Top Chef’s New Dallas Chinese Restaurant and Late Night Ramen Hangout Transform a Reborn Hotel: The Statler Gets Cutting-Edge Foodie PowerBY Linden Wilson Jobe // 07.10.18
New Dallas restaurant Fine China offers roasted duck in whole or half portions.
Smacked cucumbers with chili oil, black vinegar, and sesame
Executive chef Angela Hernandez
Spicy chicken wings, which are air dried for a crisper texture then served in house-made Sama Sama sauce with Bread & Butter pickles
Hot teas include Dragonwell green tea and Tung Ting oolong tea, among others.
Beverage director Kyle Hilla
Pitch Black cocktail
Angela Hernandez, former chef at Top Knot (which shuttered in January after two years, then reopened just weeks later as Uchiba), has a new post at The Statler hotel’s Fine China restaurant. And now, Fine China is finally opening its doors today, Tuesday, July 10.
Hernandez’s much-anticipated American-Chinese menu features four main sections: dim sum (i.e. grilled shishito peppers, fried chili prawns, duck confit croquetas), cold dishes (smacked cucumbers, Wagyu beef tartare, sesame kale salad), rice & noodles (black garlic noodles, egg fried rice), and large dishes (wok-fried crab omelet, sizzled black cod, eggplant mapo tofu, etc…)
Her menu is designed to be communal (Fine China has the largest communal table in Dallas, with room for a whopping 28 people), and clearly reflects her passion for Chinese cooking, French culinary training, and Southern upbringing.
The food isn’t the only visual feast inside the upscale Asian gastropub: On view from the dining room is a duck oven, where the Cantonese duck is roasted before it’s served with a peach hoisin barbecue sauce and house-made steamed buns.
If you first come to Fine China for the food, return to experience its high-tea service for which beverage director Kyle Hilla hand selects imported, loose-leaf teas (green, oolong, shou puerh).
Hilla’s also created craft iced teas and clever cocktails, including the Pitch Black (gin, suze, elderflower, lemon, and activated charcoal) and the — oh my! — Suffering Bastard concoction of rum, gin, aperol, grapefruit, ginger ale, and Angostura bitters.
Ramen and Bao
If you’re in the mood for more fast-casual dining, Hernandez and chef de cuisine Josh Bonee are concurrently debuting R&B next door to Fine China. The space, which has limited seating and a standing counter, is only open for lunch crowds and night owls (its hours run Mondays through Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 pm to 4 am).
As its moniker suggests, R&B focuses on ramen and bao — Chinese steamed buns stuffed with meat and/or veggies. We suggest snacking on the cheesebao-ger topped with American cheese, Bread & Butter pickles, and onion jam.
Fine China and R&B are the newest concepts from Epic Food & Beverage, which also operates Statler restaurants Scout, Waterproof, Overeasy, and Bourbon & Banter.
Fina China and R&B are both at The Statler hotel, 1914 Commerce St.