Early look at Chinatown Square: A U.N. of food under one roof

Chinatown Square, the food hall that replaced Shanghai Bazaar at 1016-18 Race St., is rolling out its operation slowly.

And from the roster of what's coming, owners Kenny Poon and David Taing are building a veritable United Nations of food in the heart of Chinatown.

Chinatown Square is opening slowly at 1016-18 Race St.

Poon and Taing expect to have 14 operators open from morning till late night.

Over Christmas week, The Halal Guys opened with Middle Eastern beef and chicken platters and sandwiches in the front window of the two-story building. Following soon after was I•CE•NY, a branch of America's first Thai rolled ice cream shop.

Chinatown Square's soft opening, complete with lion dance, will be Jan. 28.

The lineup looks like this: 

TeaUs, a New York-based maker of bottle tea (on its way).

Philly Poké, serving the Hawaiian-style raw-fish called poké, as well as poke-ritos, sushi to go, musubi, and rice bowls; Andrew Hu, whose family owned Blue Pacific, a former tenant at the King of Prussia Mall, is in charge.

Khmer Grill is a home-style Cambodian barbecue shop that previously set up among other vendors in FDR Park. Menu includes grilled chicken wings, beef sticks, homemade sausage, sticky rice, and Khmer papaya salad.

Kurry Korner, serving various curries.

Coreano pairs Tim Liu of Monarch Philadelphia and chef Hee "Chino" Chang of Monach and Bop, who have developed a Mexican-Korean hybrid taco creation called the coreano. Among them: bulgogi tacos on corn tortillas with gochujang and Korean sweet peppers sauce with Mexican cheese; and carnitas with daikon kimchi slaw .

The Bao Bar serves Chinese steam buns, with a full bar serving craft beers.

Hi Kori is literally "fire and ice" in Japanese, and general manager David Lee says fire and ice reflects the key components of the menu - mainly kushiyaki (fire) and craft cocktails (ice). Food also includes kushiyaki (meats/vegetables on skewers), an oyster bar, and a beverage program that includes tea-infused cocktails, sake, and Japanese whiskey.

Access Karaoke, on its way, will have private karaoke rooms sponsored by different liquor brands.

The Johnnie Walker Lounge will be an open-seating-style bar lounge with music videos. It can be rented for private parties.

Also pending are Dae Bak, a full-service, traditional Korean restaurant on the upper level, and a wine retailer called Cork and Bottle. A 14th shop is TBA.