The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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  • Chinese Restaurants

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    Dispatches from Wakiya (the Tokyo, not NYC, version) — one of the Best Chinese Restaurants in the World

    Monday, July 16th, 2007

    As New York ramps up for the launch of the Yuji Wakiya’s eponymous restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel, it might be interesting to look at the original Wakiya in Tokyo. That restaurant is discretely tucked away in an alley in Akasaka, an upscale neighborhood known for its ryotei, discrete high-end restaurants favorbed by Japanese […]

    Australia is (literally) a penniless society and other notes from the Chinese restaurant frontier

    Thursday, July 5th, 2007

    The Australians eliminated their penny in 1991 — without too much of a fuss, so all cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents. Some Australians feel that Americans shouldn’t give up the penny without a fight (and indeed Americans for Common Cents seems to be holding the torch there). Other thoughts. Southern hemisphere, […]

    Jamaican Chinese food? Jamaican Chinese reggae?

    Thursday, June 21st, 2007

    Tomorrow I’m heading to Kingston, Jamaica with my friend Eric Lee (who I know from Chinese camp from the time we both still wore braces) to do research on the Chinese Jamaicans, and Jamaican-Chinese food and the importance of Chinese Jamaicans in the reggae music industry. The Chinese started arriving in Jamaica in the 1850s-1860s […]

    Wakiya Watch: Yuji’s Google count rising

    Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

    Many of the “Japanese” restaurants in this country have Chinese chefs (those Asian guys behind the sushi counter? Chances are they have never been to Japan). Florence Fabricant profiles the hot new Chinese restaurant with a Japanese chef: Wayika, which will be opening up in Gramercy Park Hotel next month Yuji Wakiya, who is a […]

    Are Chinese delivery men invisible?

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

    The new New York Times Cityroom blog (go Sewell!) has a piece on how delivery bicyclists must wear helmets. Many accidents like getting doored etc. Perhaps because delivery men are invisible in our eyes. The whole missing deliveryman in an elevator from 2004 plays to this theory. My friend, David Hu, once had a taste […]

    Will America’s best Chinese restaurant be headed by a Japanese chef?

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    Today we will being our countdown to a non-specific date…Chinese food aficionados are waiting with baited breath for the mid-July opening of Wakiya in New York City after Alan Yau (of Hakkasan fame) was unable to get a visa for his chef for Park Chinois and thus canceled the project. Yuji Wakiya, who is Japan-Japanese, […]

    NYT: Why immigration reform affects your Chinese takeout

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    Tim and Nina Zagat of (yes as in those Zagats) have an interesting op-ed piece in The New York Times about why Chinese cuisine in the United States is stagnant — and they blame it (partially) on the difficulty with getting visas for Chinese chefs. This is something that I have thought long and hard […]

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