April 1, 2014
Last week we gave you the early word on chef John Bullington’s highly anticipated Chinese-American restaurant, A-OK Chinese, in South Austin, and now it’s time to talk about another Asian concept coming
soon: Swift’s Attic’s downtown spot Wu Chow. Partner and general manager C.K. Chin says that Wu Chow aims to make traditional Chinese food accessible, with great service and atmosphere that eases you in gently instead of throwing you in headfirst, like at places like Asia Café and Din Ho. Rather than focusing on Chinese-American like
Bullington has done, Chin is going back to dishes he ate as a kid, “a side of Chinese cuisine that hasn’t been explored yet in Austin,” he says. “People think they like Chinese food, but they haven’t had ginger scallion lobster.” Also on the menu are Peking duck, soup dumplings, sesame noodles and fried rice. “Opening up a Chinese restaurant without fried rice on the menu is like opening Tex-Mex without queso on the menu,” he notes.
Chin has invited one of his uncles, an established Shanghainese chef in Houston, as well as his grandmother to teach the kitchen their recipes, and of course the Swift’s team (Mat Clouser, Zack Northcutt and Callie Speer) will be cooking up a storm too. Unlike at Swift’s, though, Chin says, “We’re trying to avoid the word ‘fusion’ entirely. We don’t want to add wasabi or sesame seeds to a dish and go, ‘Bam, fusion!’” Instead Chin wants to add to the Austin Asian conversation, similar to the way Uchi, Elizabeth Street Café and Sway have done, but in the Chinese palate.
He hopes to open Wu Chow by the end of 2014. “I hope Austin’s ready,” Chin told us. Well, our mouths are already watering.