Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Han Dynasty

Han Chiang of Han Dynasty plates a five-alarm noodle dish.
Gallery: Han Dynasty
About the restaurant
108 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Neighborhood: Old City Parking: Street parking only.
Handicap access: Not wheelchair accessible. There are two steps at front entrance, but bathrooms are accessible.
Hours: Lunch daily, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner daily, 3-11 p.m.
Prices: $$
Payment methods:
Cuisine type: Chinese
Meals Served: Lunch - Mon. thru Sun. Dinner - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Suburban Szechuan master Han Chiang has brought his peppercorn-fired pyrotechnics and opinionated tableside manner to a downtown showcase that's become a must-stop for heat-seeking adventure eaters. The Old City space may be unremarkable, but Han's talented SichuanSzechuan chefs create some of the area's most exciting and authentic Chinese flavors, including an epic monthly banquet at bargain prices, with the ever-pushy, entertaining and eccentric Han in the dining room to guide the way.
Specialties: Wontons in chili oil; Taiwanese sausage with garlic; beef and tripe in chili oil; rabbit with peanuts in chili oil; spicy crispy cucumber; cold sesame noodles; dan dan noodles; spicy beef noodles; hot pot; beef long hot pepper-style; hot sauce-style fish; beef dry pot style; cumin lamb; kung pao chicken; three pepper chicken; "Weird Taste Chicken" special; honey walnut shrimp special; pork with garlic chives special; soft-shell crabs with hot pot sauce special; three cup chicken; crispy whole fish in Sichuan cq bean paste; duck soup special; pork kidney special.
Alcohol: BYOB. Bring a spice-quencher, ideally a hoppy I.P.A. or an off-dry riesling that also has some acidity (like a kabinett.)
Weekend noise: Usually a relatively reasonable 78 decibels, but the Monday night downstairs banquets hit a boisterous 88 decibels. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)

Szechuan master Han Chiang’s peppercorn-fired pyrotechnics and opinionated tableside manner are a draw or drawback, depending on your sense of humor and heat-resistant tastebuds.

But his Old City showcase has become a must-stop for spice-seeking adventure eaters, who look past the unremarkable space for the most exciting and authentic regional Chinese flavors around, including an epic monthly banquet at bargain prices.

Big question: will the Main Liners visiting his newest outpost in Manayunk embrace the ever-pushy, entertaining, and eccentric Han the same way?

A recent visit showed the food, at least, to be consistent with other HD kitchens.

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