New York Chinese restaurant RedFarm has finally opened its long-awaited London site in Covent Garden, a year after having secured the site and demolished the interiors.
The RedFarm brand was founded in 2010 by New York restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld and dim sum chef Joe Ng. A respected industry player on the Chinese restaurant scene in New York, Schoenfeld has consulted on menus at the likes of high-end Chinese restaurant Chinatown Brasserie (where Ng was hired as a chef) and Shanghai Tea Garden. Ng, who took his experience from working at World Tong in Brooklyn, was hired as a dim sum chef and promoted to executive chef before the pair went into business together to launch the first iteration of RedFarm.
Located just steps away from Covent Garden’s piazza, the restaurant is in the heart of Covent Garden’s mushrooming restaurant scene. The three-storey site (only one of which is being used at the moment) neighbours Balthazar, another US import. Featuring light wood furnishings, exposed brickwork and communal sharing tables, décor is modelled on the group’s Hudson Street site in New York.
The restaurant made a name for itself in the States for its contemporary and playful takes on Chinese dishes. Popular dishes that have been brought over the UK site include the Instagram-friendly, video game-themed dumpling dish, comprising three coloured vegetable dumpling ‘ghosts’ and a sweet potato Pac Man; and the restaurant’s signature Katz’ pastrami spring roll which uses pastrami from Monty’s Deli. Mains include poached black cod with spring onion and frizzled ginger; marinated and grilled Dingley & Dell pork chip with basil and lemongrass; and Korean rice cake with grilled jumbo prawns. Drinks include cocktails, wines, beers and sake alongside soft options such as homemade iced tea, ginger ale, and juice.
And another thing
The UK’s healthy appetite for dumplings has led to multiple Chinese and Taiwanese openings over the year, and RedFarm is not the only overseas dumpling operator to have set its sights on Covent Garden for its debut. Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung, which had been expected to debut at a Centre Point site on Tottenham Court Road, has confirmed that before it does, it will launch its flagship in Covent Garden.