Restaurants on Smith Street seem to either open and fizzle out into nothingness in under 5 minutes, or they open and are wildly popular and will be there for the forever future. Despite opening as the first 'Welsh' restaurant anyone in Brooklyn has ever heard of, Sunken Hundred has, since its first day of service earlier this year, managed to achieve the latter status. At 6.30 on a Friday it was already bustling, drinks were being poured, and food was whizzing out the kitchen.
And no, before you ask, the menu isn't just Welsh Rarebit, Glamorgan sausage, and Bara Brith (although they do make an appearance). It's filled with seafood, seaweed-tainted dishes, and warming (necessary both here and in the Welsh countryside), seasonal, vegetable-rich sides and salads. With a drinks order in (one huge glass of red wine, one beer, and one dark rye cocktail), we picked out all the non-shellfish foods on the menu (B is supposedly 'allergic'), and watched them all steadily appear on our table over the evening.
Croquettes were crisp and fishy and perfect dipped in a mustard sauce. Fish churros (described as the most 'Instagram-able' dish on the menu, so obviously we were sold) were genius: all the flavors and textures you want from classic fish and chips in one fried mouthful. A lamb pasty was how pasties should be, with crisp pastry and a flavorful interior — a far cry from the pasty scent which fills most British train stations. The squid was pretty and sweet, while the mushroom salad was earthy and autumnal, and the ffagodau (meatballs on minty peas) are what I'll be eating for the rest of winter
And obviously we ended with pan fried Bara Brith with rum and walnut ice cream. Twice. Because when a group of runners go out together, one dessert between three is simply not enough.
Sunken Hundred strikes the perfect balance between curated, carefully crafted food, comforting, homey dishes, a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and prices that mean this really can become a neighborhood local.
Sunken Hundred, 276 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231