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Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a perfect to explore and celebrate diverse cultures at vibrant events throughout NYC. Here are a few spots to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC.

The Standard, East Village

The Standard, East Village is partnering with Heart of Dinner for an installment of their bag decorating series this month on May 25 for an evening of art and giving back. Each bag will be used to distribute culturally thoughtful meals to Heart of Dinner’s elder NYC Asian American community with an extra touch of love. This session will be led with pointers by the talented illustrator Jin Xia.

Restaurant Yuu

Restaurant Yuu, located in the fashionable Little Tokyo District of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was recently awarded one Michelin star just six months after opening. The menu and concept are designed by Executive Chef-Owner, Yuu Shimano, serving a 15-course French omakase tasting menu with Japanese undertones. He has assembled an all-star team of Japanese hospitality professionals, who all have experience in French cuisine. Chef Yuu has been featured in EATER’s Mise En Place video seriesThe New York Times, Town & Country, Forbes, and Michelin Guide among others. 

YAO

YAO, a modern Cantonese restaurant in the Financial District, showcases the crown jewels of Cantonese cuisine, abalonesea cucumber, and fish maw—textures less familiar to the American palate. The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Kenny Leung, who flourished at Canton’s prestigious White Swan Hotel and Restaurant, an institution revered for its Cantonese gastronomy. Chef Kenny’s modern innovations and standout signature dishes are displayed throughout YAO’s a la carte menu as well as its seven-coursetasting menu, also known as “Jia Yan”.

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

The Noortwyck

For the entire month of May, Chef Ileene and The Noortwyck team will be contributing a portion of proceeds from each purchase of the Korean Sweet Potato Milk Bread to Heart of Dinner — available for brunch both Saturday and Sunday.

Growing up in the states, Chef Ileene spent summers visiting her parents in Korea, immersing in her family’s culture for three months out of the year. A cherished tradition includes her Sunday excursions with her father to their local bakery, indulging in sandwiches and sampling of various breads, and it was these memories that Chef Ileene’s deep affection for sweets originated. 

Driven by this passion, Chef Ileene continued honing in on her pastry skills in top kitchens around the world, working as a pastry cook in Michelin starred restaurants such as The NoMad, Betony and L’Appart. Now leading the charge of the pastry program at The Noortwyck, Chef Ileene’s desserts steal the show, blending classic French pastries with delightful twists. 

Chola Coastal Indian Cuisine

Chola Coastal Indian Cuisine has just marked its 26-year anniversaryShiva Natarajan, the visionary behind this culinary gem, pioneered the Indian dining scene in NYC in 1998 when he opened Chola and earned the restaurant several accolades including a two-star review from The New York Times’ critic Ruth Reichl and received recognition from the Michelin Guide. At Chola, the culinary journey begins in the kitchen, where every spice blend, chutney, and sauce are made from scratch in-house to ensure a rich tapestry of authentic Indian flavors. From the aroma of freshly ground spices to the delicate balance of regional nuances, each dish is a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. 

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

Chef Guo

Chinese Master Chef Guo Wenjun, owner of Chef Guo, located in Midtown Manhattan, began his culinary training at the tender age of 14 under the mentorship of Chinese Master Chef Ding Guangzhou, seventh-generation disciple in the line of royal chefs,in the discipline of Chinese Imperial Cuisine. Chef Guo offers a 10-course and 19-course tasting menu, providing a regal fine dining experience that fully immerses guests in Chinese culture. Chef Guo’s offerings are unlike any other, as he has created his own category of healthy, royal Chinese cuisine. He uses traditional Chinese dishes as the base and inflects the different culinary techniques he has learned from tireless experimentation throughout his illustrious career, accenting them with Western ingredients like caviar to create innovative dishes with organicnutritional ingredients that are sourced fresh daily for each seating.

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

Tsubame

Tsubame, the kaiseki-inspired omakase jewel box restaurant located in Tribeca, is owned and operated by Executive Chef-Owner Jay Zheng (Gaijin, Kōyō). Born in a rural Southern Chinese village, he made frequent visits to Japan as a young man, gaining extensive knowledge of Japanese culture and culinary traditions. The quaint 10-seater establishment, nestled near City Hall, serves a hyper-seasonal 18-to-20-course omakase, strictly utilizing ingredients at their prime freshness, allowing each dish to be both best-tasting and most visually appealing. Tsubame also has an impressive list of Japanese Sake, as well as an all-French wine list, comprised of RedsWhites, and Sparkling.

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

Hortus NYC

Hortus NYC is a staple Modern Asian restaurant in NoMad, known for fusing flavors from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia in unique ways that will take diners on a culinary journey at an approachable price point. Executive Chef Geo Park (formerly of Michelin-starred Jua) helms the kitchen, while Managing Partner Suhum Jang (Per Se, Daniel, Jungsik) manages the restaurant, in addition to Midtown’s cherished donut shop, Bear Donut. On Hortus NYC’s second level is a hidden garden oasis that creates the perfect environment for spring dining.

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

Sabai Thai

Sabai Thai, from Owner Karan Daryanani, is a Central-Thai-inspired restaurant in the trendy Flatiron District. The kitchen is spearheaded by Executive Chef Mingmitr Amnuaypanich, recognized for his work at PONGsri and the celebrated Kelley & Ping. He curates a menu of cherished Thai dishes infused with a sophisticated Western twist, including an array of vegetarian and gluten-free options. 

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

ICHIRAN

ICHIRAN is Japan’s best tonkotsu ramen restaurant and a pioneer in the solo dining experience. Conceptualized by President & CEO Manabu Yoshitomi in Fukuoka, Japan, the epicenter of this ramen movement, ICHIRAN has 75 locations throughout Asia as well as three locations in New York City. The family-owned business started as a simple ramen stall in 1960 and created the Five Original ICHIRAN principles which are: Original Spicy Red Sauce, aromatic Tonkotsu broth, solo dining booths, order forms and the Kae-Dama ordering system. With NYC locations in Times SquareMidtown, and Brooklyn, ICHIRAN’s solo dining booths were designed so guests could focus only on the ramen that sits before them, savoring the fragrance of the broth and experience each slurp of ramen. The Hakata-style homemade thin noodlesare prepared daily factoring in the humidity and temperature that day at ICHIRAN’s Brooklyn Factory. ICHIRAN’s online store allows diners to create their own experience with their tonkotsu take-home ramen kit, and now offering a Vegan version as well.

Where to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NYC

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