Sometimes when I go to a new restaurant and try a type of food I know little about, like, say, Ethiopian, I get scared by all the weird-sounding dishes and just order THE most boring thing I can find. This is usually because I’m starving, and unwilling to risk further starvation if it turns out goat stewed in berbere sauce tastes as gross as I’d assumed.
This is an annoying tendency, so it’s nice to find restaurants where it’s easy to resist it. And I am not very familiar with most of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean appetizers at Snacky, but instead of fearing them, I want to eat them ALL. Even the Takoyaki, which is described as â€œbaked wheat octopus balls.â€ This at first confused me – octopuses (octopi?) have balls? Not that I’d ever given much thought to just what… went on down there, on an octopus, but â€œballsâ€ did not seem right, and yeah of course it is not the part of the octopus being described here but the shape of the dish. Normal bits of octopus, baked and rolled into balls. Sort of like a savory pancake, as the bartender described it.
Nothing on the menu at Snacky costs more than $8.75, which is another reason I want to order everything. The popsie mini cheeseburger is my favorite item so far. It’s only $2.50, and from the moment you eat one, you will forever be sad that all sliders in the world are not made on sweet Chinese buns. The peanut chili wontons with pork and the garlicky, sauteed Chinese greens are also amazing.
A carafe of the Ohkagura sake for $12.50 is more than enough for two people, though I could totally drink a carafe myself. But that’s just because I’m a lush. Also permanently on special is Tsingtao, a Chinese light beer, and a shot of sake for $4.
Their cocktails are a little odd. The â€œMango Saketini,â€ made of mango nectar and sake, tasted pretty good, but a little too similar to a wine spritzer. The â€œHappy Togetherâ€ is made of Soju – a Korean version of vodka, made from sweet potatoes – sake, melon and soda, and comes in a glass shaped like a Buddha with a straw in its belly. Which is slightly disconcerting. The Buddha’s expression is happy, but still, stabbing him in the stomach with a straw like a Capri Sun feels wrong.
But since it’s Snacky, where everything is small and adorable, even the weird Buddha glasses work. Totally take a date here, or get someone to take you on a date here, because it will be magical.
Snacky Sake Lounge
187 Grand St
At Bedford Ave [Williamsburg]]
Photo courtesy of New York Magazine