Crab rangoon stuffed and sealed to order.
A Fred Flintstone sized leg of lamb.
And dozens and dozens of skewers to share.
There are so just so many ‘wow’dishes at Wow Barbeque.
With locations in Providence and this one in Brookline Village, Wow Barbecue is setting the standard when it comes to all things served on a stick. It’s all the brain of Steven Liu who began his skewer serving empire out of a food truck.
“We started as a food truck back in 2013. We just thought of this as a good opportunity to introduce something different to the Boston food scene.”
And when his tasty Asian handheld treats became so popular, he decided that a brick and mortar spot was a must and he outfitted his Brookline location in a traditional Chinese style with stone walls with Cantonese characters, a thatched roofed bar, and booths to cozy into- all shipped in from abroad.
“We want people to come in and experience something that’s truly authentic. Every single piece of brick and furniture that you see in this location, they’re actually all shipped directly from Beijing, my hometown. We just wanted to show the traditional architectural decorations are like in Beijing in China. Not only the food is very authentic. but also, we want people to come in and feel they are surrounded by things that have these truly authentic Chinese elements.”
Any trip to Wow Barbecue should start with some Chinese barbecue skewers, and luckily, there are 32 to choose from.
“We use the typical American with the volcano rocks and lava rocks underneath. That creates a very similar sort of feel to the way that it’s been traditionally done. All the skewers are made by hand. Some are pre-marinated and some are not. The seasoning itself contains maybe 20 different ingredients to give it a very rich flavor.
There’s all sorts of options from grilled corn or cabbage…to succulent squid, tasty pork belly and even crackly chicken skin.
“Chicken skin is really crispy. We skewer the skin on a stick and then we put it on the flat top and grill for about a minute or two to give it a very crispy taste to it. It’s crunchy. It’s not super oily. It’s this really crispy taste. Almost like a chip.”
But the must try has to be the lamb. This staple of the Wow Barbecue menu is cooked slowly and evenly for a heavenly taste in your mouth.
“What makes it great is how while you are grilling the lamb skewer, the fat seeps into the lean meat and the fat becomes crispy on the outside. Even though it’s a piece of lamb fat, it doesn’t taste very fat. It’s kind of like bacon. ”
While they’re known for their skewers, there’s a huge authentic Cantonese style menu to go along with them
“This is something completely different and I think that should open people’s mind about, “Oh, the Chinese food is actually different. There’s different authentic Chinese food out there.” Hopefully they’ll enjoy it.”
There are delicious pot stickers, pan seared and steamed so they’re soft on top and crunchy at the base. Outstanding Crab Rangoons- stuffed in house and fried until golden and spicy Dan Dan Noodles you’ll to want to dig your chops sticks into. But the app you’ve got to order brings a bit of the west to the east, in the form of the Cola Wings which feature addictive chicken smothered in a marinade of cola and General Tso sauce.
“We actually open a can of coke and then put it into a pot and then boil it down because Coke is a little bit sweet. The General Tso chicken sauce is sour. You do get that sweet and sour taste. When you bite into the wings, you have the soft tenderness of the wings and then the crispy outside with the combination of sweet and sour sauce seeping into the entire meal. Iit’s delicious. You’ve got to try it.”
If you’re looking for something to share, there’s an entire section designed with larger plates to feed the table. with options like Chili Crab spiked with chilis and lotus root…The Sichuan Whole Fish, and the Spicy Hot Pot- loaded up with Pork Belly and seafood….But any trip to Wow Barbecue should include the perfectly prepared Beijing Duck – a dish that’s interactive and incredibly tasty.
“We actually give you a small plate of sugar. We also give you wrapped veggies and a sauce where you can create your own. Kind of like a duck roll with veggies and scallion and the sauce. You take the wrap and then you brush the sauce onto the wrap. Then you would do maybe two pieces of duck, scallions, cucumbers. Then you just wrap it and eat everything at the same time.”
Equally as hands on is the Grilled Whole Lamb Leg.
“The lamb leg is similar to the duck. We actually make it a very interactive experience. We provide the buns where you can put the meat in. We provide a big assorted vegetables, where you can really pick and choose what you like to eat with the lamb leg.”
And whether you go for something big to share or something small for yourself, you’ll definitely be WOW’d at Wow Barbecue.
Wu Er by WOW Barbecue
320 Washington Street
Brookline, MA 02445