If restaurateurs were rock stars (and in Philly, they’re as close as we come), Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh would be vintage R.E.M. Whether they’re slinging ramen with brisket and matzo balls, as at Cheu Noodle Bar, or papering the walls of their new Bing Bing Dim Sum with acid-trip dumpling emojis, they have a knack for twisting a budding trend just far enough to make it unmistakably their own. Read more »
Bing Bing Dim Sum announced today that they passed their health inspection, bringing them closer to finally opening. According to owner Shawn Darragh, the plan is to softly open the week of February 9th and aim for the grand opening on either February 16 or 17.
Ben Puchowitz is currently testing his menu, watch the progress on Facebook and Instagram. But check back here early next week for the final product. Bing Bing will be on happening Passyunk Avenue, opposite of Cantina Los Caballitos.
Bing Bing Dim Sum [Foobooz]
Working towards opening Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk doesn’t mean Cheu Noodle Bar is stagnating. The Washington Square West noodle shop is showing off six new menu items for the new year. Charred beets and an oyster bun are the new small plates. In the noodle department, Chef Ben Puchowitz is now offering:
Spicy Shrimp Broth – egg noodle, shrimp balls, onion
Short Rib Mazeman – tomatillo, green chile, soft egg
Sichuan – hot bean paste, pea leaves, tofu, sesame
Yakisoba 3.0 – chorizo, mushroom, egg, cilantro
So Bing Bing’s construction has come to a slow halt. However, the opening date is still set for some time in late November or early December of this year–provided everything else goes according to plan from here on out.
With that being said, the interior of Bing Bing Dim Sum sounds pretty cool, featuring booths converted from antique Chinese day beds and a large community table that seats 12.
And now we know a few things about the menu as well.
Ben Puchowitz took home top honors in last night’s Hop Chef Philadelphia competition at Union Transfer. The Ommegang event pitted eight chefs against each other in a battle to make the best dish that paired well with the Ommegang beer that the chef drew. Puchowitz, who is the chef/owner of Cheu Noodle Bar gave the crowd and judges a preview of his upcoming Bing Bing, with smoked duck buns paired with Ommegang Rare Vos.
A very satisfying lunch at Cheu Noodle Bar was made that much better with some information on Shawn Darragh’s and Ben Puchowitz’s East Passyunk’s venture. Darragh told me that the 50-seat (plus another 30-seats outdoors) restaurant will be called Bing Bing. Bing is Cantonese for dumplings and Bing Bing is just more fun to say. The former El Zarape will be a dim sum house with a large selection of dumplings and buns.
If all goes well, Darragh and Puchowitz will have their take on dim sum cranking by Labor Day.
Last night the ramen-lovers at Cheu Noodle Bar had to satisfy their umami cravings with some lesser take out option, because the only menu on the table was George Sabatino‘s (executed along with Cheu’s Ben Puchowitz and paired with cocktails by George’s wife, Jennifer Sabatino) for a sold-out, one-night-only pop-up to showcase the kind of dishes we can expect to see at Aldine – the Sabatino’s first restaurant, set to open in early June in the former NoChe space. Guests filled every seat for each of four on-the-hour seatings, and the food reflected Team Sabatino’s earthy flavors and modern techniques, as well as a yearning for spring ingredients to arrive in Philly.
George Sabatino has been a busy guy since leaving Stateside way back when. He did Morgan’s Pier. He did Winterfest. And all the while, he’s been working on opening up his own place–Aldine, which will be going into the second-floor space at 19th and Chestnut that was formerly home to Noche.
And things at Aldine must be coming along nicely because we just got word that Sabatino (and his wife and partner, Jen) are going to be doing a one-night-only menu test / pop-up dinner at Cheu Noodle Bar on Monday, March 24.
Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz have signed a lease for the current El Zarape at 12th, Passyunk and Morris Streets. Passyunk Post has the details on what will not be another Cheu Noodle Bar but a different Asian concept. No doubt inspired by Darragh and Puchowitz’s recent trip through Asia.
El Zarape will be open through March 14th, when it will move to 1304 S 9th Street.