The bare brick exterior and neon-Buddha interior of Snacky both seem calculated to appeal to Williamsburg's hipster demographic. The cheap Japanese beers back this up, as well as cocktails mixed with sake or shoju. The menu is defiantly Asian Fusion; there is no claim to authenticity here, which is not necessarily a bad thing when the food is good. The menu is surprisingly long, and although there are vegetarian options scattered among the entrees, I'd recommend going with a group and making a meal out of the small snacks.
One of the best of these is the scallion egg pancake ($5). Almost an omelet, the pancake is rich, savory, and oily (in a good way). That richness is cut by the topping of fresh scallions and pickled vegetables, as well as the acidic soy sesame dipping sauce. The wedges of pancake are too large to be comfortably handled with the provided chopsticks, but when you're among friends no one will begrudge you going in with your fingers.
Another good bet is the Chinese big bun ($2.75), an over-sized, pillowy puff of dough filled (in this case) with shredded vegetables and noodles. The interior is surprisingly sweet; along with the noodles, carrots, and mushrooms I was able to identify pieces of ginger. The big bun is served with the same dipping sauce as the scallion pancake, but because of the sweetness of the filling the saltiness of the sauce is highlighted in this dish.
At the top of this page you see the smoked tofu and celery salad ($5). Although the dish never adds up to more than the sum of its parts, those individual parts are all quite good. The cold salad is all about the contrasting textures of the crisp celery and the chewy tofu. Although the vinegar-based dressing is very good, it could use a bit more heat from the promised Sichuan mustard oil. Nevertheless, it makes an excellent palate cleanser.
The vegetable shiao bing sounds like it shouldn't work, but it really does. Described as an Asian panini, the sesame-studded bread is filled with mozzarella, spicy mayo, some bitter greens, and pickled vegetables. It reminded me of the excellent mozzarella sandwich I had at Earl's Beer & Cheese, with its interplay of pickles and mozzarella and mayo.
One word of caution: you should ask to verify that what you order is actually vegetarian. The veg-friendly sounding pan seared daikon rice cake is flecked with dried shrimp, a fact not disclosed on the menu.
Snacky surprised me with the quality of its eclectic menu. There were many more intriguing items that we didn't get to sample—what could smashed cucumbers be?—but that just means there are multiple reasons to go back. Asian Fusion can be tricky, but Snacky manages to pull it off quite well.
187 Grand St, Brooklyn NY 11211 (map) 718-486-4848
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