Organic vegetables. Grass-fed beef. Cage-free chicken and eggs. These may not be terms that you associate with Chinese food, but after dining at a new restaurant in Rye, you just might start. Throw in a Hong Kong-trained chef, sleek décor with Asian elements, and stylish takeout boxes, and you’ve got Wuji, which just launched a second branch in Rye last month after its Scarsdale opening this past summer.
Wuji’s concept is to take familiar Chinese dishes and punch them up using high-quality ingredients and expert culinary prowess in the kitchen. We sampled quite a few dishes and it was hard to choose a favorite one – everything was tasty and fresh. My husband particularly enjoyed the tangerine beef with Shanghai bok choy, a delightfully citrusy dish with beef so tender that it was barely recognizable. For me, it was a toss-up between the heritage spare ribs glazed in honey and plum sauce, and the spicy fried rice, turned a pale green by finely diced scallions and topped with a fried egg, the yolk perfectly runny.
Other fun touches of the restaurant include the tea service (a steaming hot tea infused with pear and ginger is turned ice cold right at the table – and it’s delicious), the complimentary cotton candy at the end of the meal (green apple-flavored the night we were there), and the custom-designed takeout bikes out front, ready to deliver in style within the area.
Prices are not what you might be used to for Chinese food (think: $17 for a half plate or $25 for a whole plate of the tangerine beef), but with high quality comes high prices. Some may balk at this, but the way I look at it is, if you’re willing to pay more for organic produce at Whole Foods, why not bring that attitude to Chinese food?
So come prepared to pay a lot but also to eat well. And while the ambience at Wuji says “date night,” by all means bring the kids if you want to – they are welcome. Or stay at home and order the takeout. Either way, it’s a dinner that you can feel good about feeding your whole family.
Wuji, 26 Purchase Street, Rye, 914-481-4758; and 2 Chase Road, Scarsdale, 914-713-8811