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Asia Redux

March 07, 2013
The General

America is famed for doing things ‘big’, and in the restaurant world it doesn’t get much bigger than Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh’s new paean to all-things Asian, The General.

First off, you know you’ve arrived at 199 Bowery, when you see the 80ft glass garage window frontage, designed not only to light the relaxed front cafe and pastry bar, but to open in clement weather creating a glass covered sidewalk terrace. So far, so nifty. The walk-in cafe accommodates non-reservations with a stylish mix of pseudo 60s-styled claret upholstered chairs and caramel-coloured banquettes. Through you go to the bar area (where you can also eat) with its swank, high-top black bucket seats, and finally the main event itself – the vast, 150-seat dining room, a vision of smouldering scarlet and gold neo-orientalist wallpaper, lamps and copper-pressed ceiling, complete with black Formica tables and an unmistakable tang of urban chic in the air.

The pan-Asian menu of all-star favourites redux runs as diverse as pork and cabbage pot stickers, to braised shortrib with broccoli and Peking duck, but its the crossover comfort US dishes that perhaps intrigue the most, like Philly pepper steak sweetbuns with caramelised onions, and bourbon-miso Chilean seabass with maple and napa cabbage. With a handsome edit of cocktails, not least the Jimmy 5 that blends Woodford Reserve bourbon, five spice, bitters, pequin pepper tincture and flamed orange, it’s anything but general. It’s The General.

199 Bowery / Spring Street / +1 212 271 7101
/ daily from 5.30pm /