by WENDY GUILD SWEARINGEN
WHEN HOME TASTE OPENED A COUPLE YEARS AGO, diners were wowed by the
authentic Northern Chinese dishes coming out of the kitchen. Of particular note are Home
Taste’s homemade noodles, dumplings, and pancakes. Because of Northern China’s cool dry
winters and hot summers that are great for growing wheat, flour-based items are often served
where rice would be used in the steamy south. Think rich, salty stewed meat paired with
silky noodles, and maybe a cool vegetable to prime the palate. The restaurant changed hands
earlier this year, but you’d never know it. Owner and chef Youngxin Fu learned all the dishes from the original owner. He’s stayed true to the menu—and also adds new dishes as inspiration strikes. We sat down with Youngxin to talk about the restaurant, with his daughter
Katherine acting as translator.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AT HOME TASTE?
We recently changed owners. The previous owners still
work here. They got a little bit older and felt like they
couldn’t work as much anymore. So, we took over the restaurant a few months ago. Same menu, same everything,
same workers, even.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR SIGNATURE DISH AT HOME TASTE?
All our dumplings, buns, and noodles are all homemade.
We have one person who makes these every single day. For
noodles, we’re the only place [around here] that has them
handmade 100 percent.
YOU ALSO HAVE A LOT OF COLD SIDE DISHES, WHICH IS UNUSUAL.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO INCLUDE THEM ON THE MENU?
It’s a tradition in China. People order the drink first, then
the cold dish, then the main dish, and then lastly they have
dumpling, rice, or noodles.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM NORTHERN CHINA COMING
IN SAYING, “THANK HEAVENS I CAN GET REAL CUISINE?” IS THAT
THE MISSION OF THE RESTAURANT?
That was actually one of the main purposes why we
opened the restaurant. It’s for people to come—UB is near
here—and there’s a lot of Chinese people who come every
single year. The name is “Home Taste,” so we want them
to feel like they’re home, and to taste and eat the food that
their mother or parents used to make, and they can’t get it
from anywhere else. And for other people to realize what
real and authentic Chinese food really is.
WHAT IS YOUR FATHER’S FAVORITE ITEM TO MAKE?
It’s called braised chicken with potato and carrots (#48
on the menu). It’s very popular because it represents Northern China. It’s a really, really big size, so people usually just
order that one dish and can share with their party. It also
comes with noodles. It’s a little bit expensive, but it’s very,
very big. And very worth it.
WHO TAUGHT YOUR DAD TO COOK?
The original owner came up with the menu, and we have
IS IT EASY TO GET ALL THE INGREDIENTS
new items every year. He taught my dad to cook, what to
use, and the process. He’s the one who taught my dad every-
thing. My father really liked to cook, even when he was
back in China. He always wanted to be
Actually, we get the ingredients from
all around—from New York City. There
are companies that transport food or
ingredients all the way here. The fresh
food, we get from here. For vegetables,
it really depends on which market has
the better ones. It’s different every single week. Sometimes one place has the
better produce, sometimes the other
place does. We pick and choose whichever has the best. We go every Monday
and Tuesday. It’s very fresh.
Wendy Guild Swearingen is senior editor
over April 2017