New York according to Humm (part II)

Continuing our walk with the chef of EMP. From Brooklyn to the best Asian places in Manhattan

Sake Bar Hagi in Midtown New York. It has an endle

Sake Bar Hagi in Midtown New York. It has an endless Japanese menu and is among Daniel Humm’s favourite places for a glass of sake late in the night (photo credits

(see part one)

New York is more than Manhattan. So let’s all go together to Franny’s in Brooklyn, on Flatbush avenue, not too far from the beautiful Prospect Park. This is the ideal place for a weekend lunch, with a nice walk in the park. Pizza and cured meats are extraordinary, the menu is minimalist and small but everything is perfect.

Sobaya, a soba paradise (foto

Sobaya, a soba paradise (foto

Everyone knows that New York is the city that never sleeps; sometimes when we’ve finished working we fancy getting some relax and hanging around before going back home. In this case, there are two options and they’re very distant in terms of food: namely Katz’s Deli and Sake Bar Hagi. The first is famous all around the world, it was established in 1888 and therefore we return to those places that have remained open for centuries and that continue to build the tradition of New York’s food. We’re in the heart of Lower East Manhattan, a neighbourhood in which immigrants from Eastern Europe settled. The restaurant was glorified by the famous “When Harry met Sally” scene in which Meg Ryan simulates having an orgasm. Katz’s Deli, however, was already very famous in town, their pastrami sandwiches are unique, I love them! Besides, sitting here means also enjoying a touch of the old New York.

Sake Bar Hagi, instead, is in Midtown: with Central Park ten blocks away, Time Square behind the corner, the Rockfeller Center two steps away. Despite being in one of the most touristy areas in town, it’s not one of those Japanese restaurants everyone knows. It has an endless menu. Late in the night it is perfect for a snack and a small glass of sake. Japanese establishments here are countless: my playlist includes Sakagura, not far from Central Station; Sobaya, specialised in soba spaghetti; 15 East, the closest to EMP and Sushi Yasuda, a place in which simplicity prevails.

Babbo, Italian-American Mario Batali's favourite house

Babbo, Italian-American Mario Batali's favourite house

Of course even Chinese food is very present in town: Shun Lee Palace is one of the most elegant restaurants, serving the traditional cuisine of Yunnan, Beijing, Shanghai and Canton. Xi’an Famous Foods is the only one to serve dishes coming from the region of Xi’an, China’s first capital. And then there’s Wa Jeal, in the Upper East Side, specialised in Sichuan food, hotter and spicier.

Mandoo Bar is a Korean restaurant specialised in ravioli which in Korea are called mandoo; while remaining always in Korea, Bon Chon’s strong point is chicken. The choice is simpler when I fancy Thai food: Zabb Elee in the East Village is a safe hit. Last but not least, there are Italian restaurants, starting from Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant, a celebrity in New York. Every month the menu changes to unveil a region. And finally there’s Rao’s, a Neapolitan restaurant: established at the end of the 19th century, it was once the neighbourhood restaurant in Harlem. Today it is famous all across the country, also for its products.

2. the end


Chefs' life stories

Men who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view