‘Rebooted’ Asian Food Makes its Way to Essex Street with ‘Char Sue’
With new window neons, Char Sue revealed itself this week at 119 Essex Street. The storefront flair arrives nearly a year after first announcing intentions to open here. Chef and co-owner Matt Rojas plans to serve “affordable” Asian food with a “Western twist,” alongside craft beers, in a super casual environment.
Only Con Ed stands between Char Sue and its dream. “We passed DOB and FDNY [inspections] and are up to the Con Edison process,” tells us. Once the gas is turned on, they’ll be that much closer to debut.
“Char Sue” sounds like Cha Siu, an ancient Cantonese technique of roasting meats skewered on a fork over a fire. Even though it translates that way, you may have have thought about the delicious red colored hanging strips of pork you see around Chinatown. Or perhaps you thought about Japanese Cha Shu, which are the tender pieces of marinated pork belly that you enjoyed in your last bowl of ramen. At “Char Sue”, you’ll discover a new way to enjoy Asian food. Think Asian Food, Rebooted.
Brannon’s previously held down the fort for a meager ten months at 119 Essex before folding in August 2014. Restaurateur Joseph Valentine then sought to install the John Lamb, but abandoned the location and instead joined the new boutique Sago Hotel at 119 Orchard Street. And before restaurants eyed this spot, it was home to a porn video store called the Sunflower.