Chinese-carp-lovers favor the sweet, delicate variety called wan yu. lwong says New Seawide, a Toisan Cantonese place in Sunset Park’s Chinatown, does it right. Wan yu, or grass carp—often steamed, sometimes fried—is fried beautifully at Seawide. “Chinese restaurants would typically pre-fry dishes like this and complete the cooking upon order,” lwong notes. “We were surprised to receive a fairly large ‘Wan Yu’ Carp dish that was lightly fresh battered and cooked to order.” Scrumptious and meltingly tender—but look out for the many bones.
Wan yu, not on the English menu, is offered only on the mirrored north wall, in handwritten Chinese on a strip of colored paper. On the English menu is beef chow fun, nicely done in the dry-cooked style, without sauce. Another smart order, when available, is stir-fried ong choy (hollow-stem water spinach) with garlic. “Unsure if the other dishes … are just as fresh and good,” lwong adds, “but our guess is that the restaurant is worth a try.”
Also worth a try is Chinese Ocean, another Cantonese place right next door. foodluvngal prefers it to New Seawide, especially for wonton but also for “Peking-style” pork chops and lobster with ginger and scallions.
Up the street, hounds have sniffed out a sleeper in Eighth Avenue Seafood Restaurant, where Chinese locals feast on fresh, varied, reasonably priced dim sum. Peter Cherches singles out plump har gow, which boast tasty pink shrimp inside firm skins. Also good: beef balls, shrimp cheung fun (rice noodle rolls), and tofu-skin rolls filled with shrimp paste and celery. To bolletje, the style is agreeably sweet and heavy rather than delicate and intricate—a notch below Brooklyn favorite World Tong at its best, but still better than anything in Manhattan.
Service is uncommonly friendly, and the scene is refreshingly calm, owing to the restaurant’s location well outside the neighborhood’s dining and shopping hub. “Not only is the dim sum excellent,” Peter observes, “you can get in at prime time on a weekend without a wait.”
New Seawide Seafood Restaurant [Sunset Park]
5810 Eighth Avenue (between 58th and 59th streets), Brooklyn
Chinese Ocean Restaurant [Sunset Park]
5806 Eighth Avenue (between 58th and 59th streets), Brooklyn
Eighth Avenue Seafood Restaurant [Sunset Park]
4418 Eighth Avenue (between 44th and 45th streets), Brooklyn
Board Links: My first trip to Bklyn Chinatown -- so easy to get to, so worth the trip -- with Pacificana Restaurant review
Sunset Park Chinatown
Excellent Sleeper Dim Sum at 8th Ave. Seafood Restaurant