Nom Wah Tu — the newest, full-service sibling in the Chinatown Nom Wah empire — suddenly shut its doors after just about six months on the Lower East Side. A representative for the restaurants confirmed that it closed after Saturday’s service but declined to give a reason.
The restaurant from owner Wilson Tang, located at 22 Orchard St. between Hester and Canal streets, starting serving chef Jonathan Wu’s modern Chinese American fare in September 2017, essentially inventive takes on dim sum dishes like shrimp dumplings with blood orange-kefir lime oil and duck fried rice with Brussels sprouts. It was the replacement for less than four-year-old (but critically-acclaimed) Fung Tu after the restaurateurs decided it needed “a much larger change.”
But apparently Nom Wah Tu didn’t stick, either. It’s one of several restaurants in the growing Nom Wah empire, pegged to the historic dim sum restaurant Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street. In the last couple years, Tang has been expanding the brand and has previously expressed dreams to spread dumpling across New York.
The other outposts — Nom Wah Nolita, Nom Wah Kaui, and a planned new Nom Wah in Essex Crossing’s Market Line — are all counter-service, fast-casual style restaurants, though. Nom Wah Tu was full-service, and with Wu’s accolades, was the most culinarily ambitious member of the group. The chef had some say in the more casual outposts, but the company declined to say if Wu is still involved following this recent closure.