of crab. The dish turned out to be one of Empress Dowager Cixi’s favorite dishes. The recipe was then passed down to Shanghai and eventually becomes one of the signature dishes of Shanghai, named “Race the Crab”. At Full House, the dish will surely impress you like it did Empress Dowager Cixi many years ago.
Going through a series of complicated procedures, the minced flounder is cooked with egg white, which preserves the richness of the fish texture, and is further enhanced by the chewy egg white, assuring the dish is truly worth its name “Race the Crab”!
Located at 97 Bowery in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, Full House’s extraordinary cozy interior design stands out from the norm of other Chinese restaurant in the area. Full House is available for takeout orders and special reservations. You can even contact them and request the chef to cook your favorite hometown cuisine. For further information please visit their website at: www.fullhousecafenyc.com.