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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New York Edition: Big Wong King Boasts Good Food, Great Service, Awesome Pornalicious Name

During last weekend's trip to New York, we stayed in the heart of Chinatown. When you consider this, it was inevitable that we were going to have to get some Chinese food. However, the dilemma was figuring out which one was to receive the honor of our business. Most of the places looked somewhat indescript, with "ingredients" hanging in the window and signage that, quite frankly, I was not able to understand nor decipher.



So we took to the review boards. The place that jumped out to us right away (because of the very decent reviews, but also because it was named after my future porn moniker should I ever spontaneously grow four or so inches and be able to enter the industry) was Big Wong King. Our interest piqued, we decided to pack up Saucy Jr. and trek the couple blocks to see what all the hype was about.

First of all, the place was packed on a Saturday night. I took this as a very good sign, but I also did not want to wait two hours to eat. My first thought was to give up the quest and settle for one of New York's dirtiest hot dog vendors. When the dude taking names at the front quoted my wife a wait time of 15 minutes, I thought, "This dude is insane." Alas, however, the guy had evidently put in a decent amount of time as a Chinese restaurant wait estimator because he pretty much nailed that estimated time of arrival at the table to a T. Nine-hundred-and-one seconds (I counted) of Little Dude annoying a very patient stranger and we were seated and ready to survey the menu.

(The rest of this post will be written in very short, fast, clipped sentences to replicate the experience of scarfing food at Big Wong King. It's called a LITERARY DEVICE, ya heard!?!?!)

We sat down at the table. Waiter was there within 30 seconds ready to take our order since he had rightly surmised that we had reviewed the menu during our wait. We ordered a bowl of dumpling soup, spring rolls, a beef and tomato platter, and Spicy Fried Beef Chow Fun noodles. Already waiting for us at the table was water and hot tea for three. I noticed a guy drinking a Tsingtao, thought for a minute about whether he would have brought his own or ordered there, and then decided to ask the waiter if I could have one. They did sell them and he got me a beer about 30 seconds after I asked (service, by the way, was impersonal but effective as hell - kind of the way I like it). About five seconds after the guy dropped off the beer, Saucy Jr. began monkeying with everything at the table. Chopsticks? Check. Salt and pepper shakers? Check. Glasses filled with scalding hot tea. Check. He even tried to reach for my adult beverage, which I simply can't abide. It was enough that I really started hoping they would get the food out quick. Before I could complete the thought, dumpling soup is out. Tried it. Broth was great, but something was "interesting" about dumpling texture. Turned out there was shrimp in it. I don't really love shrimp, but the wife does. As a result, she liked it a little more than I did. Spring rolls followed soon after. These were very good. I'm a little bit more of an egg roll guy, but I do remember thinking that these were some of the best spring rolls I've had in a while. Just as I thought that though, Saucy Jr. grabbed one of the spring rolls and threw it at my head. Thought things could start getting hectic real quick as it was around bedtime for Homie. To my relief, the rest of the meal emerges hot and steamy. Beef and tomato - one of my favorite Chinese dishes and one that is very frequently screwed up - was delicious. Beef firm, tomatoes ripe, sauce not too ample but enough to provide additional flavor. Noodles were quite delectable. Whatever the Chinese equivalent of al dente is, that's what the noodles were. Perfectly cooked and the beef was sort of a smoky flavor. Had a very nice kick. Somewhere in here, the waiter filled our water glasses and replenished our tea. This is pretty much all you need from a Chinese restaurant that is trying to get you out of there as quickly as possible so they can get money out of freshly seated tourists. The guy's service was so prompt I thought about getting another Tsingtao. However, it was at that moment that I realized Little Dude had a handful of noodles primed and ready to launch at some nearby diners. So we decided to wrap it up and call for the check. The guy brings it over with a speed reminsicent of baseball players running the bases in sepia-toned footage from the 1920s. The aforementioned quadrant of meal segments (plus a Tsingtao) cost 27 bucks. That's like stealing really. So we gave the waiter a $6 tip and got out of there. As we were leaving, the guy at the front, who was taking the names, gave our kid a nice smile and ten seconds of baby conversation. I didn't know he had it in him, and it made me wonder if he was doing it because our kid is so personable or because we were getting out of there so quick. To sum up: Don't go to Big Wong King for the ambience or to be pampered. Go for the very delicious food. Eat swiftly. Then leave and get back about your day. The proprietors will be very thankful.

Big Wong King
67 Mott St.
New York, NY 10013


Big Wong on Urbanspoon

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