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Dale Talde may look familiar to you. The self-described Filipino American chef competed for two seasons on Top Chef, a reality-tv cooking competition. But Talde is on a bigger mission: To change the New York food scene. Specifically, he wants to make Asian food more accessible.

His restaurant Rice and Gold in Chinatown is his latest endeavor. When you walk in, it has a unique vibe. It’s spacious and very open. There’s a very cool bar and even cooler mural designed by local artist Ewok One. Its 3-stories includes a nightclub downstairs and a rooftop bar with the restaurant on the main floor.

But what may really stand out is that everything in the restaurant is written in English. Talde said, “Chinatown to a lot of people can be intimidating. We’re not here to intimidate. We’re here for you to come in and have a great time.” He believes that you can learn a lot about a culture through its food. “If you don’t know a culture, then just eat its food,” said Talde. “It’s the simplest way to understand a culture.”

Don’t call Rice and Gold a Chinese restaurant. That’s because he considers it to be Asian. His dishes are inspired by countries from around the region, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, as well as Mexico, Bangladesh, Iran, Jamaica, India.

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One look at the menu and you can see the fusion of multiple flavors from different countries in a single dish. There’s pho soup dumplings, a combination of two quintessential dishes from Vietnam and China respectively.

Talde adds a Jamaican flair to a Chinatown classic in his whole jerk roast duck. It is flavored with a jerk-hoisin sauce and served with pickled cucumber, scallion and moo shu pancakes.

The Golden Chicken is the chef’s take on halal cart chicken. The chicken is served with persian rice, shishitos, feta dates, white sauce & red sauce.

His plates are meant to be eaten family-style and shared. There’s sure to be something for everyone.

Rice and Gold is open 7-days week with varying hours. It’s located at 50 Bowery in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

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