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Feb 6, 2012 10:31 AM

What's In A Name? Wing Wong/New Wing Wong/Wing Huang/New Wing Huang Becomes Hing Huang

Since my favorite Cantonese noodle place in Chinatown seemed to tweak its name every couple years without much change inside the restaurant, I figured the crude hand made change on the awning from Wing Huang to Hing Huang was another insignificant event. But it looks different this time. Looking at the Hing Huang menu, it's vastly different, with noodles now being a very small part of the menu. And brand new is the presence of dumplings on the menu, particularly chicken dumplings. Indeed I don't recall seeing chicken dumplings at any restaurant in Chinatown, so naturally that's what I ordered. The chicken dumplings were OK, but I'm wondering if they might have been cooked from frozen and packaged. Meanwhile, I'm afraid to try the noodle soup as I fear that the superior version served for so many years might not be there any more, so maybe one of you can determine that for me. Hing Huang is at 111 Lafayette, just south of Canal.

Hing Huang
111 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. I recall reading about a US Food supermarket chain acquiring another one a few decades back and changing the signage to reflect he new company name. The acquired chain was called Food Town, and the new company formed was Food Lion, the name in part was chosen so they could save money by only changing two letters in the name, thus saving money on materials and labor, and not changing the overall look too drastically and making a seamless transition.

    I suspect that many new restaurants follow this same lead when changing name to reflect new ownership....and trying to maintain previous patronage. With regards to Chinese restaurants, I always found it fascinating that many will not use the same kitchen from the previous owners, as they consider it a failed business and do not want the bad karma, so to speak. I found this out while attending many restaurant auctions for their equipment. The stores could be less than a year old, but still the kitchens were scrapped. I found this odd, since I knew of the same name changes you reference in Chinatown, without completely scrapping the old signage, just modified.

    Sorry I can't help with the food changes past or present.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I think the cost factor definitely explains the amateurish modification of the awning over the restaurant. Strangely, with all of the past Wing / Wong name shuffles the signage was changed professionally, which is more evidence that the change to Hing Huang is a substantive one this time.

      1. re: fourunder

        Nice story but Food Lion is a chain that's been in the US (mostly Southeast) for twenty-five years.
        It's owned by a Belgian company, Delihaize.

        1. re: penthouse pup

          Nice story but...

          So are you citing the story is not true.....or just the fact that a Belgian company acquired Food Town, not a US Company? If we are in the correcting mood, the Food Lion name change was done in 19982/83. I'll let you figure out the math. Delhaize acquired Food Town in 1974.

          1. re: fourunder

            Even nicer story. Thanks for inserting the dates.

      2. The chicken dumplings sound like slop to push on tourists to me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AubWah

          That and the Thai dishes on the menu.

        2. The same people are in there and the basic pork stock is the same. I was happy it was the same stock and the same wonton dumplings. The stock remains superior to others in that area. Everytime the place closes, it re-opens and adds some things and subtracts others. Anyway, don't be afraid to try to noodle soup.

          1. i come here for congee, their congee is quite good

            their shao la (bbq) is decent, but not amazing

            ill have to go try again to see if the food tastes different