East Village is now home to another Taiwanese restaurant, this one focusing on the braised street food called luwei.
The Braised Shop, at 241 East 10th St. near First Avenue, is a tiny, counter-service restaurant from first-time restaurateur William Tabler and Kris Kuo, who also owns popular and critically acclaimed Chinatown spot Taiwan Bear House.
Like Taiwan Bear House, the Braised Shop offers a simple menu. But here, the focus is on luwei, a method where various ingredients get braised in a broth. Options include pork belly, beef, fish fillet, broccoli, corn, and other proteins and vegetables. Each one starts at $2.50, and diners can choose as many as they want. All of it goes on top of noodles, the way it’s eaten in Taiwan.
The restaurant, which seats about a dozen people, is a way to share the Taiwan street food genre luwei with more people, Tabler says. “When we thought about what we can’t find [in New York], this is it,” he says.
The key is in the broth where the ingredients gets braised. It includes some 20 elements, including cinnamon, star anise, allspice, Sichuan peppercorn, and licorice, and it’s simmered for at least eight hours. The purpose of the braise, though, is that it still allows the braised vegetable or protein maintain its original taste, too, Tabler says. “It’s kind of difficult to explain,” he says. “It’s just tasty.”
The Braised Shop adds to East Village’s growing collection of hip Taiwanese restaurants, including Ho Foods and 886. This restaurant is far more casual, though Tabler and Kuo chose the location due to the proximity of so many new Asian restaurants, Tabler says.
The restaurant, which started with limited hours last weekend, will be doing limited hours again next weekend. It will be open on August 17th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and August 18th from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hours will increase later.