Big Wong along Mott Street is one of the old stalwarts of Cantonese cuisine in New York's Chinatown in Manhattan.
Mott Street together with Doyers and Pell were the cradle of Chinese immigration to New York City in the late 1800s. Most of the early Chinese Americans were of Toisanese descent (from China's Guangdong province).
Big Wong's shop layout, loud colour scheme, basic furnishings and golden brown roasts hanging behind glass windows are classics of Cantonese roast meat and noodle eateries.
Inside, the customers were mostly locals who spoke Toisan, my grandfather's tongue as well as American accented English. Judging from the friendly banter between the customers and staff, many were long time regulars.
Chinatown restaurants are known for efficient but not warm service. But at bustling Big Wong, despite the fast pace, the busy wait staff will pause and treat the seniors with respect and consideration.
I ordered a roast duck on egg noodles at USD7.50 (after tax).
The egg noodles were generic, slightly eggy, slightly alkaline and cooked till soft al dente. The huge mound of noodles were bathed in a salty savoury brown sauce which was quite flat (it lacked the layers of flavours of a good sauce).
The serving came with a generous cut of roast duck and lots of blanched fresh choy sum greens.
Big Wong's roast duck was tender and moist, well infused with savoury marinate. The savouriness was well balanced with the duck's gaminess; it was not overly intense, so we were able to taste layers of flavours.
There was a soft layer of sweet gamey fat under the skin which I enjoyed.
The golden brown duck skin had a very slight, delicate crisp.
Big Wong is well loved for their Cantonese roasts and going by their roast duck, I think the reputation is well deserved.
The noodles came with a bowl of watery salty sweet soup.
The table only had this commercial bottled chili sauce. It's mainly a blend of salt and vinegar with very little pepper.
I requested for house made chili oil and got this. It wasn't fresh. Tasted mostly salty with hints of spiciness.
Next time, Big Wong's roast pork belly over rice and their congee.
Restaurant name: Big Wong
Address: 67 Mott Street, NYC New York
Hours: 8:30 am to 9:00 pm
Date visited: 5 Jan 2014
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