Pure and fresh, this is the concept and vision of the upscale Chinese restaurant Wuji located in Rye. The ingredients that are used in each delectable dish are natural, organic and locally sourced when possible. The true authentic Chinese dishes are prepared by chefs from Asia. The departure from the use of MSG and heavy use of salt really gives the food a lighter taste and allows the true flavors to emerge.
There is a very different vibe at Wuji as it has a positive energy once you enter the restaurant. You know you are in for a very different Asian dining experience. The interior space is laid back and open with subdued lighting, muted color palette and custom-made prints of Buddha (brought in from Hollywood) adorning the walls. The bar is a semi-circle and above are suspended Chinese parasols that act as a design element and light diffuser.
There are tall elegant urns from China, unique custom lighting, and tile floors that subtly mimic the look of wood. The overall effect is quite pleasing and calming. There are many innovative dishes as well as some familiar favorites.
Drinks: Our attentive waiter Leo recommended the White Pear Sangria made with plum wine, pear cider, Asian pears and muddled cranberries. The drink was sweet and I have never had sangria prepared this way and it was quite refreshing. The cocktails are made using organic natural juices and purees. The Blood Orange Mojito was also sampled and featured rum, blood orange puree, mint and sugar cane for a refreshing twist .
Starters: There are so many choices on the menu it was hard to choose, so our table sampled a few items to share. The Chicken and Peanut Spring rolls were served with a spicy mustard sauce and were crispy and light and not the greasy rolls so common at Chinese restaurants.
Bao Bao Buns were fantastic and filled with Berkshire pork, daikon and house made pickles. They were so fresh and delicious.
We also sampled Sweet White Shrimp was served in organic lettuce cups, ginger, garlic, chilies, and cashews. This light and flavorful dish was a favorite at our table. Lastly we sampled the staple of Pork Dumplings with cabbage and water chestnuts. All the appetizers are beautifully presented as seen in the photos and it enhances your dining pleasure.
Main Course: This course for the most part can be order in half or full size portion. The Classic Peking Duck was the most delicious I have ever had and was served with hoisin sauce, scallions, and a side of mu shu pancakes served in a bamboo basket.
The Wok Lobster is another great choice with shitake mushrooms, zucchini and served in a shaoxing sauce. This novel dish was succulent and an attractive presentation as well. We also ordered the Tangerine beef which was unlike what you would receive in your typical Chinese restaurant. The slices of fresh beef were served in a tangy citrus sauce and over fresh Shanghai Bok choy. I can state that I have never had such juicy and flavorful Tangerine Beef as it was made to perfection by the chefs.
Side dishes: Our waiter suggested some side dishes included the Spicy Fried Rice and the Lobster Fried Rice. The Spicy Fried Rice is a totally unique item served with a sunny side egg on top and crispy shallots and the rice was a light green color. If your palate loves spicy food, then this is the dish for you. I loved the Lobster Fried Rice with ginger root and cilantro. This dish was light and loaded with flavor which was apparent from the first bite.
Dessert: All are made in house and not the typical Chinese style you expect. Try the Ginger-Orange S’mores with Bruleed Hong Kong marshmallow for a distinctive blending of flavor. The Chilled Mandarin Orange Creamsicle with lychee fruite and mint was another choice and was an instant favorite. I was surprised and pleased by the creativity of the desserts and the presentation as well. The hot white Ambrosia tea is a nice way to conclude your dining experience and is served in a small metal pot. The flavor was sweet, gentle and soothing . The meal ended with a unexpected surprise, a serving of Green Apple cotton candy ! This fun confection was enjoyed by all and put a smile on our faces.
For a distinctive Chinese cuisine experience with fresh, organic and pure ingredients prepared in an innovative way (and some classics as well), don’t miss Wuji in Rye. A new location will be opening soon in nearby Greenwich Ct.
26 Purchase Street Rye New York
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