Monday, July 31, 2017

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen Opens In Cambridge

This portrait hangs, like a ghost, over diners at the newly opened Sumiao Hunan Kitchen in Kendall Square, part of a collection of original art works that grace the eatery.

We were recently invited to the preview reception for the opening of Sumiao Hunan Kitchen, the latest dining venue in Cambridge offering Chinese fare and craft cocktails.  While it certainly was not a full dining experience it was enough to get a taste of what's to come.

It was no surprise at all that the place has a bright, airy, sleek modern design but there are four distinct dining areas each with their own ambiance and all centered around what I predict will be a lively bar scene.

We tried a cocktail and a number of dishes.  The drink was called the "Ice Cold Fusion" and featured Baijiu (a traditional Chinese white grain alcohol rarely used in the States), Cognac, Triple Sec and Lemon.  It had a strong yet not overpowering flavor, best in small sips.

Chefs Changchun Ji and Xinke Tan bring a wealth of experience (Nobu New York, anyone?) to the kitchen.  The restaurant is a venture of Chen Sumiao, a well-known figure in both the local scientific and restaurant communities.  The goal is to bring a more authentic Hunan cuisine experience to the Kendall Square area, something not being offered now.  The cuisine is spicier and features more fermented foods than the current Americanized offerings. 

We asked other diners what they thought of the food.  Did it really taste any different than the typical local Chinese fare?  The opinions offered matched ours.  The food seemed cleaner, less drenched in oil , lighter and the heavy hand with sweet sauces and loads of salt was gone, too. 

All in all a great experience.  We'll be back for more. 

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
270 Third Street
Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 
Telephone:  617.945.0907


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