Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 20 February 2012
Chance Asian Bistro & Bar: A Restaurant Review

Chance Asian Bistro & Bar
223 Smith St between Baltic St & Butler St, Carroll Gardens
718 242-1515
Getting There: F,G to Bergen Street

The Carroll Gardens’ section of Brooklyn is a virtual hotbed of innovative and fun eating establishments. But in this day and age it is highly important to consider value when making dining decisions, without missing out on style and taste. On a bustling corner of Smith Street sits Chance Asian Bistro & Bar, and be it lunch or dinner, it is a lively joint that delivers the best of the far east, at reasonable prices.

It must be said that Chance has an extremely diverse and fusion-centric menu. They serve everything from whole fish loaded with spices, all the way to expertly prepared Peking Duck. While each of these are delicious entrees that we would steer you toward, on our most recent trip to this Carroll Gardens’ staple we opted for their Dim Sum; Dumpling Dim Sum to be exact. Chance has one of the largest dumpling menus found anywhere outside of Chinatown. The quality here is excellent, and at the same time they retain the low prices associated with the popular weekend Asian staple.

The Dim Sum menu at Chance reads like a who’s who of favorites. But with a list of options this vast, you need to give yourself some time to make the right choice. Making your decision leaves you with the perfect opportunity to sample one of their many hot or cold appetizers. And in keeping with Chance’s model of culturally diverse menu options, our table went for an order of, ‘Spicy Thai Style Mussels’ ($7). A short while after the dish was ordered, a friendly staff member was prompt in dropping it off still steaming. Before picking out our first mussel, the look of the dish was impressive and it was clear that the whole dish had been evenly coated in the spicy Thai sauce. The mussels were extremely fresh, while carrying the intense yet highly enjoyable hot flavoring agent.

Once the last drop of the amazing Thai sauce was soaked up by a handy order of sticky rice, it was time to dive right into the ocean of Dim Sum delights. Our overly laid back yet knowledgeable waiter suggested that we try a little of everything. And with prices that are on the low side, we found this to be sound advice. All of the dumplings are plump and are served three to an order. They will arrive at your table in traditional steamers, solidifying Chance’s authentic feel. The dumplings also arrive in shifts, so nothing is left to get cold.

We certainly did not go overboard with our order but we did get served plenty of food, and as such, in the sense of timing here are some of the meal’s highlights. A must have is the, ‘Sea Bass and Carrot Dumpling’($4). The presentation was fantastic and the plump dumplings were not only bursting with savory yet sweet flavor, but they were molded in an ornate and artistic manner. Secondly, we would recommend the, ‘Crab Meat and Pork Dumplings’($4), a true surf and turf experience, with each fare being evenly distributed with every bite. Finally, one cannot leave Chance without trying the, ‘Foie Gras and Shrimp Dumplings’($6). Certainly an odd sounding combination, but these are both extremely decadent and wildly delicious. The steaming process turns the foie gras into a delightful butter which will fill your mouth with joy.

This Asian bistro has become quite popular in recent years, but they remain in a cozy and relatively quiet corner space. If you arrive during the lunchtime hours you can easily sit down right away, with little to no wait. However if you would like to go to Chance during dinner we highly advise you to make a reservation, especially if you are dining with a group. The layout of the restaurant is quite stylish and cool but also somewhat narrow, so waiting may present an annoying situation if you’re forced to wait. Whether you go during the day or at night, Chance is the Carroll Gardens staple providing you with the very best of the far east fused with several different cultures at great prices.

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