Every other pairing of cuisines have already been fused, so why not Cantonese and American cooking? That will be the staple at Bonnie’s, opening this month in Williamsburg.
Calvin Eng, the creative force behind Bonnie’s and its head chef, cut his teeth at Win Son, the Taiwanese-American restaurant on Graham Avenue, but his real inspiration is his mom, who is also the restaurant’s namesake. Says Eng, “I know about Cantonese food I learned from her.”
The menu, which will contain some two dozen items, will include none of the Cantonese clichés that many non-Chinese Americans associate with their first foray into Cantonese food — think chop suey (whose name is a corruption of tsap seui, meaning “miscellaneous leftovers”) and chow mein. Instead Eng will offer dishes that may legitimately lay claim (as every Chinese restaurant in New York did during the Szechuan and Hunan crazes of the 1980s) to the advice “first time served in New York.” Items like Hong Kong macaroni soup and salted duck egg custard French toast are the sorts of things Bonnie’s will feature.
Note to industry people looking for work: Bonnie’s will be looking for front- and back-of-the-house talent.
Bonnie’s, 398 Manhattan Avenue (at Frost St.), Brooklyn.