A founder of Chinese-ish celebrity hangout Philippe Chow is betting that masses wanting to eat a version of the restaurant’s signature dish — satays.
Stratis Morfogen, now an owner at Chinese restaurant Jue Lan Club and the forthcoming Carmelo Anthony restaurant “Mr. Big Shot” made his career as the restaurateur behind the upscale Philippe Chow. He’s no longer involved in the restaurant, but his newest venture is as an operator of fast-casual restaurant called Skinny’s Satay that will be primarily selling a version one of Philippe Chow’s most popular dishes, the chicken satay.
At Skinny’s, the skewered dish will also be available with beef, shrimp, lobster, tofu, and vegetable. They will come with three sauce options, including a peanut-based one similar to Philippe Chow’s popular one, a non-peanut one, and an extra spicy one.
The stand will also offer a slew of salads and chicken satay pops with a peanut sauce dip that’s $6.95 for ten pieces.
The first location debuts in the Gansevoort Market on June 1. Another one will open in Queens Center in July, and a third location in Dumbo will debut in September. Eventually, Morfogen wants to expand “into a global brand,” according to a statement. Already, the tagline of the restaurant, owned by Jesse Baer of Bleeko Group, is “satay’s around the world” [sic].
Morfogen says it’s a way for him to get more people to the Philippe Chow chicken satays, which currently cost $18 for three at Philippe, even though he no longer works for the restaurant. At Skinny’s, each chicken satay costs $3.50, or $19.95 for six.
“The gluten free satays created by our chefs for the past 20 years have only been available to a select clientele,” Morfogen says in a statement. “We created Skinny’s Satay with the aim of serving the other 99 percent so that they can enjoy this special product in a quick service environment.”
Still, the satays likely won’t be the exact one that Philippe serves. Although Skinny’s statements heavily name drops the Philippe Chow recipes, Philippe by Philippe Chow’s special events director Amy Gottenberg tells Eater: “We don’t have any affiliation with him.” Meanwhile, Philippe Chow is also in the process of opening two locations of its own fast-casual restaurant, called Chow by Philippe.
Check out the menu for Skinny’s, opening next Thursday, below: