A new contemporary Asian restaurant will open next to the Museum of Modern Art
Named after the architectural masterpiece in which it sits, 53 is a new contemporary Asian restaurant opening in the 82-story residential tower designed by Jean Nouvel at 53 West 53rd Street, next to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan. 53 marks the fourth destination concept in New York from restaurateur Ahmass Fakahany, founder and CEO of the Altamarea Group, which includes Michelin-starred restaurants Marea and Ai Fiori and Morini. A passion project in mind for several years, with the opening of 53, Fakahany artfully blends the varied taste profiles of Asian cuisine – from its almost 10 years of living in Asia – with the ethos and artistic vibe of New York. , in a modern style. , living environment on three levels.
“For some time I have wanted to open in New York, an elevated Asian dining experience with different flavors and tastes in a comfortable and chic atmosphere, similar to many wonderful places I have visited in large hotels or venues in key cities across Asia,” says Ahmass Fakahany. “Like the heart of Marea, 53 is a New York restaurant serving exceptional authentic cuisine to a global clientele. I have always been an avid supporter of New York and its resilience, and after all the stress of the past two years, I want our guests to relax and enjoy themselves at 53.”
Fakahany collaborates with world-renowned Singaporean chef, Akmal Anuar, who ran one of the world’s top 50 restaurants Pellegrino in Singapore (Asia No. 1) and created Asian restaurant sensation, 3 Fils, the first 2022 winner of the best restaurant in Pellegrino. World’s 50 Best for Middle East & Africa (MENA #1). Chef Akmal began his career in the kitchen of his parents’ street vendor in Singapore. More recently, in addition to working around the world with top chefs in Spain, Australia and Japan, Chef Akmal has been recognized for creating some of the best contemporary Asian restaurants in Dubai.
“Ahmass and I have known each other for many years, as we first met while he was still living in Asia. It is a dream that our connection will come full circle and that I can bring the dishes of my youth and my history to an amazing and electric city like New York,” shares Chef Akmal.
A fusion of his education and culinary experience, Chef Akmal’s menu for 53 will feature an exquisite range of Chinese and Japanese influenced dishes, as well as the flavors of Southeast Asia. Unlike more typical Asian cuisine, Menu 53 will be categorized by temperature and preparation: Cold, Hot, Steamed, Grilled, Clay Pot and Wok. Colorful and exotic, with dishes of varying sizes, each menu item will be prepared with only the freshest, seasonal and local ingredients. The intent of the menu is that it is best enjoyed as a multi-course experience, which can be layered for a more leisurely and flowing meal for guests. Even a table of two has the opportunity to try between five and seven dishes during a dinner.
Joining Chef Akmal to lead the kitchen is Mark Yu, who also comes with a career full of culinary experience, including his most recent role as executive sous chef at Pastis and senior chef positions at Catch and Harlow. At New York. The culinary team will prepare dishes such as hand-sliced dry-aged beef carpaccio with aji-panca and peppercorn dressing, Toro tartare topped with sustainable caviar from the cold section and decadent truffle egg custard with foie gras and littleneck clams in the Hot section. Featured in the Grill section, customers are encouraged to enjoy Sambal Skate, which at 53 is wrapped in a bamboo leaf and served with homemade cincalok sauce. From there, servers will guide guests on their journey through 53’s menu, from Steam menu options to Clay Pot and Wok selections with items such as Steamed Turbot with Ginger and Oil of garlic or Hainanese chicken soaked in Shaoxing wine, each dish comes with more delicate dishes. precision than the next, and each bite adds even more to the customer’s multi-sensory 53 experience.
To bring the entire guest experience to life, Susan Lee, Executive Director of Operations, will lead the restaurant with the assistance of 53’s General Manager, Alex Magat (formerly General Manager of Bar Blondeau).
Given its iconic address at the foot of the 1,050-foot-tall sculptural tower, art is intrinsic to the dining DNA at 53, with several MoMA gallery levels located directly above the restaurant. In keeping with its location at 53 West 53, Fakahany has entered into a unique curatorial partnership with the world-renowned Friedrich Petzel Gallery. This special artistic collaboration intriguingly blurs the lines between gallery and restaurant, creating an immersive dining experience that showcases cutting-edge artists. Friedrich Petzel will curate the art on display throughout the space and design a rotating installation of works every 3-5 months. The first artist in residence will be Jorge Pardo, followed by Ross Bleckner. A combination of artists will also be included periodically.
“We are thrilled to partner with the caliber of Fakahany and Altamarea in such an exciting new endeavor where together we can reinvent the dining experience through a program that draws inspiration from the special and eclectic collection of artists represented by our gallery,” says Friedrich. Petzel.
For the interior, Fakahany selected ICRAVE, the leading innovation and design firm based in Miami and New York, to bring their vision to life for the 11,000 square foot space that spans multiple levels. By reinventing Asian design elements, ICRAVE sought to create a bold yet intimate ambiance for the restaurant. Key to 53’s aesthetic is its chic, modern art design that weaves the vertical structure into an integrated cascade of sweeping blades – a representation of the “chi” or energy that moves throughout the restaurant. Layers of light capture the different surfaces of the blades, and the blades’ nine edge banding colors are inspired by elements of Chinese palaces and gardens often seen in modern artwork. Guests move through a series of “galleries,” moving from scene to scene and appearing to inhabit the artwork. The sunken, double-height main dining room is a landscaped diorama and will be visible from street level, presenting an aerial view and revealing a beautiful modern room bustling by day, glowing by night.