After two years in Williamsburg, Chinese-Indian restaurant Chinese Club has added a Manhattan outpost. The new location, at 102 Lexington Ave., between 27th and 28th streets, opens today with its menu that crosses Indian and Chinese food, as created by the Chinese immigrant community in India.
Owners Salil and Stacey Mehta — who also own Malaysian Union Square restaurant Laut — are continuing the tradition of Stacey’s grandfather Foo Fung Lo, who opened the original Chinese Club in 1914 in Darjeeling, India. Dishes include Stacey’s family recipes, such as manchow soup with crispy noodles and chicken and shrimp crispy wontons, as well as newer plates like kung pao chicken that’s marinated in Indian spices and baked, then sauteed with the familiar peppers, peanuts, onion, and dry chiles. Every diner gets complimentary masala chai tea and housemade wonton crisps to start.
Though Times critic Ligaya Mishan wasn’t obsessed with the restaurant when she visited in 2016 — she liked the food but found execution spotty — it has proven popular and even appeared in food-driven show Master of None. The space here seats 38 people, including at a six-seat, full-liquor bar, and there’s some decor from the original Chinese Club in India. Contemporary Indian art also lines the walls.
Though there are plenty of Indian restaurants in that area designated Curry Hill, Chinese Club is one of the only to serve this Indian-Chinese style. Chinese Club is now open daily for lunch from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.