In recent years, Fujianese restaurants have become fairly common in Manhattan’s Chinatown. There are plenty of places to score the myriad soups, noodles, whole fish, lychee pork, fishballs, and meat stewed in wine lees that distinguish the cuisine of the southern Chinese coastal province.
But Fujianese food was less ubiquitous in one of New York’s other Chinatowns: Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It looks like that’s starting to change. A few months ago we rapturously wrote about finding Fujianese oyster cakes at a new fast food spot, and today we happened upon a new, rather fancified Fujianese restaurant called Liang Ma Seafood Restaurant.
They menu is long and lists a host of soups, including noodle soups; aquatic creatures like eel, whole fish, and frog in various guises; conch, duck, and pork intestine in wine lee sauce; and over-rice combos, among many other dishes.
Meat-stuffed sweet rice flour ball soup is listed as an appetizer, and will only set you back $3, but it turns out to be a very large bowl, bobbing with whitish dumpling blobs.
The liquid in the bowl is actually just warm water — a little disconcerting. But the dumplings have a lot going on: Each one is shrouded in very chewy rice dough. It doesn’t actually taste sweet; the menu is probably referring to the fact that the substance is made with glutinous rice. Nip through the slippery exterior and find a highly seasoned pork ball inside, in a tasty sauce that’s almost reminiscent of Chinese barbecue.
To know if this is a good restaurant, you’d need to go for a bigger meal that included some of their braised or steamed fish — straight from the tanks up front — and maybe some noodles and other soups. But Liang Ma looks like a fun place to get to know.
770 59th Street, Brooklyn