At junzi, we combine Chinese culinary traditions with new ideas. And in doing so, we foster long-lasting relationships between people and cultures.
Before starting junzi at Yale in 2015, our co-founders, Wanting, Ming, and Yong were doing research in biodiversity, writing papers on environmental law, and making art in grad school. There came a point where they found themselves missing the everyday flavors of Northern China: wraps called chun bings, noodles tossed in sauce, braised meats, vegetable stir-fries, and pickles. When they met Lucas Sin, he was running underground restaurants out of his dorm. And we thought, why not bring these flavors to everyone? The first junzi at 21 broadway in New Haven was born. Almost three years later, junzi has two locations at Yale and Columbia. We’re busy building our third in Greenwich Village; our fourth right next to Bryant Park.
Junzi (君子) is an idea. In Chinese, junzi refers to a person of honesty, empathy, and curiosity. For us, striving to be a junzi is the guiding principle for everything we do: from how we make our food to how we relate to the world.
Lucas Sin opened his first restaurant when he was 16, in an abandoned newspaper factory in his hometown of Hong Kong. Despite spending his Yale undergraduate years in the Cognitive Science and English departments, Lucas spent his weekends running restaurants out of his dorm, known as Y Pop-up. He backpacked and cooked his way through Japan, before settling at Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto. He’s also spent time at Modernist Cuisine in Seattle and Michelin-starred kitchens in Hong Kong and New York.
Beyond the bings and noodles at Junzi Kitchen, Lucas also directs the funkier, more indulgent After Hours menu: fried chicken, instant noodles, juicebox cocktails, and the like. His monthly personal project is a no-longer-secret, collaborative tasting menu exploring the narrative of contemporary Chinese cuisine, which we call Chef’s Table.
We're always happy to answer any questions you have about all things junzi, even if you'd like to just say hi. Send us an email at email@example.com