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Hanoi House’s ‘Chef of the Year’ Abruptly Leaves NYC

Plus, a Thai street food restaurant opens in the East Village — and more intel

John Nguyen at Hanoi House
John Nguyen at Hanoi House
Photo by Gary He

Chef John Nguyen is leaving NYC

Hanoi House lost its star chef John Nguyen, who is leaving NYC altogether to work for the Black Sheep Restaurants in Hong Kong. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. A year into his tenure at Hanoi House, which garnered significant accolades since opening in 2017, Nguyen told Eater NY that he wasn’t sure if he was here to stay permanently. “One thing I lack is patience. If I get bored somewhere, I just jump somewhere else,” he said. “Sometimes [I get restless here].” Nguyen was living in Chengdu prior to relocating to NYC to cook at Hanoi House. Now, he tells Grub Street that his “heart was always back in Asia.” Former sous chefs Daniel Le and Albert Nguyen have taken over the kitchen.

An opening and a coming attraction in East Village

A new Thai street food restaurant called Eat’s Khao Man Gai opened at 518 East Sixth St. in the East Village, serving the Thai chicken-and-rice dish that it’s named for. The restaurant only offers that dish along with drinks like a Thai iced tea and Vietnamese cold brew. Signage has also gone up in the neighborhood for Dia, a restaurant at 58 Second Ave. that will serve Roman-style pizza and coastal Italian seafood.

Brooklyn’s Ichiran to celebrate Japanese Summer Festival this month

Starting Friday, August 17, the Bushwick location of Japanese ramen import Ichiran will host its first Japanese Summer Festival. While regular service will still be offered at the solo dining booths, the communal table area of the restaurant will offer traditional Japanese games, Japanese music, and anime from the 1960s. Purchase of food and drink is not required for entry, but Ichiran is also offering drink specials, including $5 beer, a $5 cup of sake, a $12 sparkling sake, and more. The festival runs through September 3.

Queens dinner series will highlight Sichuan cuisine

Queens Dinner Club will host a dinner at Szechuan House, located at 133-47 Roosevelt Ave., on August 29. The menu includes cold starters like wood ear mushrooms with garlic and vinegar and poached chicken with crispy soy beans in a chili-sesame-soy sauce. These will be followed by dishes like cumin lamb, mapo tofu, or a braised whole fish with bok choy and tofu. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here, and there will be a cash bar.

Szechuan House

13347 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NY 11354 (718) 762-2664 Visit Website

Hanoi House

119 Saint Marks Place, Manhattan, NY 10009 (212) 995-5010 Visit Website

Ichiran

132 West 31st Street, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 465-0701 Visit Website

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