Mission Chinese New York CityPosted By Jennifer Ho Nov 11 2013 · 0 comments · Dining Out
Since Alex and I now live in different cities, we decided to meet up in New York for a little weekend getaway. Where better than New York City to sightsee, eat good food and drink even better cocktails?
We planned our trip two days in advance, and from the get go, Mission Chinese was one of our must-try restaurants. Known to have a devoted cult following, the food is loud, unorthodox and tongue in cheek funny (i.e. kung pao pastrami, catfish a la szechuan etc.). We headed there on a beautiful Saturday morning for lunch and lucky for us, it seemed as if our timing was right on. We’d heard of massive lineups, two to three hour wait times and tales about the near impossibility of getting a table unless you showed significantly earlier than the opening or had the right number of people to make a reservation. Lunch seems to be the way to go if you want a taste without the wait.
As you enter, you’re led down a long, narrow passageway where as you walk, you can watch the cook team at work. The dining room is dimly lit and red is the color of choice in decor as seen in the Chinese lanterns, wall paint and suspended dragon.
The beer brined Szechuan pickles were ordered in anticipation for the heat to come, serving as cool and sour bites of relief.
The beef dumplings were true to its name as they were indeed hot, sour and sweet. The creamy sesame sauce was a nice touch, as was the vinegar at the bottom of the bowl. The only inconsistency was the fact that the dumplings at the center were hotter in temperature than those on the outside…
With every bite, the mapo ramen delivered a unique, tastebud numbing flavor that made my dining partner panic for a few minutes and assume he was having an allergic reaction. The mix of the hot chili and Szechuan peppercorns create a sensation in the mouth that completely changes the way food tastes – even water tastes noticeably different. It reminded me of the miracle berry in a way. It’s hard to explain exactly what it feels and tastes like, but I have to say I enjoyed it. Just know that the dish comes with a bit of a warning label.
Last, the famous kung pao pastrami. Interesting take on the traditional dish but maybe a little too hyped. For us, not spicy enough and a little grease heavy. Respect though.
Trust that your meal here will be an adventure. Worth it.
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