Nom Wah Tea Parlor

photo by Robert Menzer

This old-school Chinese tea parlor has held down the quiet, elbow-shaped alley that is Doyers Street since 1920; its faded gold and red awning bears the ragged toll of its years (or at least, the years since 1968, when it moved from its original location right next door). Nom Wah Tea Parlor survived several ownership changes until 1974, when Wally Tang bought it after working there more than 20 years. His nephew Wilson took it over (and gave it a minimal cosmetic revamp) in 2010, but the elder Tang remains on site, making sure the dumplings, noodles, stir fries, and soups remain true to the original under the kitchen leadership of Chef Kong, who has been there since 1982. Tang’s old-fashioned dinette remains mostly unchanged, as does the dim sum, which you can feast on for days and still have money left over. Try the rice rolls, wide, floppy noodles with cilantro or scallion, beef or shrimp, or the “Original” egg roll, which the restaurant claims to have invented decades ago: an eggy crepe stuffed with cabbage and pork and begging for a splash of soy. There’s no excuse for skipping the dumplings — whether fried or steamed, in soup or dry. And yes, there are teas galore, of course.