We Come to Eat Fire: DanDan Reviewed

Photo courtesy of DanDan

Photo courtesy of DanDan

DanDan on a Friday night is a mess in the best possible way—a riot of people and bags and plates, with servers squeezing through the spaces between while the bartenders do their best to keep up with the crush that keeps backing up to the door.

The place is small, but not small-small. Downstairs, the bar takes up an inordinate amount of room, and everything else is just squeezed in. Two-tops press up against the big windows looking out onto the hustle of 16th Street, and more are tucked under the overhang of the lofted second-floor seating area. The hostess stand half-clogs the only passage between the main floor and the stairs leading up. It would be a terrible place to eat if it weren’t also such a fun place to throw yourself into. There’s a mosh-pit sensibility to it: You can get where you’re going, but not without bouncing off a few bodies first.

I sit in the corner at the bar with a sweating Tsing Tao, slurping cold sesame noodles that have a nutty, sweet kick and working through a plate of cumin pork that leaves my tongue slick with a mix of dusty-hot cumin and peppers. Even the fizz of the beer won’t wash it off.

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DanDan Gets Liquor License, Begins Happy Hour

dandan-marqee-940On Friday, DanDan at 126 S 16th Street received its liquor license. On Wednesday, August 19th, the Sichuan/Taiwanese spot will be launching its interestingly named happy hour, “The Baby High-Five Happy Hour.”

The happy hour includes $5 beverages and bites. Drinks include a featured beer, house red and white wines by the glass, plus well liquors with a choice of mixer.

Happy Hour is available weekdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Check out the happy hour bites and full drink list »

DanDan Offering Free Noodles Through Friday

Free Dan Dan noodles with the purchase of any meal through Friday.

Free Dan Dan noodles with the purchase of any meal through Friday.

DanDan opened over the weekend at 126 S 16th Street. The restaurant serves Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine in Center City for lunch and dinner.

For now the restaurant is operating as a BYOB, but soon enough the restaurant will have a full liquor license. The restaurant is run by Kevin and Catherina Huang, former operators and managers of Han Dynasty’s University City location. As such, the dan dan noodles are a must order (even better, they’re free with any purchase through Friday). Even after bringing leftovers back to the office, several staff members put the noodles slightly ahead Han Chiang’s renditions.
Highlights and full menus »

DanDan Coming to Rittenhouse in July

The space, currently in renovation, at 126 S 16th.

The space, currently in renovation, at 126 S 16th.

From the former operators and managers of Han Dynasty University City comes DanDan, a fresh combination of Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine in Rittenhouse.  Kevin and Catherina Huang plan to open (tentatively) on July 1st at 126 S 16th Street.

In this upscale environment (think full, operating bar), the duo hope to offer healthy, authentic, and quality Chinese food that will be customizable for gluten-free and vegetarian diets (which isn’t exactly authentic, but we’ll let that slide) and will also, like Han Dynasty, be customizable for spiciness.

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Han Dynasty Old City Turns 1, Which Means…Free Noodles


Han Dynasty Old City is celebrating its one-year anniversary at 123 Chestnut, and it’s doing so by giving away free Dan Dan noodles this week through Tuesday, October 21st (Lunch is included). All you have to do to get the delicious dan dan is this:

Step 1: Go to said Han Dynasty.

Step 2: Post “Happy Hanniversary” to any social media (Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Myspace, whatever you’re into) in front of a manager or server.

Step 3: Order an entree to go with the noodles.

Step 4: Receive and eat dan dan noodles at Han Dynasty.

But don’t bring your friends, or too many of them. The deal is only one order of noodles per party.

Han Dynasty [f8b8z]


CHUlicious Brings Taiwanese Cuisine To South Jersey



The former chef and owner of Four Rivers in Chinatown has brought his skills to New Jersey. CHUlicious, a restaurant serving up Taiwanese cuisine with Szechuan influences, may be the new kid on the block, but it’s already garnering up some positive buzz (5 stars on Yelp).

Some of the restaurant’s dishes include Dan Dan Noodles, Hunan Crispy Fish and Cold Cucumbers in a Chili Oil. The restaurant is located at 1200 S. Church Street, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054.

CHUlicious [Facebook]

Stone Brewing Dinner at Han Dynasty

19_HANDYNASTY_Samuel Markey

Han Dynasty in Old City isn’t the only location of Han Chiang’s empire that is doing fun things. Han Dynasty in University City is hosting a beer dinner this Wednesday, December 4th with Stone Brewing. Each of the five courses (three different dishes per course) will be paired with a beer from the Southern California brewery including a couple of their most unusual.

The dinner is $60 plus tip and begins at 7 p.m. in the newly completed expansion of the restaurant. All of the dishes will be off-menu selections that have never been seen on the regular menu. Chiang himself will be serving up the dishes and Lee Marren from Stone Brewing will also be there.

Tickets can be reserved by calling Han Dynasty at 215-222-3711.

Stone Brewing menu at Han Dynasty » 

Where We’re Eating: Han Dynasty


Han Chiang has graduated, shutting down his beloved (if small) Han Dynasty in Old City and moving the Szechuan restaurant across the street into the enormous, opulent 180-seat space formerly occupied by Reserve steakhouse (among other operations). The bar manager from the University City location has come over to craft a cocktail program for the new space. The menu is roughly the same burn-your-face-off-spicy Chinese food that’s served at all of Chiang’s other locations (at the same price point, despite the upgraded digs), but he’s added a late-night menu inspired by Taiwanese street food, served fast and cheap across a small second bar on the main floor. Highlights include the dry pepper fried chicken wings and the pork belly buns, but be on the lookout for frequent changes as Chiang tinkers with the new board.

Han Dynasty [Foobooz]

First appeared in the December, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Red Kings 2 Is Open in Chinatown


Red Kings 2 is now open at 1006 Race Street in Chinatown. Like the orignal at 933 Race Street, this one offers spicy Sichuan specialties like Dan Dan noodles and hard-to-resist soup dumplings. This location is offering long hours, open till 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday and till 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Red Kings 2 [Yelp]

Photo via friedwontons4u

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