MáLà Project (603 Manhattan Ave.) is finally open in Greenpoint with the small chain’s first Brooklyn location. Amelie Kang’s restaurants, known for Sichuan MáLà dry pot, include three locations in Manhattan and now one in Brooklyn.
As Greenpointers previously reported, Greenpoint’s MáLà Project was originally slated to open in late summer or early fall of last year, but was delayed, and just opened its doors yesterday, July 19.
“Opening night was such a warm welcome from the neighborhood,” Christian Castillo, MáLà Project’s Creative Director, told Greenpointers. “Chatting with the guests, we learned that a lot lived across the street or next door. We also had many who are regulars at our other locations, but live in Greenpoint and had been eagerly waiting for this location to open.”
Castillo also explained that the nearly year-long delay of the Greenpoint opening was caused by “lots of factors.” He said that the team “wanted every detail to be perfect” and wanted to “do it right, which took time,” adding that he “couldn’t be happier with how it all came together in the end.”
Kang, owner and co-founder of MáLà Project, grew up in Tangshan, China, about two hours north of Beijing, and missed the flavors of home when she first moved to New York, so she decided to open a restaurant at the age of 23.
“When I first opened MáLà Project, I wanted to build a restaurant that would honor my roots in China while reflecting the vibe of New York’s East Village,” Kang said. “In Greenpoint, our goal is to nod to the neighborhood’s diverse culinary influences and immigrant-owned businesses, as well as the sophisticated style it has become known for.”
MáLà Project’s menus include a good variety of Sichuan dishes in addition to the dry pot the chain is known for, but when Greenpointers interviewed Kang, she said that guests going to MáLà Project for the first time should definitely get the dry pot because it is an “experience.” Kang also suggested trying the spicy popcorn chicken, which is a really popular order.
Other menu items from MáLà Project’s Chef Qilong Zhao include dim sum favorites like dumplings, a variety of noodle and rice entrees like DànDàn noodles, and new dishes like MáPó tofu and MáLà pickles. Plus, there are several lunch combo specials.
With the Greenpoint opening, the MáLà Project team also introduces a new cocktail menu created in collaboration with Will Wyatt, who created a menu that pairs well with the Sichuan cuisine with drinks like the 10,000 Years of Love with Baiju, vodka, sesame, pineapple and a red wine float, and the Happy Together with gin, lemongrass, coconut water and banana.
The Greenpoint location also marks MáLà Project’s first collaboration with LOVEISENOUGH, the design studio behind beloved Brooklyn restaurants Rule of Thirds, Bar Bête, and Le Crocodile. The design of the Brooklyn outpost was inspired by nature, night markets, and nostalgia for 1990s Beijing. The new location also comes at the same time as a brand refresh by Jingqi Fan.
Greenpoint’s MáLà Project is open everyday for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Reservations are now available on Resy.