We went to the original Nom Wah Tea Parlor last year and enjoyed our meal, so when we heard that the owner opened a smaller space in Nolita, we wanted to check it out. Nom Wah Tea Parlor wasn’t quiet, but the space was fine and we enjoyed our meal. No so at the Nolita location. The space was live, the music was loud, the traffic noise was unrelenting, and the food was not good enough to make up for it.
Nom Wah Nolita is very obviously geared for a young crowd who want a club like atmosphere with their dumplings. The menu at the Nolita location is not as extensive as the original place, and the execution left a little something to be desired. Unlike the original Nom Wah, which stayed true to its original design after a thoughtful renovation, the Nolita space embraces the still popular industrial look (that seemingly will not die.) Hey, we like some of the design elements of the industrial look, but we understand that it comes with a price. And to be frank, when the price is an uncomfortably live space with pulsating music, our love for polished cement floors, glass, and subway tile goes out the door.
Sometimes we are willing to accept a live space when the food is exceptional. But when it isn’t, there is no reason to put up with an uncomfortable meal. Nom Wah Nolita was simply adequate, and that’s not good enough. Though the reading for our visit was under 80 decibels, we felt uncomfortable the entire time we were there. It’s just not suitable for adults who want to preserve their hearing.
So skip Nom Wah Nolita and go to the original Nom Wah Tea Parlor instead. Your stomach and ears will love you for it.
Sunday through Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
10 Kenmare Street (betw. Bowery and Elizabeth Street), New York, NY 10012