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Lindsay

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Wednesday
Mar142012

A night out in Williamsburg: Brooklyn Wok Shop, Maison Premiere

  • Restaurant  Brooklyn Wok Shop
  • Cuisine  Chinese
  • Location  182 N. 10th St. (btwn Bedford & Driggs Avenues), Brooklyn
  • Phone  347-889-7992
  • Directions  Hopstop
  • Atmosphere  modern, fast-casual chic, comfortable
  • Attire  casual
  • Ideal for  small groups, 1x1, foodies, neighborhood locals
  • Price  affordable - moderate
  • Brooklyn Wok Shop on Urbanspoon

Christine and I decided to make a Saturday night out of Brooklyn.  Williamsburg, to be more specific.  First, we'd have dinner at the neighborhood's newest Chinese fast-casual, Brooklyn Wok Shop, followed by cocktails at Maison Premiere

We arrived at BWS (Brooklyn Wok Shop) just after 6pm on one of the most gorgeous weekends, weather-wise, thus far. 

Not knowing what to expect prior to our visit, the first thing that I noticed, once inside of the restaurant, was the "Order Here" sign that hung directly above the counter.

BWS isn't your run-of-the-mill fast-casual concept - it's better.  Quality ingredients, namely hormone and antibiotic-free meats, speak for themselves.  And, despite the fact that you may have to seat yourself and order at a counter, the interior space/atmosphere is urbanely sexy and lit dimly enough to bring a date.

Better ingredients = better Chinese food.Fast-casual romance: BWS sets the mood where other concepts do notIn an effort to sample as many dishes as possible, Christine and I ordered various items to split.

Scallion Pancakes

Six golden, buttery, scallion-flecked pancake wedges arrived piping-hot, accompanied by a miniscule dish of soy dipping sauce.

Visually, if this order of Scallion Pancakes were a person, they'd be Angelina Jolie.  Stunning - breathtaking - sexy as hell.  However, they were slightly undercooked, revealing somewhat of a pasty/mealy interior texture. 

Roast Pork Bun

Encased within a perfectly-steamed bun was an abundance of gristle-free chunks of soy + honey-glazed roasted pork and sauteed chopped onions.

Prior to my dining here, I had read a couple of online reviews where folks were complaining that the pork (for the buns) wasn't "fatty enough."  Really?  Call me crazy, but I would prefer *not* to have to attempt "politely spitting" inedible gristle in to my napkin.   With that being said, I found this 'bun, alone, worthy of a repeat visit.  Finger lickin', lip smackin' good.

Spicy Curry Wonton Soup with House-Made Noodles

Rich, savory broth was kissed by a delightful punch of curry and a slap of tongue-tingling spice.  Chinese long beans, house-made shrimp/pork wontons and thin, ramen-like egg noodles furnished the soup.

Christine and I both loved this dish, but I found the wontons - while flavorful - to be slightly overcooked. 

Hangar Steak with Chinese Broccoli

Perfectly-cooked (as in medium-rare) strips of hangar steak and wilted Chinese broccoli were enveloped by a savory, brown, soy-based sauce and plated atop an ample mound of sticky white rice.

While I found the greens to be bitter (I gave most of them to Christine), I relished in every bite of the incredibly tender beef.

General Tso's Chicken

Laugh all you want, "foodies."  Yes, we ordered the General Tso's Chicken.  In part, because it was highly recommended to us and, also, because it just sounded good.  There, I said it.

Served atop a mound of sticky white rice were heavily-battered chunks of fried chicken, tossed in a peppy, sweet 'n sour sauce.  Steamed broccoli florets accompanied.  Hey, you have to have *something* healthy in there, right? 

...and I loved every fried, calorie-laden bite.  So chew on that, all of you General Tso haters!

Black Bean Tofu

Soft tofu and Chinese long beans were enveloped in a rich black bean sauce and served over nutty, brown rice.

Healthy.  Good for you.  Nutrient-rich.  For those of you who know me, you're already well-aware that this entree is not something I would order.  Chinese restaurant or elsewhere!  Black Bean Tofu, my friends, was of Christine's choosing.  Christine, the girl who makes it a point to "eat all of her veggies" on a daily basis.  But, hey, we did meet one other at a spin class.  If this gives you any insight, one of my nicknames for her is "gym class hero."  With that being said, I took a couple of bites but, ultimately, found this entree bland and, for the love of god, entirely too "healthy" for my liking/taste.  Sorry, Christine, I tried! 

Egg Tart

Just like Chinatown...but better!

Dense, sweet egg custard (like a thicker, harder version of flan) filled the hollows of a delicious, buttery French pastry shell, proving to be the perfect end to a savory Chinese meal!

~

Following dinner, we walked over to Maison Premiere for a cocktail (...or 5).  After waiting in line *outside* for nearly 20-minutes, Christine and I were finally granted entry in to one of the most charming, old-fashioned/throwback bars in the entire city.  Channeling New Orleans, MP (Maison Premiere) serves an array of oysters and slings cocktails composed of house-made bitters, elixirs, and freshly-squeezed juices.  There is even an absinthe fountain on-site!

...it's too bad that we were initially served by the most pompous, know-it-all bar tender with one of those stupid, curled mustaches.  After asking what made up a swizzle, he responded, "Ice.  And what you see in that (hurricane) glass over there."  Oh really, buddy?  REALLY??  Thank god he went on an extended smoke-break and we got a new 'tender.  Jerk. 

We toasted to a new bar tender. CHEERS!Maison Premiere:  298 Bedford Avenue (btwn 1st & Grand Streets), Brooklyn

~~~

Until we eat - and drink - again,

The Lunch Belle

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