Great news, New Yorkers! The Big Apple just scored itself another amazing Asian eatery: Han Dynasty. The famous Chinese restaurant recently branched out from Philadelphia and snagged a sweet spot in the East Village, catering the same delicious Szechuan cuisine as its Philly pioneer.
You can expect no less from Han Dynasty, which was voted one of the top 50 Chinese restaurants in America and also featured on the Food Network. The restaurant smells like fresh wood and spices. The interior boasts dark wooden furniture and yellow walls lined with Asian oil paintings.
It’s the kind of place you can take your family to (especially that aunt of yours who has an impressive tolerance for spicy dishes), as most of the main entrees are served family-style.
Everything on the menu — from the best-selling Dan Dan Noodles to the chili oil dumplings — reflects the restaurant’s stance in serving food that triumphs in quality and authenticity.
Each item on the menu contains a tiny red numeral, indicating the level of spiciness — 1 being really mild and 10 being extremely spicy. The restaurant traces its roots back to Szechuan cooking, which typically rates high on the scale of spiciness. Szechuan cuisine is known for its sharp, bold flavors. A lot of the dishes are heavily coated with chili oil. Here’s a tip: drink plenty of water and you’ll be OK.
The Dan Dan noodles are a crowd favorite, served in a large bowl and garnished with ground pork. This dish rates 8 on the spice-o-meter. The chewy noodles are tossed in a special sauce that contains a hint of peanut butter for that unique saltiness. It’s a good spicy — the kind that declares its presence without leaving you gasping for water. This is a must-try for noodle-lovers and first-timers!
Try the chili oil dumplings because they’ll be one of the best chili oil dumplings you’ll ever taste — we swear by this. The fan-shaped pork dumplings are literally swimming in red hot chili oil, but the appetizer rates 4 on the spicy scale. It’s not as spicy as it appears to be. Peppered with sesame seeds, the dumplings are well-cooked and certified delicious. This dish has also earned its spot on Yelp.
For rice entrees, the Crispy Rice Style won’t disappoint. Bamboo shoots and mushrooms are served over little chunks of sizzling crispy rice in a pool of sweet and sour sauce. Instead of the classic chicken, feel free to play up the dish with pork, shrimp or fish. The crispy rice resembles little pillows as they float among black and wood ear mushrooms. Wood ear mushrooms are slightly crunchy and they add a nice layer to the meal.
Han Dynasty is spicing things up with its impressive palette. It just raised the bar for other Szechuan places in the city. And if you’re interested in sampling a variety of dishes, the tasting menu is available for parties with eight or more people.