Friday, April 14, 2017


Dan and I aren't usually at the forefront of getting to new restaurants.  We live south of Nashville, so driving up to the city involves a bit of planning.  But Tànsuŏ, the new restaurant concept from Maneet Chauhan and Chris Cheung, opened just a month ago, and its Chinese-American fusion of cuisine really enticed me.  I snagged a reservation on OpenTable, and we were off!  (Full disclosure: my husband is employed by a brewery that is backed by Maneet, but he has no sway in how I express myself in social media... I'm all about transparency!)

The restaurant exterior is pretty subtle; you'll see the valet before you notice it, probably.  It's right next door to Chauhan Ale & Masala House.  The decor of the place really struck me.  It had Asian lotus and abacus-inspired elements.  A couple of people on Yelp have found this to look cheesy, but honestly I found the overall vibe to be very sexy.  The size of the restaurant struck me too!  We were seated in a big, beautiful blue booth.

Our server recommended that we share two dim sum and an entree, but we didn't listen, and we ended up taking leftovers home!  Two dim sum and an entree is PERFECT for two people.  Everything is made to be shared, so I would listen to the server... they know what's up.

The fire cracker spring rolls were definitely worth ordering!  I loved the sauce that came with them.  They are very small, but packed with flavor and beef short rib meat.  We also had the toishan sui mai, pork dumplings with salted fish and soy sauce.  I was worried it would have a fishy flavor, but it was very tasty.  It's not the greatest dim sum dumpling I've ever had, but definitely yummy.  I would pick the spring rolls over the sui mai if I had to choose.  I wish they had soup dumplings and more dim sum like Din Tai Fung, which I can only get on the West Coast.

Fire Cracker Spring Rolls

Toishan Sui Mai

The two entrees that we ordered were of ample sharing size.  The peking pork chops could have fed three people, I'd say!  We also had the General Tso's chicken.  I was really torn wanted to try some of their rice dishes too, and I found that there were enough things on the menu that I want to try to merit coming back again.  Both dishes were saucy, crunchy, juicy...  my husband detests leftovers, but with this stuff he was asking for a doggy bag to take to work the next day!

Peking Pork Chops

General Tso's Chicken

I really enjoyed our meal at Tànsuŏ.  I left feeling full to the max, and the drinks were good to boot.  The wine list is carefully matched to the cuisine, as most places should do!  Husband enjoyed some Lagavulin too.  I think that people who are seeking "authentic" Chinese or dim sum will be disappointed in this place, the same way those seeking "authentic" Indian cuisine found Chauhan Ale & Masala house to be polarizing.  Same for those who think these types of cuisine should be inexpensive and not high-end experiences.

But as a half-Korean half-American girl, I have a passion for fusion and inspired flavors.  I love seeing people take a riff on flavors that they've come to love or grew up eating.  I think Chef Cheung has brought his NYC Chinatown upbringing to life in an delicious, upscale, sexy way.  There's a place in this world for authentic Chinese food, Panda Express, and Tànsuŏ, without cognitive dissonance.  Disagree with me if you wish, but I think this is what makes America's restaurant scene so tasty.

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