This summer, Bo Ling’s moved its flagship restaurant to a space on the Plaza worthy of its designation as the top dog in the chain. It’s stunning in its contemporary and bold design. Taking up half of the Skelly building, the restaurant would almost feel cavernous if not for the well-divided dining room that includes cocktail seating, booths, and a full bar. There are two entrances, one on 47th St. and the other on Jefferson. There are also a few parking spots reserved for people dashing in for carryout.
This location has added a noodle bar; diners choose soba, udon, ramen or rice noodles, and then add a protein and broth. It even sells gorgeous cakes, something one does not expect at a Chinese restaurant.
Most of the menu reads the same as the one at the old venue– presented notebook style, each page is laminated and full of photos to help diners make their selections. It’s huge, so plan on several visits to discover your favorites.
We started one evening with fabulous Sichuan dumplings bathed in a luxurious garlic-soy chili sauce. We also ordered spicy vegetable lo mein, a dish not on the menu, but one of my favorite dishes to request…and they are always happy to oblige.
I didn’t love the Dan Dan noodles, but that’s just me. I realized the minute I took a bite that I had made the wrong choice, but only because I don’t like Chinese five spice, and it was clearly the dominant flavor in the noodle sauce.
If you are with a group, consider ordering the Beijing Roasted Duck. Typically served with Mu Shu style pancakes, Bo Ling’s tucks the duck pieces in steamed buns instead.
I’ve always found Bo Ling’s to be quite expensive for a Chinese restaurant. It still is, but now with its new decor and upscale ambiance, it feels a bit more justifiable.