After years of working in management in some of Charleston’s top restaurants, like Oak Steakhouse and Royal Tern, Herman Ng is ready to introduce diners to the cuisine he grew up eating in his family’s restaurant and at home. His forthcoming spot XO Brasserie (1090 Morrison Drive, Charleston) will showcase a modern version of Cantonese and Sichuan fare. “This won’t be like your typical mom-and-pop food found in a shopping center,” says Ng, “This will be more elevated with our twist on it.”
Ng’s family ran a Chinese restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina, and he was right there with them. “I started by washing dishes and then learned how to prep produce and meats and cook on woks, and then I moved on the front of the house,” he says. Ng’s mother, Chun, will consult on the menu at XO Brasserie, and his brother, Benson, will join him in the restaurant’s operations.
While Ng has a fine dining background, he says that XO Brasserie won’t be a white tablecloth kind of restaurant. “I want to be approachable,” he says, “I want people to be able to come in and grab some noodles or dumplings or stay for larger format family-style dining because that’s how I ate growing up. I don’t think there’s anything like it in Charleston right now.”
XO Brasserie is expected to open this winter.