Jason Zeng, owner of Fan Tang in Nob Hill


By Michael Naz, Guest author

What are your best dishes?

From the beginning we have taken pride in creating traditional Szechuan-style cuisine as well as many fusion dishes – such as the coffee chicken, the soul dumplings and tea-smoked beef, just to name a few signature items.

How have you applied a fusion flair to your vegan dishes?

Our concept starts with the idea of making vegan dishes taste great and appealing to the non-vegan. Meat eaters always complement our tofu and kimchi dumpling with a cashew pesto. We continue to succeed in creating vegan dishes that all people love.

What are the most requested dishes? 

Our number-one-selling dish by far is our coffee chicken. Not far behind that is our cashew chicken.  People want their tummies full but don’t want to feel tired and sluggish, especially during the work day. So our chicken entrees are a great choice.

What advice would you give about food pairing when visiting Fan Tang?

Try our savory dishes along with our spicy or sweet options. Don’t forget to upgrade to fried rice on your entrées. Our desserts are also a fan favorite with our sake or sweet wine menus.

What is a must-try dessert, with beverage pairing? 

Our green tea ice cream is very popular. It is served in a little flower pot covered with Oreo crumbles and a Mint leaf. Looks like a little plant and tastes goes so good.  This is very cost-effective for families with kids or small groups because it can be shared.

How do you stand out from the many Asian restaurants in the Nob Hill area? 

We are the only Fusion Asian restaurant in Nob Hill, while all of the others have traditional cuisine. We only use the freshest ingredients – nothing is frozen. We pay close attention to quality and provide unique dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. This is what sets us apart from others.

Good Business Practices

What advice would you give to other restaurant owners surviving the aftermath of the pandemic?

During the pandemic we switched our service to a mostly takeout model. This helped us survive the pandemic. As the pandemic is ending, our business model is once again changing to more dine-in service. 

In your opinion, what does it take to have a unique edge for a restaurant in the Nob Hill area?

Having a unique menu is important. Provide a great dining experience and great food.  Provide drinks and entrees that can’t be found anywhere else.

How were you able to succeed and thrive during the New Mexico ART program?

We survived thanks to our tremendous repeat business from everyone who lives in the neighborhood. And we stayed consistent with great services for delivery and takeout.

What advice would you give to new restaurant owners who want to succeed in our great city?

If you have a passion for your food, let it show through your cooking.

What motivates you to keep striving in this highly competitive market?

It really puts a smile on my face when I see new customers trying my food and being amazed at what they’re eating.

What are your future plans for the Fan Tang legacy?

I would like to put a few more Fan Tangs in Albuquerque, possibly Fan Tang Express or franchise opportunities.