Philadelphia's relatively sleepy dim-sum scene will get two major new players in January.
Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar are in the very late phases of construction at Bing Bing Dim Sum (1648 E. Passyunk Ave.), which they bill as a dim-sum destination with the same "funky inauthenticity" as Cheu. That is, don't expect old-school renditions of Chinese small bites. (They're hiring, too.)
On the other hand, I just stopped to see Wilson Tang, who is bringing a branch of his family's New York City destination Nom Wah Tea Parlor to 218 N. 13th St. in a quiet slice of Chinatown. It's a former hardware store, a block north of the Convention Center, between Race and Vine Streets.
Nom Wah is the real thing and traces its history to 1920.
In addition its street-level dining room and bar, Nom Wah has a basement whose stairs lead up to the sidewalk. Tang is not 100 percent certain yet about plans for down there. But it could make a sweet, little out-of-the-way lounge.