Wilson Tang has opened the doors of Nom Wah Tea Parlor (218 N. 13th St., 267-519-2889), the Philadelphia outpost of the New York City landmark that's billed as the oldest dim-sum house in the city (circa 1920).
No carts patrol the storefront, decorated simply with ceiling fans and antique fixtures, including an enormous chandelier that hangs over the corner booth. Red leather chairs and lacquered tables are nods to an earlier era in Chinese restaurants. (I was having a mild flashback to the old China Castle on Race Street.)
You order by way of a tear-off note pad menu, checking what you want and handing it to a waiter. Signature dishes include dumplings, buns, sui mai, and a true egg roll - like nothing else you'll find in Philly. For 7 bucks, you get a sizzling, light, rolled-up crepe filled loosely with chicken, celery, baby corn, and matchstick-cut carrots. (The Inquirer's Craig LaBan suggests that the wrapper resembles the Buddha roll from Lee How Fook.)
The liquor license is pending, and for now - in its soft-opening phase - Nom Wah is open from lunch through 9-ish-o'clock, six days a week. The day off has not yet been set, so call first.
Nom Wah opened for delivery via Caviar about a week ago.