Where to Find New York City-Style Bodega Sandwiches in Hong Kong
Anyone who's ever spent time as more than just a tourist in New York City knows that bodegas are the lifeblood of the Big Apple—more than just your average convenience or corner store, bodegas are neighbourhood institutions that sell everything from single rolls of one-ply Scott's toilet paper and fruit salad to bootleg "fig newtons" and grab-and-go deli sandwiches. Now, to be clear, bodega sandwiches aren't just sandwiches. There's a particular lexicon of sandwiches that's distinctly New York—and thanks to a founding team, which includes Taran Chandha of Blacksalt Kitchen, Camille Glass and George Kwok of wine bars Brut and Pondi, and Si Hyeong Kang, some of New York City's most important sandwiches have just, finally, become available for consumption in Hong Kong. Introducing HKI's very own bodega: Fat Chad's in Sai Ying Pun.
Freshly opened just last week, Fat Chad's has bodega-ambitions—with grocery items and sundries on the horizon—but is currently operating primarily as a bijoux eatery serving seven New York City-inspired sandwiches (and one hot dog—a hot dog is not a sandwich, don't @ me). There's the all-important BEC—bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel—as well as Italian-American classics such as the Gambino, which, filled with baby shrimp, salami, mortadella and coppa, is a nod to to one of the most famous sandwiches at Cochon in New Orleans (not New York).
Also on the menu: a classic reuben and a chopped cheese sandwich—a mainstay in New York's outer boroughs and the flashpoint at the centre of an American food Columbusing scandal-slash-media-meltdown in 2016 (read more about it: here, here and here), and sides, which come from all over the map—think: dirty rice, green papaya coleslaw and okra fries—along with Oregonian and Australian wines, beer, and banana fritters and ice cream for dessert.
Fat Chad’s, G/F, 119B Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 5536 9665