At Chomp Chomp, the newest restaurant from chef Simpson Wong, Singapore’s ubiquitous hawker fare gets the introduction it deserves.
Seven Cornelia Street in the West Village was last home to the chef’s acclaimed restaurant Wong, about which Pete Wells raved, in a two-star review, “It’s been a long time since Asian fusion cooking has promised thrills of this sort.”
But for Malaysian-born Wong, the challenge of fusion cooking is right up his alley. His Café Asean, which has been open for two decades, continues to thrive as a beloved flagship. The décor is bright and silly, and the food gets the attention it deserves — there’s not a stray edamame salad or pointless vegetable slaw in sight.
This year, Wong decided to go into a new direction at 7 Cornelia, which brings us to Chomp Chomp. In Singapore, the menu here might be best recognized as street food, but in New York City, you get to sit down in a soothing dining room just a few feet away from the open kitchen.
The menu, which features hawker staples like spicy prawn mee (noodles, prawns, and ribs in a spicy shrimp broth), murtabak (roti with minced beef or vegetables), Hainanese chicken rice, and tau eu bak (pork belly stewed in soy sauce and star anise), is just as approachable for those new to Singaporean food as it for those who need a taste of home. For dessert, go for the durian cream puff, which will separate the brave from the fearful among your dinner companions.
Best of all, the menu is the perfect size for you to really dig in and order plenty of plates for the table, while knowing that when you come back next time, there will be more to try.