Taiwan’s tumultuous history — colonialism by several countries and the Chinese Civil War, which ended with more than 2 million people fleeing to the island — has created one of the world’s richest, most diverse cuisines, famous for dishes like three-cup chicken, gua bao or pork buns, and shaved snow. First-time restaurateur Josh Ku was raised on this cooking as a kid growing up on Long Island, and later struck up a friendship with Trigg Brown, a former sous-chef at Upland, over a mutual love of China’s myriad cuisines. After enough trips to Flushing and Chinatown, the duo decided to open their spot. Now, in the wake of a handful of pop-ups, Ku and Brown have opened Win Son, a new Taiwanese-American restaurant at 159 Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg.
The menu is a mix of some of Taiwan’s greatest hits, freely tinkered with by Brown, and originals inspired by the cuisine. Take, for example, the so-called nutritious sandwich, named for the Keelung Miaokou Night Market stall that serves a very popular sandwich of fried sweet dough with Kewpie mayo, crispy hot dog, thousand-year-old egg, tomato, and cucumber. The dough is still fried, but the fillings are subbed out for a mix of pineapple, ham, and jalapeño. Other dishes only have minor changes or none at all: The fried eggplant comes with tart labneh in addition to the usual black vinegar, and pan-griddled pork buns are doused in chili vinaigrette. To wash it all down, there are a few beers, wines, and cocktails like the Auntie Leah (gin, cherry amaro, Aperol, lemon, and lime.) Check it out:
Win Son, 159 Graham Ave, 347-457-6010