Chef Hung Huynh's 11 Favorite Asian Restaurants
September 09, 2013 | by Dalene Rovenstine | Food & Drink News
Top Chef winner Hung Huynh is the executive chef at The General.
Hung Huynh is a busy man. Since being crowned the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef during the show’s third season, he has gone on to team up with EMM Group to helm the kitchen of Catch, Catch Miami, and most recently, The General. In addition to serving as executive chef of the three dining hotspots, he also takes time for side projects, such as serving as Rue La La’s guest chef for this past Sunday’s Supper Series video and boutique sale. (Watch Huynh whip up his delectable Chinese braised short ribs and broccoli, then shop for utensils and home goods approved by the toque at ruelala.com.) For Gotham, Huynh has offered up his top Asian destinations in the city, ranging from hole-in-the-wall ramen shops to upscale foodie havens.
Paris Restaurant: “They have the best bun bo hue. It is a spicy beef broth infused with chilies, lemongrass, pig’s trotter, beef shank, fresh basil, and mint. It reminds me of Vietnam but even tastes better at times.” 113 Mott St., 212-226-7221
Bo Ky: “They have the best ‘Old Water Poached Duck.’ It’s best to have it with their spicy satay sauce, which they make in house.” 216 Grand St., 212-219-9228
Hakkasan: “They have the best dim sum period. The price is high, but you cannot beat the quality. It’s fresh and creative and not your normal Chinatown dim sum. You can get a whole piece of King Crab in one dish and half the kitchen is dedicated to dim sum.” 311 W. 43rd St., 212-776-1818
Ping’s Seafood: “I go there for one thing and one thing only: the crispy duck tongue. It’s tender on the inside and has a crunchy skin.” 22 Mott St., 212-602-9988
Wondee Siam II: “This is where ‘Mama’ works.... Ask for the special Thai menu. I get the crispy whole fish with tamarind basil sauce and papaya salad with salted crab. (We call the chef ‘Mama.’)” 813 Ninth Ave., 917-286-1726
Nyonya: “I love their water spinach with Malaysian shrimp paste. It’s fresh, spicy, savory, has a great fermented shrimp flavor, and is great to eat with their chicken-flavored rice. I also love their roti canai. It’s a flatbread that is super thin, and you dip it in a lemongrass curry sauce.” 199 Grand St., 212-334-3669
Kunjip: “I always come here late at night and order their kam ja tang, which is their pork bone-potato soup. It’s a very hearty stew, the meat is super tender, and the broth is full of flavor. And I love the sesame leaves they add on.” 9 W. 32nd St., 212-216-9487
Indian Tanpura: “They have the best goat curry ever! I order it frequently for delivery at night. It’s well seasoned, the goat is tender, and the sauce is not too heavy. Everything is perfect about it.” 564 Amsterdam Ave., 212-721-8700
Co Ba: “I always get the bun cha ca Hanoi. It’s a very light dish, the fish is marinated in turmeric, then grilled, and served with a lot of fresh mint and vegetables. It comes with a light rice noodle. The dish is very light, but it’s packed with tons of flavor.” 110 Ninth Ave., 212-414-2700
Ippudo: “This is one of my favorites! They have the best ramen broth; it tastes like roasted pork and pig skin. I always get extra pork, extra egg, and extra noodles... basically just extra everything because it is really the best.” 65 Fourth Ave., 212-388-0088
The General: “This may seem a little biased, but I would come to my own restaurant and pay with my own money to get Hung’s Fried Rice. It’s every dish a chef and foodie would want to eat because it is packed with flavor and comes with smoked ham, bacon, Chinese sausage, shrimp, onions, peas, carrots, and a fried egg on top.” 199 Bowery, 212-271-7101
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.