Essex Pearl is inspired by old world travel across Southeast Asia. Our menu is a journey through the country sides of Bali, the iconic floating markets in Thailand, and the modern bustling city of Singapore. Essex Pearl brings you a taste of these endearingly charming parts of the world in a modern New York City setting with an eclectic menu.


Daniel Le

Executive Chef / Partner

Daniel's appreciation for food grew from being immersed in traditional Vietnamese cooking at a young age. While spending summers at his grandparents shrimp trawlers business in Louisiana, Daniel spent his time on the boats bringing fresh shrimp to coast while learning to appreciate the delicacy of seafood.

Daniel began his career in the kitchen at the age of 15 and has worked his way in notable places such as the Ritz Carlton and Roy's Pacific Rim. Most recently, Daniel has been instrumental in the success of the ever popular Hanoi House in East Village, and The Tyger in SoHo.

Daniel's signature cooking style is inspired by flavors of both the Northern and the Southern regions of Vietnam, and combines fresh light profiles such as seafood and herbs from Hanoi, to the bolder profiles of the Phan Thiet cuisine from the south.


Steven Wong


Growing up in the small family owned seafood shop, Aqua Best, Steven Wong has been surrounded by seafood for as long as he can remember.

Steven took over the Lower East Side based family business and transformed the small mom and-pop shop into one of the largest distributors of seafood in New York City. Aqua Best now services some of the most notable restaurants in New York as well as abroad.

When not at Aqua Best, Steven is traveling around the world, sourcing new seafood and bringing his new discoveries back to New York.  Fourchu Lobsters from Nova Scotia, Snow Crabs from Canada, King Crabs from Norway, Langoustines from Scotland, and Blue Lobsters from France, are a few of the many selections that Steven is most proud of.

Steven is excited and proud to begin a new chapter with Essex Pearl, and to showcase his exotic discoveries through Chef Daniel’s cooking, and fresh seafood counter.