Kay Ch'ien is the proud owner of Hey Hey Canteen. She and I shared a similar vision of serving "contemporary Asian comfort food" inspired by the dishes that we both grew up with and the places I have spent many years traveling. As the mother of a toddler, Kay wanted to create a friendly, inclusive environment where customers have the ability to choose healthy and affordable options. She also took the neighborhood's growth into consideration, knowing that a restaurant like Hey Hey Canteen would be a welcome addition to the area.
It has been great to collaborate on the concept with the chef on site, Carlos Barrera. Carlos has been cooking since the age of seven and has worked as everything from a personal chef, a chef de cuisine, and an executive chef in places like a Mexican winery, a corporate kitchen, and a 3-Michelin-Starred restaurant. His culinary experience spans his native Mexico, Spain, the Midwest, and New York. I have spent the past three months working side-by-side with him and Kay to bring new, amazing food to the neighborhood. We all have the vision of longterm health and sustain the vibrant of the community.
The canteen's signature is a Seafood Laksa with a blend of carefully-pounded spices and herbs like galangal and cilantro, blended together to create a rich seafood broth. The menu includes everything from a Laotian-inspired Red Rice Salad with slivered Buddha squash, a bowl full with crispy tofu, and seasonal vegetables to my all time favorite, a noodle dish of my grandmother's well known stall in Chinatown, Yangon, Myanmar-Lomein with garlic oil and Roast Char Chiu pork.
The restaurant is located on the cusp of Park Slope and Gowanus, surrounded by many new apartment buildings in need of an eatery like Hey Hey Canteen.