Housed by the renowned Statler Hotel, a new restaurant named Fine China blends Chinese culture and cuisine for an authentic dining experience.
The Statler Hotel in Downtown Dallas is an iconic emblem of the mid-century modern architectural movement in America. Having originally opened in 1956, this period was also defined by the Jet Age. As turbine engines were allowing aircrafts to fly higher and farther, people had the ability to travel internationally, which brought about great social change. It was at this time that Asian culture and cuisine began to make its way into America, and this was the inspiration behind Fine China—one of six eateries now housed by the renovated Statler Hotel, which recently reopened in 2017.
This past July, the newest restaurant to The Statler, Fine China opened its doors to guests with interiors by Merriman Anderson Architects. With a dynamic menu of traditional Chinese dishes, the restaurant evokes the sense of travel and experiencing authentic Asian cuisine, from dim-sum to street food, reminiscent of the 50s when many Americans were experiencing the flavors of China for the first time.
Though the food is not the only authentic aspect of Fine China. Among entering the space, guests are welcomed by a 30-foot-long dining table—the longest in Dallas, seating 28 people—which emphasizes the importance of communal dining in Asian cultures. Even private dining spaces are designed to suit large parties—each of the three seats ten guests or luxurious velvet curtains can be pulled to make one large space.
The restaurant’s public spaces, including a walnut topped bar and lounge area feature cedar beams that distinguish the two distinct spaces in the open floor plan layout, while incorporating materiality and joinery techniques of Japanese furniture making. The Merriman Anderson team was careful to include other details reflective of Asian culture, such as the incorporation of nature through bold floral wallcoverings and paintings.
When it comes to cuisine, Fine Chine incorporates the street food experiences popular to Asia through custom details such as light screens made from repurposed metal scissor gates as well as roasted ducks hanging in the window of a duck oven, as one would find while walking the streets of Hong Kong. The details throughout the restaurant are thoughtful and engaging, from the mid-century influences, characteristic of Statler to details reminiscent of China, from food to decor, making Fine China a worldly experience right in Downtown Dallas.