Driving on Grand St in Williamsburg a while back I spotted an intriguing storefront – an Asian grocery store with the words Indonesian and Malaysian on the awning. If you know much about these populations in New York City, you’ll know they are quite small, and the number of extant grocery stores serving them is proportionally tiny. As most Indonesians and Malaysians live in Queens, it piqued my interest further that this store would be here in East Williamsburg.
Occupying a former mechanic’s shop in a semi-desolate Bushwick micro-neighborhood, the open, inviting, sparsely-decorated Supercrown Coffee Roasters uses its industrial space in the best possible way. One of the partners, Darleen Scherer, brought her gorgeous design sense from Park Slope’s Gorilla Coffee, where she has since sold her stake.
I love Sierra Tishgart’s piece in Grub Street entitled RIP, Matcha, the Ancient Delicacy That America Has Ruined. This part especially speaks to me:
The quality of the tea at Cha Cha Matcha (the newest, and most popular, of the cafés) is poor, but that doesn’t matter: The entire place is built to be Instagram bait, and you can get pink-lemonade soft-serve with a shot of matcha drizzled on top!
It’s been apparent to me for a long time that matcha in America was on the road to ignominy, but it really came to the fore when I saw that The Bean, that temple of horror, had begun offering a matcha latte. I’d been mulling a piece of my own, but Sierra Tishgart did it for me, in style.
I recently lunched at Buttumak (부뚜막), a Northern Blvd spot in the Murray Hill section of Flushing that has replaced the same owner’s late, unlamented, strangely named Korean-Chinese restaurant, 짜장.com. Not that there was anything particularly bad about 짜장.com – they produced fine renditions of Korean Chinese standards (what Koreans call Chinese food) – but Buttumak has so much more going for it.
During a Labor Day Weekend visit to a favorite restaurant, Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, I noticed a new spot down the street with the moniker Nan Yang Kitchen — the Chinese name 南洋餐廳 means Southeast Asian Kitchen — and a quick menu perusal turned up mainly Malaysian dishes. I’m looking forward to checking it out — hopefully this spot will raise the level of Malaysian food in New York City.
Sunset Park’s Yun Nan Flavour Garden is one of my go-to spots for affordable, high quality, flavorful Chinese food, so I was excited when a review of an unknown-to-me Yunnan restaurant, Deng Ji Noodle House (云南过桥米线), popped up in a Flushing blog a few months back, especially since there are very few places showcasing that region’s food in the New York City area.