PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DANDONG RESTAURANT, NEW YORK CITY
Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine? Have you experienced the taste of Peking duck? If so, you are in luck. The famous Chef Dong has opened a new location of his acclaimed restaurant, DaDong, in New York City. Overseen by chef Andy Xu, DaDong’s main feature is Chef Dong’s distinguished Peking duck; a dish which has taken decades to be perfected by this visionary chef who conceived and developed his own cuisine.
Born in Beijing, the award-winning Chef Dong did not aspire to be a chef like his father. However, in 1978, China did not allow its citizens to choose their careers. As an adult, his options were limited to three careers: barber, chef or photographer. A heart to heart conversation with his father motivated Chef Dong to choose his path, for it was the belief of the times that as a chef you could not starve. In 1985, Chef Dong started working as a chef and general manager for Tuanjiehu Beijing Duck Restaurant, where he honed his cooking skills. After ten years of hard work and savings, Chef Dong purchased the restaurant, making it the first DaDong location.
While remaining true to his Chinese background, Chef Dong has traveled the globe learning techniques that have enabled him to perfect what has become known as the “DaDong YiJing cuisine”; his own “artistic conception of Chinese cuisine.” With a focus on the “transcendental,” DaDong Restaurant aims to embark you on a spiritual journey with the aid of Chef Dong’s dishes. This journey is carefully crafted from farm to table in order to present you with culinary concepts that evoke the beauty in art. After Chef Dong mastered the culinary knowledge of French and Italian cuisine, he was able to expand on his concept, bringing a Mediterranean influence to some of his dishes. Some of his most renowned dishes include the Supreme Roast Duck and the DaDong Roast Duck Skin with Kaluga Caviar. To perfect his duck recipe, Chef Dong patented his own duck oven, using a spherical oven for the cooking process, instead of a traditional cube oven.
The New York City restaurant, located a few steps from Bryant Park, was designed by architect George Wong. It occupies the second and third floor of the Salesforce Tower building at the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Ave. The restaurant comprises a terrace, a 150-seat dining room, and a 34-seat top-of-the-art bar where exclusive cocktails can be enjoyed. The interior design of the restaurant was conceived by video artist Cindy Ng, and Hong-Kong based artist duo, Helen Poon, and Anthony Davy. They created a concept that evokes traditional Chinese design within the modern environment, and which fully compliments Chef Dong’s vision for a unique dining experience. – GM
Article edited by Jose Morales