New Cross Street Restaurant to Serve Food from the Yunnan Province of China

| January 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Water Song, a new restaurant serving dishes from the Yunnan Province of Southwest China, will open at 21 E. Cross St. in Federal Hill. The approximately 1,500 sq. ft. restaurant space was formerly the home of The Local Fry.

Water Song is a concept from Cheng “Colin” Liang, who grew up in the Yunnan Province and owned a restaurant there before moving to the United States, along with his business partner Andrew Hinton. Liang spent recent years looking for a location for his restaurant as well as getting an MBA from Johns Hopkins University so that he could better understand business in the United States.

Liang has hosted a Water Song pop-up at R. House and worked in local restaurants. This past Saturday, he also held a Chinese New Year party at 21 E. Cross St.

Hinton, who is a real estate professional in the area, helped in the search for a space and, along with Liang, was drawn to the opportunity in Federal Hill. Henry Pertman of Total Image Creative, which is consulting Water Song on the rollout of this concept, said the proximity to Cross Street Market and Federal Hill and its many international food concepts was very attractive to Hinton and Liang.

Pertman said Yunnan Province cuisine is very different from the more well-known Chinese styles of cuisine popular in the United States, and that it takes many influences from the adjacent Southeast Asian countries. Water Song will serve soups similar to pho and ramen including its small pot rice noodle soup in a minced pork broth and a spicy wonton soup. It will also serve dishes such as marinated beef shank, sweet and sour ribs, roasted eggplant and tomato, and seafood plates.

Most plates at Water Song will come in two sizes, “large and humongous,” said Pertman. He noted they wanted to offer smaller plate sizes to make the price point very affordable and approachable.

Desserts will include bubble ruda which is made of coconut milk and rice.

Pertman said many of the tools used for cooking are currently being shipped from China.

Water Song will also serve authentic Chinese drinks and will have a hot tea bar. It will not have a liquor license and may offer BYOB.

Water Song will be open for lunch and dinner, and will likely have late-night weekend hours and a weekend brunch.

Pertman said Liang does not feel that any restaurant in Baltimore has what Water Song is going to offer.

Water Song takes its name from the clouds in the mountains and valleys of the Yunnan Province. “When the water is under the clouds, it sings a song,” said Pertman.

Renovations to the space began this week. Pertman said the space “will not look anything like The Local Fry” when completed. It will continue to have a fast-casual, order-at-the-counter setup, but it will also have food runners who will bring the food to the tables.

Water Song will have about 40 seats and will rely on carryout and delivery business.

Water Song will likely open in March.

This was first reported by Baltimore Business Journal. 

Photos below courtesy of the Water Song Facebook page

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