Williamsburg, Brooklyn is not only a great place for thrift shopping, but it also has a fantastic atmosphere that attracts visitors from the other side of the pond. But perhaps the most attractive aspect of Williamsburg is the small restaurants scattered all over the city, one of the restaurants that stand out is Brooklyn Wok Shop.
Edric Har, the chef, and operator of Brooklyn Wok Shop in Williamsburg recalls that the reverberation of the dot-com bubble steered him towards the chef’s whites and clogs, leaving behind his corporate job nearly a decade ago.
After shifting between Cru, Veritas, Le Bernardin, and as a private chef, Har, and his significant other, Melissa, wanted to “create something more personal” and they conceived their restaurant.
Simply, that’s how Brooklyn Wok Shop, a concept inspired by night-time Chinese-food yearning, came into being. It fulfilled a desire for Asian food lovers in North Williamsburg neighborhood.
Since healthy diet and takeout are, mostly, mutually exclusive, the couple started to approach their menu with a fresh mind, incorporating hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, in addition to stocks and sauces based on real bones and scratch, instead of powders and bases.
The result are a finely-tuned menu of snacks (wings and buns), soups (wonton, short ribs), and Cantonese classics such as General Tso’s and orange beef, all made using hale and hearty ingredients.
It is a blend of tradition and creativity: Melissa comes from a family of Chinese restaurants owners in Orlando; her family even traveled to New York to help out with getting Brooklyn Wok Shop on its feet. Edric, grew up downtown, stews chicken for the noodle soup in soy sauce, a secret ingredient, his mother, trained him when he was young, and the egg noodles are prepared at the restaurant. Instead of actual woks, Har favors Auguste Escoffier inspired black steel sauté pans, and other French cuisine niceties, such as the flaky, fluted crust used for Har’s rendition of Chinese egg custard.