Despite having garnered critical acclaim for her paper bag fish, modern char siu, and roasted duck feasts at 2 Duck Goose, owner Kay Ch’ien recently transformed her Park Slope eatery into a casual, all-day noodle spot called Hey Hey Canteen.
“I realized the concept could be further refined to improve its appeal to the neighborhood, and also better suit my own life,” she explained. “I have a three-year-old, so for a restaurant to be sustainable long term for me, I needed a model that lends itself to systems and delegation, as well as a space that my kid felt comfortable regularly hanging out in. Since I wake up early, it made sense to be open during the day as well as the night. And the food should be affordable enough and nutritious enough that people can eat it a few times a week.”
Which means that on the new menu, prices top out at $17 for the seafood laksa with salmon mousse cake and shrimp, although most items clock in well below, from spicy matcha soba with panko-garlic crunch ($9.99) to ramen-crusted fried chicken on a steamed bao bun ($10.99) and crispy Japanese eggplant fries, dipped in shallot aioli ($6.99). And now that it’s open from noon until 10pm daily, the 43-seat restaurant has significantly dialed up its all-day appeal, eschewing a shareable Sunday supper format in favor of hearty salads like yuzu greens with quinoa and avocado, sesame peanut noodle bowls tossed with green beans and cucumber, and kiddie magnet desserts, such as Kaya chocolate whoopie pies ringed with coconut. They’ve also gotten in lockstep with the dietary proclivities of the area, exclusively using gluten free tamari, and offering air-chilled chicken breast, grass-fed hanger steak, and Berkshire pork as toppers. Any noodle can also be substituted for spirals of roasted zucchini.
“Basically when a customer has that craving for Chinese takeout, we want our food to be delicious enough to satisfy that craving,” Ch’ien affirmed of her overriding mission for Hey Hey Canteen. “But still light and wholesome enough that they actually feel good after the meal.”
400 4th Avenue, Park Slope