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Shang, which is now offering dim sum and sushi, was the New York debut of Susur Lee, the best thing to happen to the Toronto hospitality scene since the Skydone's centerfield hotel rooms. But his grand arrival in these parts, marked by a welcome party thrown by Ruth Reichl and Gourmet, was tragically synced with a tanking economy and New York's abrupt shift in taste away from flashy Asian joints, even at hotels, to more humble offerings. Lee's flashy Chinese-fusion cuisine was pimped as being revolutionary and clever—his Singapore slaw was touted as the second coming of leaf vegetables—but the critics strongly disagreed. A hotel restaurant needs either a hot, packed hotel or at least two stars to survive, and Shang has neither. It'll futz around as a catch-all Far East concept for a while, and at some point soon Lee will quietly exit stage left. Maybe the name changes maybe it doesn't, but Shang's transition from destination haute temple to hotel cafeteria is underway.
· All Coverage of Shang and Susur Lee [~ENY~]
· All Matters Pertaining to the Deathwatch [~ENY~]


187 Orchard St., New York, NY