Chinese master chef Guo Wenjun recently made his New York debut, and he’s not kidding.
At Chef Guo in Midtown East, which opened Aug. 16, you’ll be treated to $518 including 19 dishes (15 savory dishes, three tea dishes and a dessert). All dishes showcase Guo’s own culinary system, which combines Imperial Chinese cuisine and classic Western cuisine into incredibly creative meals.
Guo himself began his culinary training at the age of 14, working under chef Ding Guangzhou, a seventh-generation disciple in the line of Chinese royal chefs. With over 30 years of industry experience, Guo previously held the position of executive chef at the Beijing Palace International Hotel and the Imperial Kitchen of the Beijing Palace Museum. He will now be at Chef Guo of New York every day, cooking every meal.
Upon arriving at your seat, you will be greeted with four cold appetizers representing the four flavors of life: Sour (black beans and vinegar), Sweet (sliced yam), Bitter (bitter gourd) and Spicy (fried anchovies). . Before diving into your meal, you will also be served a white pekoe silver needle tea, to help clear the palate.
As you move through the larger courses, you’ll lift a bell accented with 24-karat gold to reveal “The Butterfly Falls in Love with the Flower,” a dish with dozens of natural ingredients resembling an impressionistic painting of butterflies flying overhead. above a garden. The rest of the menu is equally artistic: chicken and beef soup topped with freshly shaved truffles is swirled in a yin-yang symbol, while fried foie gras au jus is delivered in an iron birdcage.
Further down the menu, you will be presented with a Thai jewelry box inside which is a bean curd purse, filled with eight different foods. Proteins range from Wagyu beef and smoked duck breast to Guo’s signature pork chops, which use Chinese pickles instead of salt and come with tomato sauce and a stick of melting homemade chocolate pocky. on the meat. The tofu, cooked gently and slowly for eight hours, is topped with the culinary world’s favorite topping: caviar.
For dessert, Guo serves fruit, as is customary in China. Here it’s a fruit platter with Florida oranges and Red Delicious apples. The very last dish is pu’er tea, a thick drink made using a specified fermentation technique.
A seven-wine pairing curated by Max Tierno (formerly of Eleven Madison Park) is available to complement Guo’s menu, if you’re looking for something a little stronger than tea. Reservations can be made on linewith two services per evening from Tuesday to Sunday.