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Hung Ry – Awesome New Modern Noodle Restaurant on Bond Street

  • l

**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2010/11/hung-...

Normally, I’m really skeptical of any type of fusion Asian type cuisine as 9.5 out of 10 times the result is some really bad food in some meatpacking type atmosphere. So when I heard about Hung Ry I was very skeptical about it. A pseudo Chinese noodle shop in a hip space on Bond Street. I immediately imagined poor quality Chinese noodle soup trying to be masked in an upscale setting and taking advantage of customers who don’t know what any of this stuff is supposed to taste like. Luckily, I was very wrong.

The space is a great spot on Bond Street that is somewhat industrial looking modern feel to it, but the décor looks great and really fits in well with the neighborhood. The service was excellent and the owner is a really nice guy. I spoke to him for a bit and he is a Tibetan guy who grew up in Switzerland. He had an idea for this type of restaurant so his head chef and him walked around to different hand pulled noodle shops in Chinatown and ended up hiring one of the guys who pulled the noodles from an unnamed restaurant. Great move on their part to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

- Squid Appetizer: The owner highly recommended this and said it was one of the best dishes in the restaurant. It is basically salt baked squid with chopped up cilantro and pumpkin seeds on top of it. At the bottom there is a homemade chili sauce (not spicy at all). This was really good, better than any of the salt-baked squid in Chinatown (including South China Garden and NY Noodletown). The batter was great, a little less salty than the versions in Chinatown, but still quite good. Not overly battered and fried perfectly, not oily at all. The squid is what really stuck out as it was very tender. The cilantro and pumpkin seeds were a nice touch especially the cilantro as I really like cilantro. 4.5/5
- Beef Tongue Appetizer: Another recommendation from the owner. The beef tongue had been stewed in a very light brown broth that I believe used soy sauce. The beef tongue had a melt in your mouth type of texture with a great flavor. The broth was a really nice compliment as it was very light, not too salty and really allowed the beef tongue to shine. The execution was excellent on this dish. 4/5
- Pig Foot Noodle Soup: this was a special that night and the bartender (we sat at the bar) said it was excellent so I tried it. It had a lot of Japanese chest nuts in it which made the soup slightly sweet. The soup also had a nice star anise flavor, it was quite good, not too salty and you could taste a reasonable amount of complexity in it. The pig foot was really good, nice and tender. I tried the thin noodles. They were good, but pulled a little too thin, so they didn’t retain their al dente quality as well. Overall, it was an excellent dish. 4/5
- Duck Noodle Soup: This was awesome, quite simple just a seared duck breast, noodles and soup. The soup had a more discernable star anise flavor as there were no Japanese chestnuts in this one, so it didn’t have that sweet flavor. I liked this broth a little bit better. The duck breast was cooked excellently and was rare in the middle. We ordered the thick noodles in this one and they were much better as they retained their al dente quality better. Overall, this was really good, much better than any of the Chinatown handpulled noodle places. 4.25/5

I was really pleasantly surprised by this place, it was probably one of the better discoveries I’ve made this year. I highly recommend coming here.

Address:
55 Bond St (between Lafayette St & Bowery
)New York, NY 10012
(212) 677-4864

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Hung Ry
55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. Very cool. Can you give us any idea of the pricing?

    3 Replies
    1. re: AubWah

      Just saw the prices on their website. Tons of 5 star reviews on yelp too

      1. re: AubWah

        you should definitely try it, it is excellent

        1. re: AubWah

          Comment on the prices: They're comparable to those at a good soba restaurant like Soba Koh.

          Thanks for the exciting review, Lau. I'll definitely check the place out. I almost always like anyplace you recommend!

      2. nice!...will add to my list of places to try when i get back to NYC in February/March...

        (so far: that list consists of Hung Ry and Kin Shop)

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        Hung Ry
        55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

        1. Thanks for the report. I am very interested in the food there, the monkfish liver and lobster noodles in particular. If I can just get past the dopey name.

          7 Replies
            1. re: scoopG

              That was my thought, yes, although I'm happy to be corrected. Not as hideous as Eatpisode (good lord, why? why?), but still deserving of an eye roll.

              1. re: scoopG

                yah i think it is a play on words, its a little corny, but forgot about the name and go try the food

              2. re: small h

                yah i really wanted to try the monk fish liver as it looked good (guy sitting next to me ordered it), but i can only eat so much (monk fish liver is very hit or miss, so hopefully they can get it right)

                1. re: Lau

                  True that. It's one of my favorite foods, and I'm always on the lookout for a stellar version.

                  1. re: small h

                    yah i generally stick to top notch japanese places to order it, but i have a feeling it could be good here

                    1. re: Lau

                      I can't indulge in topnotch Japanese very often, but I've been pleased with the ankimo at Kasadela, where it's sometimes a special. And Ebisu, which is no help to anyone, since it's closed (sniff).

              3. Thanks for your report, Lau. The tongue looks wonderful. DH (another Lau) will be all over that.

                1. Nice write-up, Lau. I’m glad to see that Hung Ry is getting some well-deserved praise on this site. I had lunch there last month, shortly after they first opened, and fell in love with the place. The menu had some very interesting and unique selections, especially for a hand-pulled noodle joint, but since it was only lunchtime I limited myself to the thick hand-pulled noodles with duck. This dish blew me away and was not what I was expecting. Most Chinese noodle-soup joints use hacked pieces of the ubiquitous roasted ducks that you see hanging in windows throughout Chinatown. The duck at Hung Ry, however, was a cooked-to-order duck breast, sliced and served rare atop the noodles and broth. There was also duck leg that was either braised or slow-roasted, and then shredded and seared. The duck was absolutely delicious—perfectly pink and tender breast with crispy skin, coupled with a pile of well-caramelized shredded duck leg and roasted bell- and jalapeno peppers. My dining companion had the noodles with smoked pork belly and melt-in-your-mouth tender tongue (no pun intended). Overall the dish was good and comforting, but it was nowhere near the rockstar of a dish that the duck turned out to be.

                  I went last evening to give dinner a try, and the food was still spot-on. This time around I tried the monkfish liver with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and logan berries. This appetizer was recommended by one of the owners whom I spoke to during my first visit. As much as I love monkfish liver, the star component of the dish was the earthy and deeply caramelized mushrooms which sat underneath two generous slabs of monkfish liver torchon. I would easily order this again just for the crispy snap of the mushrooms. I also tried the squid appetizer served with toasted pumpkin seeds and a guajillo chile paste. The squid was very tender, and as Lau describes, somewhat similar to Chinese “salt-baked” squid. The lightly dusted and fried pieces of squid tasted like they were dressed with some sort of slightly acidic sauce or dressing that really lifted the dish, especially when combined with the pepitas for a perfect bite. Lau, when you had this dish, were the squid pieces crispy (a la salt-baked squid)?

                  For my entrée, I had the hand-pulled noodles with brisket, beef cheeks, and honeycomb tripe. During my first visit one of the owners, Weilan, mentioned that the duck was garnering most of the attention on web posts about the restaurant. This made me nervous to try the other noodle selections on the menu, especially given how much I enjoyed the duck. Luckily, the brisket noodles did not disappoint. There were large and tender slabs of brisket and beef cheeks that were braised with what tasted like soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, and other warm spices that are common to Chinese braises. The broth had a nice bite to it, which I’m assuming came from the mustard oil and what I believe to be flecks of ground Szechuan peppercorns. It would have been nice to have seen more tripe in the soup, but I acknowledge that my love of offal is probably unusual compared to the Nolita crowd's tastes and preferences.

                  I really hope this place does well. The prices are very reasonable and, thus far, the food has been excellent and the service extremely friendly. I still love my hole-in-the-wall hand-pulled noodle shops in Chinatown, but it’s nice to know that there’s a place to turn to when I want higher quality ingredients, a nicer setting (with functioning bathrooms, thank you very much), and a menu that intrigues without breaking the bank.

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                  Hung Ry
                  55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: BklynBlaise

                    yah im a big fan

                    squid was crispy, its preparation is almost exactly the same as salt baked squid except they don't use much salt and the garnishes are different

                    1. re: Lau

                      I just glanced at the photos you posted on your site. The squid appetizer you had does indeed look more like traditional salt-baked squid than what I had. My squid pieces were slightly smaller and the coating, which may have looked similar to your squid at one point, was slightly glistening from some sort of thin dressing (similar to en saor, only w/ pepitas instead of pine nuts). It was so tasty that I didn't mind the moisture it added to the fried coating (I liken it to the bottom layer of salt-baked squid that rests directly on top of shredded iceburg lettuce when you order the dish from places like NY Noodletown--it's not ideal for the coating, but the squid is still damn good).

                      By the way, Jeffrey Steingarten of Vogue (and of gluttonous, tell-it-like-it-is Iron Chef America fame) came in while I was there. Looks like they may get a write-up in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

                      1. re: BklynBlaise

                        interesting...those weren't actually pine nuts btw (i thought they were too) they were pumpkin seeds

                        good hopefully they write it up, they deserve to do well, hopefully they can keep it up

                    2. re: BklynBlaise

                      Holy crap! Those hen of the woods mushrooms were awesome! Also had the squid (probably my favorite small plate), beef tongue, lamb with black bean sauce and the noodle soup with veal cheeks, liver and marrow. Everything was really great and am looking forward to trying more stuff. The noodles were excellent, and I found myself wishing for more of them.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Ms Needle youre makin me hungry. I'm going to check this place out real soon

                    3. to anyone who has eaten both here and at Ippudo, would you recommend one over the other? I've had great meals at Ippudo, but I want something different; sounds like the experiences are on par with one another? and, no wait? that's big. if ippudo is retarded tonight, I might just head a few blocks down. or, should I go direct?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bigjeff

                        ive eaten at both, they are very different. ippudo serves tonkotsu ramen so the broth is going to be richer and it's going to be a very different noodle since it's ramen. I'd recommend going to hung ry, its very good.

                        1. re: Lau

                          cool thanks; I like the apps at ippudo too and this place looks like they have some good non-noodle stuff; more variety for a single meal, esp. since the ippudo broths are so rich (in a good way) that I can't get much past a bowl of the modern (of course, I get the extra noodle too).

                      2. thanks Lau for the rec. last night. ippudo has a 1.75 hour wait and so . . . . we hit up the new kid (open for a month now). beautiful decor, tall ceilings but still warm; love the faux-birch bark paneling. good service, good value for the food. we had:

                        + duck breast noodle soup
                        + mutton soup with persimmon and kale
                        + crisp squid app, twice!
                        + beef tongue app
                        + frog's leg app
                        + persimmon sorbet n tea

                        really intriguing combinations of noodles on the menu so we had a tough time deciding (I also wanted the veal cheek one or pork belly one but couldn't decide); both soups were very good; deep flavor without the grease somehow. the duck breast soup (with thin noodles) was good athough they advertise as szechuan; it was no spice although, a couple peppercorns; duck cooked beautifully, a bit plain this soup but, good. needed a little bit of pop though; its missing the pickled mustard greens or some really sharp flavor.

                        the mutton soup was crazy; came with mutton (lamb?) in the form of sausage, lamb belly, also it's liver, and maybe one more thing. lot's of funny objects and all with a unique flavor. kind of overcooked some of the pieces; I prefer my "accessories" with different textures and they all tasted somewhat similar to the thick noodles I ordered. I like pho dac biet because you get all the different crunch and chewiness, I like the burmese soups because you get crackers and fried onions and lots of different texture; even ramen has a ton of different texture when you get a lot of toppings, etc. both of these soups were basically wet, soft meals. good flavor, but lacking some good texture variation and serious sharp flavors (even some scallions or fresh greens would be nice). everything was good but, kinda mellow and round; does that make sense?

                        about noodle quantity, we were able to get a kaedama-style addition of noodles which our server laughed at but it was totally worth it; really great noodles and even the thin is not that thin. I liked the thick.

                        apps were very good; the beef tongue had a very homestyle taste in terms of the broth; was this similar to the beef brisket soup? frog's leg was funny, basically like chicken wings over a chunky peanut sauce of some sort; pretty good. two leg's not quite doing it for me but I didn't like it enough to get more. sounds like we should have got the ankimo app, I knew the hen of the woods would be good but we made up for that with two orders of the squid, top app of the night. I wouldn't say they are like salt-baked squid at all but more like, I dunno, it tasted like chaat to me, because of the pepitas and other crunchies, in combination with the sauces; really took on that flavor and crunch. the squid pieces themselves seemed almost par-fried (tender, yes) in some ways, but then, still moist? hard to describe but really really good. definitely not discrete pieces, imagine the Dallas BBQ onion loaf, but with squid. but then, combinted with chaat-like flavors from the guajillo sauce. kinda crazy. we definitely had a version like what BrooklynBlaise had (e.g. not battered and fried, but maybe just dusted with flour or something) and it was damn good.

                        definitely want to go back and try all of their starters and a few more of their noodles. I like how they had a couple different squeeze bottles of sauce on each table. I wish all of the food was served hotter; the big wide bowls that most things were served in lost heat pretty quickly (the extra serving of noodles helped warm up the by-now cold broth!) and I wish there was better texture variation in the noodle soup components. but yeah, great value and really good. they make all their sorbets and ice creams in house; the persimmon we had tasted more like pumpkin but, it was still good.

                        cool also that they have an actual bar with seating, although we sat at one of the four-tops. definitely hit this place up, they are trying hard. and it works.

                        btw, they also have lunch specials and, their website is funny (the intro).
                        http://www.hung-ry.com

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: bigjeff

                          How much was the kaedama? At Ippudo, it's like $2, I think.

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                          Ippudo
                          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: mjl242

                            I dunno how much they charged for it but our server was laughing. totally worth it.

                          2. re: bigjeff

                            yah i hear u on lack of texture and the sharp flavors although i still thought it was quite good

                            as far as the salt baked squid, i feel like the batter and frying preparation is almost the same, however it uses far less salt in the batter....you do bring up an interesting (and correct) analogy on the comparison of the toppings to chaat and while different i do agree that is a decent way to describe it

                            1. re: Lau

                              yeah your picture on lauhound didn't look anything like what we had; it almost looked like "sa-chi-ma" or, like an onion loaf. crazy.

                              1. re: bigjeff

                                really? weird i ate there are saturday and it looked exactly the same as the pic i have on my blog...that's strange

                                1. re: Lau

                                  not a great shot but:
                                  http://www.foodspotting.com/reviews/2...

                                  basically, it was much darker in color than your original shot and sauced, as opposed to what looks like relatively dry squid pieces in your picture.

                                  what did you have the second time, aside from the squid?

                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    yah the batter looks different

                                    i had the lamb soup you had, which i thought was pretty decent, but i still like the duck the best

                            2. re: bigjeff

                              The wait at Ippudo these days is totally retarded. 90% of the time I do not eat there even though i start out wanting to go there. The soup at Ippudo is good, Ive even had New England Japanese clam chowder there that was suprisingly good (it was a special). I like the buns , and i like the mentaiko app. But I'm real happy about Hung Ry opening up , not too far, but a little far(i'll drive). Usually I go to Soba ya, Soba koh, Ramen (on university and St marks) they changed the name so i forgot what it's called, or Robataya which is one of my new favorite places. I cant wait to try Yuba when it opens on 9th St and 4th (almost next door to Ippudo)

                              -----
                              Ippudo
                              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                              Hung Ry
                              55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                              Yuba
                              105 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

                              1. Wrote this up before the end of last year, thought it was lost before I posted, but found it in my DRAFTs folder. Some of the dishes may have changed:

                                They were booked solid with reservations, but managed to fit us in at the bar. Two of us tried 5 small apps and a bowl of noodles each.

                                Apps:
                                “Composed seasonal vegetables- baby beets, parsnips, pickled radishes”- We loved this. Beets were cubed, lightly marinated, and topped with seeds- um, I think pumpkin. Nice and nutty. Parsnips and radishes were layered, freshly pickled in light vinegar and some marinated with horseradish. There was a finely julienned apple or similar fruit as well.

                                “Sardine, Meyer lemon, purple potato, celery”- The slices of sardine were fresh, fatty, lightly grilled, smoky, and delectable.

                                “Salad of lobster, black bean shoots, radish, cucumber, chilies”- Fine. A few poached slices of lobster Didn’t think the elements came together even for a salad, but lobster tasted good.

                                “Beef tongue, black beans, carrot, pickled aromatic broth”- I find that beef tongue preferences are like noodle preferences. Some prefer it more al dente than others. For me, I prefer very moist, tender, well-braised meat that has an almost brisket-like consistency. I especially like this style when the pieces are thicker. In this dish, the tongue is served thick , but rather al dente. So the meat is a chunk and not broken down to flake like brisket. Anyway, the broth was very nice, light, and aromatic indeed. But the meat I found under-seasoned. And not sure what the black beans added to the proceedings. This was good, but I’ve had more rustic preparations I preferred. Worked more for me as a consistency dish rather than flavor dish.

                                Noodle soups:
                                “Veal cheek, marrow, liver, Japanese white sweet potato, ginger”- I ordered this with thick noodles. Soup was dark and rich with an earthy meat flavor, as well as ginger, and I think star anise. The meat was succulent and lobes of marrow and liver were placed along the sides of the bowl. It wasn’t a really dynamic soup, but it was savory and good. Unfortunately, the noodle element was executed poorly. The noodles were clumped together and sunken at the bottom of my bowl. They hadn’t been properly stretched and plated- i.e. gently folded in. So they had to be pried apart. I found they tasted fine, but were a bit gummy and too dense for my taste. Perhaps they needed to be aerated better.?.?....Also, the presentation lacked color. There was no green or anything but shades of brown and fat white. It’s a bowl of noodle soup, so who cares what it looks like, but this monotone color reflected the balance of taste of the dish I thought. If they are going for this, that’s fine. But I thought the dish could have used something acidic, bright in color and taste, to balance the dish. Certainly something to make it more visually appealing at least. Green onion, scallion, Asian leaks would have been nice……This all said, by the end of the bowl, when all the marrow and fat from the meat had melted down, those last two centimeters of concentrated broth were just ridiculously good. Too bad the noodles didn’t do it justice. $18 for this, which is about $4 more than most of the Ippudo offerings.

                                “Pork belly, tongue, brussel sprouts, roasted radishes”- Dining partner had this. I only tried the soup several times and it was, I thought, rather disgusting. Tasted way too smoky. Like it had been steeped with a bag of Bac-Os’. Dining partner said the meat was good and noodles were fine, but that soup. Wow. I know David Chang uses bacon as an alternative to katsuo bushi when he makes ramen. Perhaps this was an homage to that. Yipers. $16 and we left most of the soup.

                                They have a nice little, slightly odd, beer selection, and a menu of sake as well. I’m sure with the experimental aspect of this type of cooking, there will be hits and misses. Whatever, they gotta fix the noodle execution. That’s just unacceptable for a noodle shop.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Silverjay

                                  that is weird about the noodles, the noodle guy is competent and when i've gone they were good quality...i think you must've gone on an off day or something

                                  def try the squid app if you go again its probably the best thing there

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    It was the guailo guy who plated them, not the noodle pulling Chinese guy.

                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                      ahh that could explain it. i think i know what might be the problem, i specifically told the waiters everytime ive been there to bring the noodles out as soon as they are done.

                                      B/c in American restaurants they typically bring things out in a specific order, so you gets your apps first, everyone gets their dishes at the same time then you get dessert etc. But at a noodle places thats super ridiculous b/c you just hand pulled the noodles and put them in soup if you let them sit they're going to get all screwed up and soggy.

                                      The reason i even thought about doing that in the first place was b/c i had eaten at xiao ye (when they were still open) just before i wrote this post and the waitress tried to do that and bring everything at once, but the beef noodle soup and clearly been sitting around for a while b/c the noodles were totally soggy and had absorbed most of the soup (and the soup was luke warm), so i was like not going to take my chances and im just going to tell them to bring stuff out as it's ready

                                2. their ice cream\sorbets, oxtail noodle soup, and monkfish liver appetizer are also superb. i was not a fan of the veal head terrine.

                                  1. i was here 2-3 weeks ago...nice room, pleasant service but i was upset that the beefcheek soup was sold out at 9pm on a saturday night...lots of things were sold out around that time.

                                    my girlfriend and i ended up having a rather delicious plate of squid, a mediocre plate of frogs legs and she had the duck soup while i had the pork belly soup.

                                    both soups were delicious with plenty of quality ingredients. the noodles were good.

                                    that being said, i enjoy ippudo's ramen much more and find myself going there. if ippudo is too crazy, id try hung ry again but its a fallback option...not a prime contender for me.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: sam1

                                      well they are a very different types of restaurants, one is japanese tonkotsu ramen and the other is a sort of fusion take on chinese noodle soups

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        obviously...but for a noodle fix, hung ry will be a backup for me.

                                    2. Huacan Chen is the Chinese noodle pulling guy and he's profiled a bit here:
                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/din...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kathryn

                                        When I ate there, our server said that prior to Mr. Chen, they had someone else pulling the noodles who wasn't physically strong enough and could not keep up with demand. He said they had to shut down. Not sure if that was Michael Hodgkins or another Chinese noodle puller.

                                        I found the following passage from the Times article interesting, as I think it can partially explain the lousy plating/serving/timing experience I had with my noodles there:

                                        "Mr. Hodgkins has little knowledge of Chinese tradition — a paradox that is part of what makes Hung Ry such an interesting place at which to eat. "

                                      2. Just back from lunch at Hung Ry and both of us were underwhelmed. We had the squid appetizer which we found good but not great. The lobster appetizer was fresh but boring. The soups are definitely the draw here and we ordered the popular duck one as well as the oxtail, both with the recommended thicker noodles. The duck one was pretty bland in our opinion, we both preferred the oxtail with its richer flavors. The noodles were undercooked in one, a little overcooked in the other but still tasty. We both agree that while Hung Ry is decent enough, it is no better than many other options around town and we won't bother returning.

                                        -----
                                        Hung Ry
                                        55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: DagnyTaggart

                                          too bad sorry you didn't like it

                                          although im not sure if anything has changed b/c i heard one of the owners actually recently left, the one that i talked to in the original post

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            I'm pretty sure something has changed there. I went several times after it first opened and it was as charming and amazing as you described in your excellent review above. I went I think six or seven times before word got out about the place. More recently, neither the service nor the kitchen appears to be able to keep up with the crush. The last time I went with guests from out of town, the host (a woman, not the owner) was incredibly rude as we waited embarrassed for 45 minutes for our reserved table. The food seemed less carefully prepared and the wait for noodles was lengthy. Hung Ry made me realize Yogi Berra's famous aphorism, "That place is so crowded, no one ever goes there anymore."

                                            -----
                                            Hung Ry
                                            55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                                            1. re: Mlm2011

                                              interesting, ill go back there soon and see if its gone downhill

                                            2. re: Lau

                                              We liked it, we didnt love it. The service was friendly and prompt - no problems there.

                                              1. re: DagnyTaggart

                                                We sat downstairs. We were warned that they were understaffed and the service would be bad. But we were happy to get in, and the service was actually good. Eventually we had our own private room, as all the others left the downstairs area. The hand pulled noodles are excellent. The flavors in the pork belly soup didnt seem to go with each other. The Duck soup was better than the pork belly. The hot sauce on the table had no heat at all , i had to get hot peppers on the side and make my own hot sauce. The wine was good.

                                          2. I went to Hung Ry for the first time today and really enjoyed the short ribs appetizer and duck noodles. Probably not worth a long wait for a table, but at 1:30 pm on a Sunday there were a few empty seats at the bar. The restaurant seems more pan asian than authentic asian, nevertheless I thought my lunch was delicious. I'll definitely go back.

                                            -----
                                            Hung Ry
                                            55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: peter j

                                              I went back last night. There was no wait for a seat at the bar at around 7 pm. I tried the new mutton leg appetizer (very tasty) and the oxtail noodles (wow). Service was again excellent.

                                              My server said that there are usually new additions to the menu every day, so I'm sure I'll return soon.