Downtown Dining

Fine Chinese restaurant makes grand entrance at Statler Dallas downtown

Fine Chinese restaurant makes grand entry at Statler Dallas downtown

Fine China chicken wings
Mmmm, pickles. Photo courtesy of Statler

The Chinese restaurant opening at the Statler hotel in downtown Dallas has set a date. Called Fine China, the restaurant will be situated off the hotel lobby; according to a release, it'll open in mid-July. Days away.

Fine China is the latest eatery at the hotel, joining the other four concepts already open: Overeasy, Scout, Waterproof, and Bourbon & Banter. It'll feature chef Angela Hernandez' take on new American Chinese cuisine.

The menu is divided into sections such as dim sum, cold dishes, rice and noodles, and large items.

Items include spicy chicken wings, air-dried for a crisper texture, tossed with sama sama sauce, and served with pickles.

Cantonese roast duck is seasoned from the inside-out, then roasted in the restaurant's duck oven, which will offer a unique visual for guests in the dining room. Available in whole or half portions, the duck is served with cucumber, scallions, a seasonal sauce such as peach hoisin barbecue sauce, and house-made mantou.

Dishes like egg fried rice with English peas, mint, fried shallot, soy egg, and cured egg yolk marry Hernandez' love of Chinese cuisine with what she eats and her classical French training.

Xiao long bao has steamed pork, ginger, and black vinegar; pork and shrimp shu mai with fermented chili bean paste and smoked trout roe. Duck confit croquetas, which sounds like an inexplicably fancy way of saying croquettes, come with with charred shishito yogurt. It's okay, be proud of your croquettes.

There are Asian-inspired Texas staples like pork belly with pickles and miso mustard, and an A Bar N Ranch wagyu NY strip with Sichuan steak sauce, mushrooms, and smoked beef fat.

Desserts include soft-serve ice cream in a rotating flavor; and golden mantou, a traditional deep-fried steamed bun with dulce de leche.

Tea please
Fine China has a beverage program developed by beverage director and CultureMap Tastemaker award winner Kyle Hilla, centered around visual contrast and the deep tradition of Asian tea service.

A drink called the Sino-French Connection is served as a cocktail for two in a French press, and contains dried lime, hibiscus, orange, grapefruit, and sage. Once pressed, Takara Soju and fruit fuse inside the French press, producing a deep shade of magenta and multiple flavor profiles throughout the life of the drink.

Other fun cocktails include the Pitch Black, featuring activated charcoal; and the Hidden Gem, with vodka, green tea, Calpico, and lime, with popping boba in various colors and flavors such as pomegranate, passionfruit, and lychee.

High-tea service will feature several imported, loose-leaf teas, hand-selected by Hilla – including green, oolong, and shou puerh. A nod to the unofficial drink of the south (iced tea), Hilla has also developed a special menu of craft, cold-brewed teas.

Fine China’s extensive cold brew process provides a smooth and less bitter-tasting tea, which is then mixed with herbs and juices – such as (cold) oolong with coconut & vanilla and chamomile with honey & orange.

Atmosphere highlights include floral wallpaper, eclectic artwork, and a communal table with seating for 28 – the largest communal table in the city. Take that, you communal table weenies.

Look for the unique wall installation of antique teacups, serving as a visual play on the name.

Bao spinoff
Next door to Fine China, Epic F&B, the management company, will simultaneously open R&B, a fast-casual ramen and bao spot, serving a small, focused menu by Hernandez and chef de cuisine Josh Bonee.

Focusing on lunch and late-night, R&B — which the hotel is trying to pass off as lower-case r&b, but not on our watch — features the simplicity of a modern Japanese ramen and bao house, with limited seating and a standing counter. Bao, Chinese steamed buns filled with meat and vegetables make an ideal meal or snack.

Bao items will include Cheesebao-ger with onion jam, American cheese, and pickles; and pork belly katsu with bulldog sauce, miso mustard, cabbage, and sesame dressing. Four ramen dishes will include two brothless options, including a chilled tomato mazemen with heirloom tomato, Thai basil, tare, koji tofu and nori.

The space, a study in contrast, will feature a black and white color palette accented with Douglas Fir.