Tuesday, June 2, 2015

German meets Chinese in Old City

Michael Naessens has taken over Old City Asian Bistro for a new concept.

German meets Chinese in Old City

Michael Naessens has a Belgian bar at Eulogy (136 Chestnut St.) and offers tastings of wine, beer, chocolate and cheese at his subterranean microspot Beneluxx (33 S. Third St.).

For his third Old City project, he has taken over Old City Asian Bistro (206-208 Market St.). Over the course of six months, he says, the restaurant will morph into something called Tsingtau Lokal. (See Facebook page here.)

T-Lok will be a fusion of German and Chinese, and it's fancifully based on a restaurant in the German-controlled Chinese port of Tsingtau or Tsingtao (now Qingdao) a hundred years ago. (See Wikipedia for the history.) The logo features the German monk Koning offering beer to Chinese monk Budai.

Basically, Naessens explains, it will be a fun German restaurant but not a beer hall, with Teutonic twists on Chinese dishes and Chinese twists on German dishes. The timetable and scope of the changeover depend on the speed of the liquor-license transfer.

Though bloggers had been a-Twitter with the anticipation that Naessens would be partnering with Han Dynasty's Han Chiang, Naessens says this is not the case at this point. (Han Dynasty, down the block from Eulogy at 108 Chestnut, just got a liquor license, and Chiang is quite occupied with that.)

For now, Old City Asian Bistro is maintaining its menu and is operating as a BYOB. Naessens plans to keep many of the most popular menu items after the name change, including the sushi and bento box specials.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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