What’s on the menu at MIMI Chinese, a gorgeous new restaurant in Yorkville from the team behind Sunny’s Chinese
Name: Chinese MIMI
Contact: 265 Davenport Road, mimicinese.com, @mimichinois
Owner: David Schwartz (Sunny’s Chinese)
Cooks: Executive Chef David Schwartz and Executive Sous Chef Braden Chong (Sunny’s Chinese)
Covid-19 security measures: Frequent disinfection, physically distant tables, mask policy, contact tracing
Accessibility: Fully accessible
Sunny’s, a pop-up specializing in regional Chinese cuisine, was actually the pandemic proving ground for the team’s original idea: MIMI Chinese, a sit-down restaurant that opens to the public on October 21. The main difference between the two, besides the obvious restoration factor, is the styling. MIMI Chinese is a bit more grown-up, a touch more polished and even theatrical – you can order a four-foot belt noodle and watch a waiter wearing a bow tie use scissors to cut it off next to the table.
The menu, which features dishes from different regions but leans towards Cantonese-style dishes from Guangdong province, specifies the region of origin of each item. The team is serious about staying true to traditional recipes. The idea is to inspire conversation about China’s diverse culinary landscape around dishes designed to be shared. (To note: Reservations are now open but are already filling up quickly.)
There is an impressive selection of sake, exclusive cocktails made with Chinese ingredients and a wine list, with an emphasis on white wine, designed to accompany the food. The tea ceremony, a common cocktail for two to four, is a highlight: the vibrant and refreshing blend of vodka, green tea, citrus fruits and wildflower honey is served in a large iron pot and poured over side of the table.
Black walls, red velvet booths, and a gorgeous lotus flower mural give the space a dramatic and opulent feel. There is plenty of seating, several places to relax at the bar and a private dining area for 10 people. Behind the hostess booth, obtained at a closing sale for the now-closed iconic Chinese restaurant Sea-Hi Famous, is an ornate antique cabinet. Closer to the back, a display case features fermentation pots and a collection of cookbooks. An ’80s soundtrack helps keep things fun, as does the bar up front, which will stay open until the early hours of the morning, long after the dining room closes.