Park Slope's Tofu on 7th, a seldom-mentioned Asian restaurant with identity issues, has reloaded. Suddenly it's packing serious Sichuan heat in a Brooklyn neighborhood not known for good authentic Chinese food, and Chowhounds can hardly believe it.
"Finally good Sichuan in [Park Slope]," says Barry Strugatz, who was won over by the three-pepper chicken. SamScaff recommends "dry pot style" chicken, which delivers potent chile burn and Sichuan-pepper tingle, and house-cured pork with garlic shoots, which is "salty, smoky, fatty and leek-y (and delicious)." Fiver, who knows her Sichuan chow (her dad's from Chengdu), endorses the Chongqing chicken and mapo dofu. "It was the real thing," she says, "numbing spiciness and everything."
The real thing hasn't been so hard to find a few miles south in Sunset Park, where authentic Cantonese and Vietnamese restaurants thrive amidst a growing Fujianese presence. One local dim sum destination, Pacificana, just lost longtime devotee famdoc to its nearby rival East Harbor. He was converted in part by East Harbor's wider selection—more than 50 different items circulating on carts early on a Sunday afternoon. Dumplings, buns, congee, rice noodle rolls, and assorted sweets were all fresh and fine. And you needn't wait for a cart to get what you're craving: Just flag down one of the helpful servers for express delivery. famdoc's party of four put away about a dozen plates (including a specially ordered course of sautéed bok choy) for $46. "Highly recommended," he says.
Peter Cuce finds East Harbor just "solidly average" compared with his go-to dim sum houses (among them Ocean Jewels, Dong Yi Feng, and Ping's in Queens and Red Egg in Manhattan). But he'll be back in Sunset Park for dessert at No. 1 Ice Cream. Its durian and black sesame flavors are some of the best he's had in New York, "just sweet enough, with deep flavor of the main ingredients and a creamy texture." No. 1, Peter adds, is far better than Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, another hound-endorsed specialist in Asian flavors. "I recommend making a trip out here," he says.
Tofu on 7th [Park Slope]
226 Seventh Avenue (between Third and Fourth streets), Brooklyn
East Harbor [Sunset Park]
714 65th Street (between Seventh and Eighth avenues), Brooklyn
No. 1 Ice Cream [Sunset Park]
6410 Eighth Avenue (between 64th and 65th streets), Brooklyn