Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
When being invited at The Chinese Club in Williamsburg, I had no idea about the history coming with this place. Stacey Lo, co-owner with her husband of this place that opened in March 2016, is the Granddaughter of Lo Fung Foo, the founder of the original Chinese Club, a restaurant in Darjeeling, India, established in 1914 (hence the reference on the facade), that catered to Chinese expatriates. From outside, you would not guess that history as well as the fantastic decor inside that may look overdone by some. The dining room in the front has nothing spectacular besides the funny drawings of super heroes, the mahjong tiles from Ms Lo's Grandmother or the Chinese temple. No, it is the back that is amazing, giving the feel that you travelled miles away: red paper lanterns or colorful posters give a certain atmosphere to the place.
Foodwise, we were there for a treat and, before telling you what I had, I should mention that Ms Lo and her husband, Salil Mehta, are the owners of Laut, the first Malaysian restaurant to receive a Michelin star in New York. The cuisine served at The Chinese Club is Indo-Chinese, with a majority of Chinese dishes, a nice choices of vegetarian specialties as well as Indian classics like the butter chicken, all dishes perfect to share. Here is what I tried:
To start, we ordered some drinks. Jodi chose a Thai Iced Tea:
I went for the Dragon Mojito, a massive cocktail made with sugarcane syrup, sake, lime, pepper, dragon fruit and mint. This was definitely a dangerous drink as it was not that strong and could be drank like milk...
There were also some spicy crackers that were quite addictive on the table.
The first dish was salt and pepper tempura mushrooms, one of their popular appetizers: crispy and not greasy, this was very good and a perfect choice if you love mushrooms. Know that they also have the same dish made with okra.
The second appetizer was the Peking style pork ribs: I admit that, although it looked very appetizing, the ribs did not deliver, being a bit tough...
Next was the Sizzling Manchurian chicken, a dish served in a very hot skillet that is made with chili, garlic, ginger and cilantro. Very good, it was slightly spicy.
The chicken was served with rice and I opted for the biryani rice that was really good, with or without the chicken, and that I recommend over white or brown rice.
The next entree was the mixed vegetables stir fry composed of tofu, carrots, snow peas, broccoli and potato.
The last entree was the buttery black pepper shrimp, some sort of tempura shrimp served with mushroom, onions, bell peppers and curry leaves. Quite good, the shrimp were perfectly cooked and I loved the brown sauce that smothered them.
Last was dessert, and what a dessert! It was their signature: the kulfi waffle. Kulfi is an Indian ice cream an this was a fusion between the Chinese egg waffle and Indian ice cream, the later made with purple yam or ube. The presentation was beautiful and the waffle fantastic, soft with a nice hint of coconut milk; I admit though that I did not like the ice cream that had a weird taste (well remember it was purple yam).
This was a great meal, not your traditional Chinese food for sure, although some dishes are fairly classic. I like The Chinese Club and it is worth trip to Brooklyn. I will definitely go back there to try some other dishes.
Enjoy (I did)!
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The Chinese Club - 208 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 11211