Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 23 July 2010
A Restaurant Review: Big Wong King

Big Wong King
67 Mott Street, between Bayard Street & Canal Street, Chinatown, (212) 964-0540
Getting There: N,R,W,J,Q,Z,M, 6 to Canal Street

When one travels to New York City’s Chinatown, they are instantly transported to several different regions of China, all existing on a few blocks. That is why it is of the utmost importance to know exactly what you’re getting into before you sit down at one of the many shops existing below Canal St.  This reviewer has tried quite a few with mixed results. But no place encompasses the true Chinatown, as Big Wong King does.

Many eateries in the neighborhood will have fancy looking exteriors and interiors, but when you approach the doors of Big Wong King you will get the exact opposite and this is a good thing.  Big Wong King’s sparse décor includes red tiles, pizzeria like tables, and an open-air kitchen featuring some of the surliest looking cooks this side of Hong Kong.

Upon entering you will be rushed- rushed to your seat and rushed to order. Remember you didn’t come to Chinatown to make friends, you came for the authentic regional food, and that’s what you’ll find at Big Wong King.

Many other reviews will tell you that the roast pork is the best in the city, and they are not lying. When you taste the pork with its sweet yet savory flavor, you will know why people clamor for it. This is a must for the table, and at six dollars per appetizer portion, it is large enough for a small group to share. We recommend that patrons new to Big Wong King to try a little of everything. Vegetable lovers should always ask his or her waiter what the special vegetable of the day is. If you are in luck it will be Chinese broccoli ($9.00) in either a steamed or garlic sauce. (We recommend the garlic variation for its full flavor)

Rice is a popular side dish in Chinese culture and Big Wong King knows this well. The salt fish & diced chicken fried rice ($8.00) combines these three distinct flavors in such a flawless way that it will have you rethinking the typical fried rice you enjoy. The portion is also quite generous as well.

The diner with an adventurous pallet will have a virtual field day at Big Wong King. The tripe and beef tendon dishes are both highly recommended and featured on the appetizer menu along with the roast pork. They also cost just about the same price. The tripe and beef tendon dishes are both nicely sautéed in savory, regional gravy.

In summation, Big Wong King is a bare bones, yet classic regional Chinatown experience. The food is fresh and served fast to your table, without a smile. So be forewarned if you’re into the whole “being treated nice” thing. Also they don’t take credit cards, so bring enough cash to cover the bill. Luckily just eating here once is an experience in and of itself.

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(3) Readers Comments

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