Food/Drink: Whether a newby to dim sum or a regular of the cuisine, Nom Wah will have something you love. Think Chinese food + tapas and you'll get an idea of what dim sum is all about: small portions of savory treats like dumplings, egg rolls, noodles and more. When you're seated, you get a paper menu where you check off all of the items you want to order (similar to some sushi restaurants), and they come out as they are cooked fresh. Below is our recap (the must-haves are starred with **):
- Shrimp and chive dumplings - I was afraid I wouldn't like it because I'm not a huge fan of chives, but these dumplings were very good, and they didn't leave you with a strong aftertaste!
- **Pan fried noodles with soy sauce - Thin, non-greasy and delicious - a great staple to order every time
- Turnip cake - Nice light flavor, but not a huge fan of the gummy/doughy texture
- Chinese greens with oyster sauce - Loved the taste of this, and felt good to be eating greens with a relatively greasy overall meal, but they were a bit undercooked and it was hard to chew some of the pieces. Also, a huge portion that the table couldn't finish!
- **The original egg roll - So good, nothing more to say, so good
- Tofu skin roll - Wouldn't recommend, too greasy
- **Vegetarian dumplings - The dumplings were delicious and I loved that you could see the veggies when you cut the dumping in half (vs. seeing a veggie mish mosh paste like at some Chinese restaurants)
- **Almond cookie - One large cookie for $1.50 is enough for a table of three to munch on at the end of a meal. The tasty, slightly dry cookie is great to end on a sweet note (and soak up some of the oils from the meal)
- Tea - The tea comes in a huge pot that will last through the meal. I'd recommend the "Bo-lay" which is the most popular tea for dim sum because it aids in digestion and supposedly lowers cholesterol too (it's just a light, lovely tea)
- Drinks: Nom Wah is a wine/beer establishment, but they do have a mimosa option during weekend brunch
Atmosphere: Nom Wah is very casual and has an interior like a diner complete with tables and booths. There's no A/C (to my knowledge), so the restaurant is cooled by large fans. The clientele is mixed between tourists and locals, as it is a quality establishment in the heart of Chinatown. Overall, the atmosphere is nothing special, and may seem a bit grungy, but don't be fooled by appearances - the food is fresh and delicious and Nom Wah makes for a great brunch.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor: 13 Doyers Street (between Bowery and Chatham Square), 212.962.6047