YAO (Image: Instagram)

“Showcasing the history, present and future of” a given cuisine sounds like quite the ambitious undertaking — especially the “future” part. That is the task that YAO, which opens in the Financial District this coming Monday, Jan. 29, has set for itself, according to its Instagram page.

The restaurant is the latest oeuvre of Chef Kenny Leung and his business partner Thomas Tang, the pair behind the upscale August Gatherings on Canal Street. Like its big sister, YAO will pay homage to Cantonese tradition while calling upon western techniques (think sous vide) and high-end ingredients such as truffles and foie gras.

YAO, 213 Pearl Street (at Maiden Lane), 917-265-8119.

World’s Longest Challah?

The question mark rightly denotes that the loaf has yet to pass scrutiny by the Guinness folks. Nevertheless on Friday, “Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side unveiled a 35-foot-long challah that they and their partners hope will break a world record,” according to the Times of Israel.

The gargantuan loaf was made in collaboration with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Orthodox Union with the aim of besting the current record-holder: a challah baked in Australia in 2019 that was just over 32 feet.

The 35-foot challah — braided in Borough Park and baked in New Jersey before being transported to the Reform synagogue — was made in honor of Shabbat of Love, a JFNA initiative that took place on January 19 across North America.

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