kings county imperial

What’s the vibe?

To sum it up: Hipster Chinese. Yes, Kings County Imperial is a Chinese restaurant, Williamsburg-style, with exposed brick walls, rickety wooden furniture, art deco lighting flourishes, and bearded waiters in Hawaiian shirts. In one concession to tradition there is one big table near the door with a Lazy Susan and we’d definitely recommend coming with your mates and bagging this spot if you can – after all, who doesn’t love a Lazy Susan?! They score big points for growing some of their own Chinese vegetables in their back garden too (where there’s also seats), a marker of the quality and freshness of the food on offer.

What to order?

Another good idea is to arrive or book early if you can. Not only does it get very busy later on, but if you’re here before 7pm you can take advantage of the special set menus, which are a bloody bargain. We were there in a group of 5 and paid $15 per person for dim sum, rice, and noodles and we were STUFFED by the end. Even though it’s a ‘set menu’ you still get to choose which dishes you want from the menu in each category and we’d definitely recommend the sesame shrimp toast (possibly the best we’ve ever had) with spicy mustard and Chinese Ketchup; the soup dumplings; the dry fried long bean with minced pork; the ‘angry pig’ fried rice with pork and smoked tofu; and the dan dan mian noodles. In fact the only bum note was the Hong Kong-style noodle which came with tough, chewy veal but other than that this was a fun, delicious dinner, and pretty much essential eating if you’re a fan of Chinese.

Want more? Check out our Ultimate Guide to New York.