Sylva Senat was rather unceremoniously dismissed from his gig at Tashan back in June of this year, ending his critically-acclaimed run that won him love from just about every critic in town and three stars from our own Trey Popp. He went into consulting after that, taking on the task of helping to right the ship at Michael Schulson’s Saint James after it got savaged by pretty much every critic in town.
He finished up his tour in Ardmore at the Saint James in November. And now, according to the Insider, he’s come back to Center City to step in as a consultant at Spice 28–the two-chef Sichuan/fusion joint which got a two-star review from Trey in October. The Insider reports that Senat will be starting his tinkering on the fusion side and working forward from there.
Sylva Senat Consulting At Spice 28 [Insider]
It’s a tale of two chefs at Spice 28. Chefs Danny Teng and “Mister Ma” churn out Sichuan and Asian-fusion fare. Trey Popp likes the price point and Mister Ma’s Sichuan specialties.
I’ve liked the Sichuan side of things the best. Dry-pot lamb was electric with ginger and Sichuan peppercorns. That ma la tingle also permeated one of the best (and prettiest) ma po tofu presentations I’ve ever tasted.
But Sichuan is more than just hot-and-numbing, and so is chef Ma’s cooking. The sourness of his quick-blanched, chilled potato shreds was bewitching. The sweet-hot cucumber salad? It’s on par with the version served at Han Dynasty.
Two Stars – Good
Restaurant Review: Spice 28 [Philadelphia magazine]
Spice 28 [Facebook]
Jack Chen and Ben Wang who own the well received Spice 28 on Chestnut Street are now working on a chicken concept. Chick-a-lic will serve chicken in soup, salad and fried forms. The spot is looking to open in December at 138 S 11th Street.
Gregg Methot and Dawn Hone are working to open Famous Detroit Coney Company. The transported Michigan natives are planning a Detroit-style hot dog spot that will take over the Santa Fe Burrito Company at 212 S 11th Street.
Chicken joint on way to Wash-West [The Insider]
Thai Lunch Specials at Spice 28 [Midtown Lunch]
Over at the Insider, they’re reporting that Spice 28–the odd, two-chef, Szechuan/Asian fusion concept at 13th and Chestnut–is currently up and running. The deal here is, each of the chefs offers up their specialty, either traditional Szechuan or modern Asian fusion, side-by-side on the same menu, leaving it up to the customer to decide which way they want to go and, one assumes, quieting all debate between those who like their noodles the way grandma made them (or ate them) and those who prefer the adventure of wok-fried Japanese gyoza with lemongrass aioli and yuzu mignonette.
Spice 28 soft-opened last week. They’re open for lunch and dinner. Folks are already talking about the curries, the dumplings and the cumin lamb, and since the menu tops out at around $20, it shouldn’t cost you too much to go and check out the double-fusion action for yourself.
Spice 28 is Open at 13th and Chestnut [The Insider]