Brooklyn’s culinary scene has been on an upward trend in recent years, with eateries popping up nearly every week.
A metropolitan area with diverse food culture, Brooklyn is a premier destination for various dining options, both casual and formal.
The casual diner can select from sidewalk cafes and cozy bistros for an al fresco lunch or mouth-watering pastry and browse the many restaurants in the upmarket shopping areas of Park Slope, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, South Slope, Dumbo, and Prospect Gardens.
To that end, if you’re looking for a Lu Rou fan on a budget, Win Son is probably one of the few ethnic-themed restaurants in Brooklyn that can cater to your needs. It offers some of the most exciting Taiwanese dishes in New York with a Western flair.
Looks and offerings
Besides Lu Rou, there are several Taiwanese-American dishes you can tuck into at Win Son.
And it’s not just the food. It’s the atmosphere!
For a simple neighborhood restaurant, Win Son sure is cozy.
The exterior doesn’t give “luxe” vibes with the old Chinese fusion theme. But be patient, and keep walking because the inside is a whole different vibe.
Win Son’s interior is well put together, in stark contrast to its understated outside.
It has this clean, modern vibe with off-white walls (one wall remains unfinished, with exposed brick), a splotchy mural, and long ceiling lights.
The window plants (hello, plant parents!) create an incredibly eclectic atmosphere in this restaurant.
High-gloss wooden tables and seating furniture embellish the space with their deliberately simple designs. There is also a small, neatly polished bar, a favorite spot for couples and solo diners.
Created to offer friends, families, couples, and groups a casual yet quality authentic dining experience, Win Son focuses on playful, minimalist design.
Soft hip-hop music plays in the background, adding to the ambiance of this East Williamsburg establishment.
The only nondescript item here is the trio of recycled soda bottles meant for a chandelier, glowing a soft red above the space. The piece is a little kitsch if you ask me. It takes away from the beauty of this Taiwanese fare hotspot.
Oh! And the one bathroom that’s supposed to cater to everyone, from guests to staff, men and women alike. You might want to hold your urges in until you get back to your house or hotel.
Lest I forget, Win Son has an outdoor seating area, weather permitting. It’s the perfect spot for a quick, casual brunch or weeknight dinner.
Food and Drinks
As I said, Win Son is famous for its Lu Rou Fan. It is the star of the house!
Rich in flavor, the dish combines minced pork belly, rice, pickled broccoli, and an egg (cooked in soy sauce). If you’re a fan of star anise, be glad as the sauce that accompanies this is infused with your favorite spice.
Like their Lu Rou, Win Son’s sloppy bao is equally good. And trust me; there is nothing sloppy about this dish.
The culinary input in the bao is evident, and it’s exceptional. Top it off with their spicy stew pork and peanuts, and my goodness, need I say more?
You can also order the Taiwanese fly’s head. It combines equal parts of pork and chives with spicy sauce. Danzi noodles come tangled with minced pork heritage, while their signature clams are served over Shaoxing rice.
Their egg bomb and sesame noodles are excellent, as are the pan-griddled pork buns.
Gouhua street salad, marinated cucumbers, fried eggplants, and scallion pancakes are a great start.
The Zhajiangmian wavy noodles won’t disappoint either.
Chicken buns (more like fried chicken sandwiches that are a little overpriced), dumplings, fried eggplants, and noodles with prawns; many options. The egg beef roll will surprise you.
Wagyu is often served rare but can be cooked further to your liking.
Try the pea shoots if you want something vegetarian. These are sautéed and come with a light topping of shallots.
For dessert, there aren’t many options here. But everything available is very well curated. Try the Tián Miàntuán; it offers an excellent finish.
If you want something different than what’s on the menu, head to Win Son Bakery, a flagship of theirs, right across the street. They offer a variety of desserts, both sweet and savory.
The bakery also offers a variety of Taiwanese-related breakfast items like Fan Tuan (with a choice of vegetable or pork), Shao Bing, Mochi donuts, milk bun Zhu Jiao, and various other small eats.
There’s also an espresso machine on the side if you want or get the Xiao Huai Huai, the creamy goodness of espresso mixed with equal amounts of sweet, thick, and spice-infused custard sauce.
Points to note:
- Scallions accompany most dishes at Win Son
- Some dishes may be too sweet/sour
- Servings may be small for some. If you’re hungry, order a little bit of everything to get the full experience.
- The titles of the dishes can be a bit difficult to understand. But don’t worry, the staff is helpful.
- Share plates are the standard here, as is common in traditional Asian dining
- Prices range from $5 to $20
And just so you know, the stinky tofu is not for everyone, as is the oyster omelet. So tread carefully there.
You’ll definitely need a drink to balance out the spicy food.
Win Son maintains a nearly 100% neutral wine list. They also have other options by the glass.
I recommend the orange or house white wine; they are great options if you need something to cool off the “heat” on your tongue.
They also have plenty of cocktails and tequila. Or, to keep up with the theme, you can opt for a simple Taiwanese beer.
Hours and location
164 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Win Son restaurant: https://www.instagram.com/winsonbrooklyn/
Win Son Bakery: https://www.instagram.com/winsonbakery/
The Win Son restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner from 5.30 pm to 11.00 pm. Sunday dinners are from 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm.
For brunch, the restaurant starts serving from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm all week.
The bakery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm.
How to get to Win Son
Getting to Win Son is easy as the area offers more public transportation options than most Brooklyn neighborhoods.
East Williamsburg is generally accessible via the J and M trains, which stop at Flushing Avenue.
Depending on your location, you can also use the G train, which stops in Flushing. But you’ll have to cover an additional 0.8 mile from the station (via Bushwick avenue and Johnson avenue) to get to the restaurant.
The L train serves Grand Street, Montrose, and Morgan Avenue stations. It offers the easiest access to the Win Son establishments.
Bus lines B24, B39, B43, B60, Q9, and Q54 all commute through East Williamsburg and pass near the Win Son restaurant and bakery.
- Does Win Son accept reservations?
Yes, it does but only for groups of 5 or more people.
Any less than that, you’ll have to go as a walk-in. If you do, make sure to go early to enjoy a seated meal in the dining area.
Otherwise, you’ll end up dining at the bar.
Any time before 7.30 pm is fine for a walk-in. There are rarely any waits during this time. Brunch is never crowded either.
- Does Win Son offer take-out/delivery?
Yes, the Win Son menu (both restaurant and bakery) is available for takeaway and delivery. You can order online and get free shipping on your first order.
- How is Win Son rated?
Win Son has rated accordingly as follows:
- Trip advisor-5
- Is the soy milk in Win Son gluten-free?
I am not sure, but you can check with the server before ordering. That will be much safer.
- Can you get dishes at Win Son without peanuts on scallions on top?
Yes, but you’ll need to arrange that with your server.
- Is Win Son wheelchair accessible?
The restaurant has a pull-out ramp for easy accessibility. If you’re arriving in a wheelchair, call ahead, so the host or manager on duty knows to assist.