by Tara Nurin
After listening to foodie buzz for months around the much-delayed launch of Tyson Bee’s, Tyson Wong Ophaso’s new food truck, the Iron Chef officially let his new business fly this week.
He soft-opened this past weekend in the Gayborhood and can often be found at the intersection of 33rd and Spruce, where he’ll station his pan-Asian restaurant every weekday from 11am to 6pm going forward. On weeknights and weekends, you can find Tyson and his long-time sous chef, Cliff Asavadejpakdee, driving around the city until the wee hours.
They hope to have a Twitter handle by the end of the week; until then, they promise to do their best to post their 20 on their Facebook page. Or starved followers can put out an APB on what may be the only truck in the city that’s brightly painted with cartoonish pictures of bees, courtesy of local illustrator Yis Goodwin (aka NoseGo).
To start, Ophaso and Asavadejpakdee are serving a compact menu of Asian favorites from their previous restaurants – the latest being South Broad Street’s Chew Man Chu — such as green curry, fried rice and steamed pork buns. As their business grows and the seasons change, they’ll introduce variations and specials like won ton soup, homemade donuts and roti.
“They’re really excited to see how things go and to try ideas based on that,” says the duo’s close friend and de facto spokesperson, Tina Toal. “They’re especially looking forward to seeing what the late-night crowd is like. In L.A. and New York it’s really busy. They want to know if Philly will receive them the same way.”
They’ll get their first taste of Philly-style nightlife tomorrow in Old City, when they pull onto 3rd and Market at approximately 6pm and leave when the last drunken bar patron plunks down some bills for a plate of what may prove to be the most expertly-prepared Asian food to ever emerge from a truck.
If all goes well, the celebrity chef and his assistant are considering opening a restaurant of their own — one that won’t rely on wheels to take them as far as they want to go.