Chinese Restaurant of the Week • Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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Nom Wah even got a passing role in John Wick 3

One of my favourite dim sum restaurants in the world is in New York.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor is also one of NYC Chinatown’s oldest restaurants. If taking the subway, get out at Grand Street or Canal Street station and walk the rest of the way.

Nom Wah first opened at 13 – 15 Doyers Street in 1920 as a bakery and tea parlour and was particularly

famous for its mooncakes. 

In 1968, the restaurant lost its lease at 15 Doyers Street. As a result of that, Nom Wah moved into a brand new kitchen next door. It has, since 53 years ago, been at 11 – 13 Doyers Street.

Last Covid year 2020, Nom Wah turned 100!

The original proprietor was the Choy Family. In 1974, they sold to Wally Tang, who had started working in the restaurant in 1950 when he was just 16 years young. By the time Tang reached 20, he was managing Nom Wah. 

The great thing about the restaurant is  that not much has changed down the years. From the typeface of the name on the front of the restaurant to the décor inside, visiting Nom Wah is like rolling back the years.

Sitting in it is not unlike being in a time capsule, lingering, languishing in Hong Kong when

movies were black and white, including telephones which were not yet mobile. 

The range of dim sums is classic Cantonese although there are allowances to more recent taste, including xiao long bao. There are two other Nom Wah outposts, in Philadelphia (opened in 2015), and in 2016, New York’s Nolita district.