AS OF 2012, CLOSED.
Tse Yang: The Chinese-American-French restaurant that time forgot. Huge fish tanks, Chinese murals on the wall, dimmed lighting and cozy corners where deals are still brokered and broken. Welcome to Tse Yang, the New York outpost of a French classic.
A focused menu, Tse Yang is a midtown Teflon, a resto I had never been to until this past spring and then a few times on business. I avoid Asian restaurants these days: as I'm seafood allergic and soy intolerant, it seems unfair to everyone to go to dine with a menu that is mainly no-nos. But with a business lunch, sometimes you don’t have that option. So you go and you do all of the steps necessary to make it as pleasant and allergy-free as possible. (Have a look here for my tips and the Allergic Girl book will have many, many more.)
The host and owner Larry greets everyone (not me, yet) by name, in either French or English. This is an old boy’s network resto of the highest order, with UN clients as well as midtown bankers (above the age of 60). Family owned and run, there isn’t much on the menu for me. But Larry, host and owner, has made sure that every time I have dined with them, they prepared a dish to my specifications: steamed chicken, steamed veg, steamed rice. Boringa? Yes. Safe? Yes. I’m definitely missing out on their best menu items, but safe will trump exciting for me every time.
NB: My first visit there, Larry made a point of thanking me for telling him about my allergies before I sat at our table. He then regaled me with several stories of diners (all men) who didn’t reveal their allergies until after they had started their meal. For example, the shellfish allergic customer who only after he took a spoonful of his shellfish soup mentioned the allergy. He had to be escorted out of the restaurant and to the hospital. Food allergy peeps, give yourself and restaurant a fighting chance: tell a restaurant about your food allergy needs ahead of time. Feel shy about broadcasting your needs to your table? Excuse yourself and have a tete a tete with the manager: they want to hear from you.
I look forward to trying something new at the Tse, but until then I'm happy for chicken and veg all steamed, all allergen-free.
Tse Yang Restaurant
34 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022-6801