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Teddy Wolff


Teddy Wolff

Have you ever gnawed on a confit duck neck in a dining room resembling someone’s stylish mid-century modern home while “Stay Fly” by Three 6 Mafia played over the speakers? If the answer is no (and frankly we’d be surprised if you said yes), you haven’t had dinner at Falansai in Bushwick yet.

This Vietnamese restaurant existed for years before an ex-Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef took over the kitchen in the fall of 2020. Since then, they’ve switched to serving a list of sub-$30 dishes that range from a spicy green curry with seasonal vegetables to inventive fine dining food that doesn’t exist elsewhere in NYC, like cabbage charred braised in chicken phở and the aforementioned duck.

Teddy Wolff

Falansai offers a la carte service or a rotating đặc biệt tasting with four courses for around $45 or six courses for around $83. We advocate for the a la carte method, even though this Bushwick spot feels like one of the borough’s special restaurants that should be dedicated to big date nights, birthdays, or promotion celebrations. It’s certainly exciting to have dishes curated for you by the chef, but you’ll inevitably miss some of the a la carte menu’s hits if you opt for the tasting.

Our favorite things to eat at Falansai are the interpretations of classic Vietnamese cooking on the a la carte menu. They change their larger plates regularly, most of which typically fall into the “holy sh*t” genre. Take, for example, a cabbage dish topped with cured egg yolk that released so much dopamine in our brain that the plate would be a hit in a psychiatric clinical study. It’s charred and then braised in a rich, lemongrass-heavy chicken phở the color of melted butter until the cabbage layers become soft and broken-down.

Unfortunately, for anyone who likes to keep their hands clean while pretending to be a Mature Adult At A Nice Dinner, the confit duck necks also fall into the category of requisite eating at Falansai. Their “umami bomb” sauce, equally sweet and biting from ginger, mirin, and soy sauce, will make you feel like you’re at a BBQ joint. Even though there’s not a ton of meat in even the plumpest of necks, the meat you do find will be tender and have an unmistakably iron-leaning taste of duck.

Teddy Wolff

Falansai’s duck necks, charred cabbage, and fiery green curry taste even better in the context of the restaurant’s homey-chic living room. If your friend’s apartment looked like this - white brick walls covered in vinyl albums, a little lounge area with coffee tables made from tree stumps, and monstera plants with sweeping leaves - you’d invite yourself over for dinner parties as often as possible. And if you walk back through Falansai’s kitchen, you’ll find a more casual-feeling covered patio with a koi pond in the middle where you can stare at your reflection while your dinner partner is texting in the bathroom.

Falansai exists in the idyllic middle ground between a fine dining experience and a casual dinner. So the next time you’re seeking an upscale Big Night Out in a space that feels like you’re attending one of Brooklyn’s great dinner parties, make a reservation here.

Food Rundown

Head’s up: Falansai rotates their menu often. That’s part of the reason you’ll want to keep coming back.

Teddy Wolff
Dad’s Egg Rolls

The menu is in part dedicated to the chef’s father’s cooking, a fact that warms our heart and also makes us want to meet said dad. These egg rolls are made with Berkshire pork and wood ear mushrooms, served with a side of fermented fish sauce and Thai chilies for dipping. The wonton is thicker than other egg rolls we’ve encountered. We’re into it, especially when you hug one with a big leaf of lettuce.

Teddy Wolff
Confit Duck Necks

Eating these lathered rib-like pieces will remind you of the precarity of evolution and our strange little lives where we get to pick up a duck’s neck and chomp down. They have a crispy fried exterior not unlike a chicken wing, but with tons of umami sauce lathered on top. Make sure to gnaw in between the vertebrae to get all the meat inside. Just know there won’t be a ton of it.

Teddy Wolff
Spicy Green Curry

This vegetarian curry tastes creamy and sweet at first, and then hits you with chili spice in the back of your throat where that dangly guy lives. Ours had shiitake mushrooms, soft tofu cubes, potato, spinach, squash, plus radish and hearty greens on top. Yours might be different: they change the dish based on whatever’s in season.

Teddy Wolff
Charred Caraflex Cabbage

Falansai chars half a cabbage and then braises it in an ultra-clarified chicken phở. The cabbage gets such a hard sear that the crunchy burned bits flavor the lemongrass-heavy broth (and vice versa). Every bite is soft, crunchy, and herbaceous. This is a genius dish.

Teddy Wolff
Dad’s Fried Rice

Piled high with cubed Vietnamese mortadella, sweet Chinese sausage slices, soft hunks of scrambled egg, and short-grain brown rice. This tastes just as satisfying by itself as it does with the green curry. Order it even if you feel like you’ve chosen plenty of dishes, and eat some reheated for breakfast the next day.

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