By Ava Stryker-Robbins
Perhaps a restaurant’s signature dish is one that a restaurant opened with the intention of serving. Or maybe it has been on a restaurant’s menu since the day the restaurant opened. But at Amber, the signature dish was added to the menu “three or four years ago,” according to the current manager, Jian Flin, a fraction of the restaurant’s 13-year history on the Upper West Side.
Zesty Chicken features lightly fried chicken garnished with walnuts. It is cooked with a sweet and spicy sauce (sweet chili soy) that is delicious. The chicken is tender and flavorful. The recipe was created by Amber’s chef who was born in Malaysia and worked as a chef at a four-star hotel before coming to work on the Upper West Side. “This dish really came out of his experience,” Flin says. Though the chef experimented with a couple of other sauces and preparations before he and the rest of Amber’s staff were content, since it was put on the menu, the “Zesty chicken has become…our signature dish,” Flin says.
Amber is an Asian fusion restaurant with a wide range of offerings, from sushi—one of their specialties—to wok and grill platters, and more. The restaurant has several locations across Manhattan. Amber moved to its current UWS location about six years ago. It was opened to “serve the local community,” Flinn says, and in his six years there, he has been committed to ensuring “the consistency of the quality and freshness of the food.”
The Zesty Chicken costs $25.
The Dish: Zesty Chicken
The Restaurant: Amber (103 West 70th Street at Columbus Avenue)
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