New Big Wang
1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY
I have to admit that my sense of humor can frequently venture into the juvenile, off-color, and inappropriate — but sometimes out of that sniggering Beavis and Butt-head immaturity comes a sense of adventure that actually does pay off.
I’ve always had that uncontrollable giggling, junior-high doofus feeling when walking past the New Big Wang on the corner of Elizabeth and Bayard. Maybe its because I’ve seen Sixteen Candles too many times (remember Long Duk Dong?) but I’ve never been able to walk into the Wang without fear of cracking up in hysterical laughter. And that’s a damn shame because on all accounts, its a very serious Cantonese restaurant.
The New Big Wang sign on the corner of Elizabeth and Bayard, in all its big and yellow, green and red glory.
Why did we finally stop in this time? Well, in this case, we were tired after hoofing it around for Taste of Chinatown and wanted somewhere where we could get some drinks, use a real rest room and get a snack. Given that fact that much of the street food we ate wasn’t sufficiently porky, I was immediately drawn to the spare ribs here, displayed prominently in the front window. I also wanted to get some Char Siu (Roast Pork) to bring home, and wanted to try a different place than my usual, Great New York Noodle Town, which is just down the block.
New Big Wang’s main dining room.
A small order of spare ribs. New Big Wang’s are excellent but quite different from Noodle Town, where the (excellent) roast pork items have more of a traditional, sweet Cantonese barbecue glaze. New Big Wang’s are savory with just a slight sweet undertone, are more caramelized, focusing on the natural pork flavor. I like these a lot, and I really appreciated how they chopped it up appetizer-size. I’ll definitely be going back to try their regular Cantonese dishes in the future.