Radiance (Midtown East)
Has anyone been to this newish haute-Chinese restaurant yet? I'm slated to try it in a bit.
A colleague of mine was just raving to me about this place, going on and on about how it's going to put Hakkasan, Buddakan, etc. out of business. Blah, blah.
Hyperbole aside, I'm rather excited as Radiance is manned by Chef Lou Zi-Zhoa. It should make the food interesting, if not very very good.
I ate there twice and ate once at their little 'booth' in the atrium downstairs.
I went with some of my Chinese coworkers but they didn't think it was anything special. I thought it was better than most Chinese restaurants but for some, food may be too 'bland'. I don't think it will put Hakkasan and Buddakan out of business for sure.
Yes, I read your reviews on the other thread, and my colleagues proclamations about Hakkasan et al. were without doubt hyperbole.
I have a personal interest less in the restaurant qua eating establishment and more about sampling Chef Luo's craftsmanship.
Some of the people he trained under were contemporaries of my father, and they were very well regarded back in China.
I find that when chefs at Chinese restaurants are allowed to pull out all the stops and cook as they please, the food is often better leagues better than what is normally served at the restaurant.
I was very fortunate to experience a chef's tasting menu at Shun Lee Palace a few years ago with VIPs and the food was incredible. I went back shortly after and had an awful meal when I ordered off the a la carte menu. Not being a VIP myself, the quality of the food plummeted. But it showed me the capability of the kitchen was very high.
I had lunch there this afternoon. It's an odd place. I was seated in the front area, surrounded by books and tea sets for sale, as if I someone had plopped a few tables down in the middle of a boutique. My bento box had vegetable dumplings (very good), shrimp and greens dumplings (also good, but someone forgot to add the shrimp), edamame (unsalted - bleah), and two salads. One was standard issue mesclun with a TON of thyme in the dressing, the other was plain iceberg with some steamed chicken strips. And a pot of pu'er tea, which tasted like tea. I could not find the haute anywhere, unfortunately. Just a pretty good Chinese restaurant.