Yunnan BBQ Speaks Local

At this Lower East Side spot, what make this Chinese spot stand out are all the local ingredients

Try special Chinese New Year dishes at Yunnan BBQ
Yunnan BBQ's Chinese New Year menu features luck-bringing dishes like this whole market fish.

Updated Jul 2, 2017 @ 8:26 am

If your New Year didn’t get off with the healthy bang that you so desired, Yunnan BBQ is here to give you a second chance.

Snag a place at one of the Lower East Side restaurant’s tables during Chinese New Year, celebrated this year starting on February 7. In addition to the ever-bright flavors of the regular menu, a special $48 prix fixe will be offered February 10-12.

If you’ve never tried food from the Yunnan province of China, you’re in for a treat. Owner Erika Chou, who re-launched the former Yunnan Kitchen as Yunnan BBQ in late 2015, told us to, “think of the area as the California of China.”

The dining space at Yunnan BBQ
Yunnan BBQ has a warm, casual vibe.

On a recent visit, it was easy to see what she meant. The cuisine fetes farm fresh vegetables and relies on sprightly herbs like lemongrass, kaffir lime, mint and ginger. Chou works with local farmers like Cascun Farms, In Line Farms, Radicle Farms and Brooklyn Grange to source ingredients, like mushrooms from New Jersey and whole fish from Long Island, for the menu. Clean eaters will delight in inventive touches like a chia seed vinaigrette here and a flowering shiitake there.

The New Year’s menu will include traditional lucky foods for the holiday, including a whole market fish. Other dishes include Yu Sheung Salad with carrot, daikon, cucumber, jicama, crispy taro and tuna sashimi tangling with a body-balancing ume plum dressing (ume has been called “The King of Alkaline Foods”). And antioxidant-packed Goji berries will be just one of the delights found in the Eight Treasure Fried Rice.

Traditionally for the Chinese New Year, the home is cleaned in order to sweep away ill fortune and to make way for incoming luck. We like to think that a meal like this can clear the way for bright new flavors and reaffirm a commitment to clean eating.

With a nod to tradition, the restaurant will be giving out red envelopes, and one will have a very special gift certificate inside.

Isn’t it time you got lucky?

Yunnan BBQ
79 Clinton St.