Posts Tagged With: Mission Chinese Food

Mission Chinese 2.0: Possible

Mission Chinese Dumplings

December 20th, 2016 Update:

Mission Chinese Food continues to tickle and tackle my taste buds.  But at the same time its becoming more and more apparent that not all dishes work for everyone, and my ability to properly select from this menu is shaky at best.  It almost seems like its strength and claim to fame, the ultra fiery stuff, is also its weakness.  People either love the numbing heat or hate it, while the hate is strong enough to keep its Yelp score shockingly low for a place with such profile.  But even much of the love..  “The wings were KILLA, but I couldnt finish more than 3” is questionable.  In a normal world, you dont recommend a dish you personally gave up after eating laboring a quarter of it.

To me the strength lies in the more subdued plates.  Like the Green Tea Noodles, and the simple but proper fried chicken.  A less subdued solid discovery is the addictive spicy noodles with peanuts, and cold shrimp that dont bring much to the table.  But the shocker the other day was the expensive, great sounding Fragrant Crab Rice that turned out to be bland and uneventful.  It was essentially a bucket full of dry rice, with crab that is totally lost, and no scent to speak of.  Here, such dish can quickly turn into an expensive side dish to balance the heat from other dishes.  This is also where the Tom Khallins drink comes in handy.  Go, still, but not as enthused as before.

March 28, 2015:

Yesterday I got a disturbing text from my barber.  It wasnt so much about the content of the text, but rather the fact that I got a text from my barber that was alarming.  Initially I concluded wrong number, but then I remembered that my barber was the only person I know that calls me by the wrong name.  I gave up correcting him 5 years ago and simply play along.  “Terry, I moved to the other side of the mall, by Macy’s.  Please confirm that you received this text”.  After confirmation, he was very delighted that I showed understanding, and opted to stick with him!?!  Well, why on earth wouldn’t I.  Should I consider perhaps that the other side of the mall is further away from my house?  Maybe he’s implying lack of parking?  I’ve only been with him for 16 years.  Should I drop him because the other side of the mall doesnt have an Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel stand, and simply hire one of the old schmucks taking a nap at 10 am?  I always show up to a Bunny Ranch-like lineup of sleeping barbers to choose from.

Mission ChineseIn similar fashion Mission Chinese Food moved from the LES to Chinatown, pretty much the same distance as my barber.  Danny Bowien, and MCF opened with a bang initially, even winning in a rather shocking fashion the coveted Best New Restaurant of 2013 from the New York Times.  Not too long after, it was closed by the Health Dep’t, reopened shortly after, only to close for good shortly after that.  For its fans this unfolding was difficult to watch.  As difficult as watching a baby seal getting clobbered to death.  If I would only have a nickle for every favorite Chinese restaurant closed at some point by the Health Dep’t, I would have a Quarter by now. Who cares if there’s evidence of mice.  As long as the mice and I are not there at the same time.

The new space, compared to the old, is comically stunning.  Like a bizarre cross between a fancy diner, a steakhouse, and a Lucky Cheng’s.  It kept some of the furniture from previous tenant Rosette, including a pizza oven which they utilize for pizza and bread.  Comfortable booths, chandeliers, and Lazy Susans unlike the Lazy Susans at my Doctor’s office where you just got lazy women named Susan.  When you add this all up, including the many mild additions to the menu, you get something you can bring your family, or even your in-laws.  But contrary to the way it looks inside, and the sign outside, it is very far from your average Chinese joint. Mission Chinese Tom Khallins

Started with one of the most unique drinks in recent memory (about a week give or take).  Tom Khallins – Old Tom gin, coconut milk, kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, chile, and sesame oil served in a small tea bowl.  After this and Pok Pok I’m really starting to get into those coconuty drinks.

The “Bread Service” is essentially a delicious smoky round Laffa with kefir butter spread.  It comes with a price tag ($7) that will make any Israeli or Arab shiver, a la the Jerusalem Bagel at Bar Bolonat.  Although the great free cilantro and scrambled eggs dumplings leave less room to complain.  One good reason NOT to get the bread is that it takes a lot of space on the table that you will struggle for very soon.

Mission Chinese Bread ServiceThe Cumin Lamb Ribs while on the fatty and chewy side were somehow more satisfying that the previous version.  The Dates in this dish alone are worth the price of admission.  On the other hand, the Kung Pao Pastrami went from my favorite to least favorite of the night.  The pastrami this time was much more charred, with texture closer to the potatoes it came with rather than that great pastrami of 1.0.  It wasn’t bad overall, but the rest of the lineup was just better.

Like the great Beef Jerky Fried Rice with Beech Mushrooms.  Wildly flavorful, but only the second best fried rice dish of the day (oxtail fried rice @ Blue Ribbon near Columbus Circle for lunch).  And if I would have to pick a favorite this night, it would probably be the Green Tea Noodles with ginger scallion, hoisin, and the great matcha flavor which makes the dish.  The only issue with this one is that the noodles are so stuck together (not so much in a bad way), that its difficult to remove a portion if you are sharing.  Eat this like Chinese eating rice.

Mission Chinese Food
171 E Broadway
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Tom Khallins, Beef Jerky Fried Rice, Green Tea Noodles, Cumin Lamb Ribs

Mission Chinese Pastrami

Mission Chinese Green Tea Noodles Mission Chinese Cumin Lamb Mission Chinese

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Categories: Lower East Side, New York City | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mission Chinese Food 1 – Ziggy 0

A short but sweet review on one of the hottest new restaurants in NYC.  If you haven’t heard of Mission Chinese food you either live under a rock or in Staten Island.  Sorry for the Iphone photos

Mission Chinese Food

Getting there at 12:30 pm proved to be a perfect time – No Meshugenah line.  While looking at the menu I was eyeing no less than 8 dishes for myself and my companion, The Hummus Whisperer, but settled on 6, still much to the dismay of the bartender who assured us we’ll be leaving with a hefty number of doggy bags.  Ha!  The joke is on him I’m thinking.  He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.

I asked the bartender as I was giving him our orders if he can somehow arrange it so we could get the dishes in their proper order, from mild to intense as some of the dishes can be so intense they can burst your palates.  He said in a very polite way, No!  “They will come in a furious pace..Bla bla, bla” whatever.  Next time I will simply order the mild ones first and later will order the rest.  Here’s what we had in the order of arrival…

Mission Chinese FoodCumin Lamb – Wasn’t too crazy about this one.  The lamb was way over spiced to my taste.  I understand its called Cumin lamb, but it still needs to taste good and it wasn’t.  And way too salty

Mapo Tofu – This is it.  Now I get it.  A flavor festival.  Like a beautiful Tofu with thos melt in your mouth tender Pork Shoulder spice de jour soup.  Delicious, but palates are starting to burst

Chongqing Chicken Wings – Palates burst.  After one, just one chicken wing, and that Tofu I needed to take a break.  Those wings were super spiced and very intense.

Thrice cooked bacon – I don’t know what to think about this one.  It came with those “I cant believe its not potatoes Rice cakes” and after having a few of those at this point I started to wonder where the explosiveness is coming from.  Mapo TofuThis was not one of my favorite dishes.  Maybe they need to cook the bacon a 4th time.

Kung Pao Pastrami – My favorite dish and the best Kung Pao I ever had.  They make their own pastrami, not from Katz’s as the rumor was.  Very juicy and flavorful Pastrami cubes and the entire dish really worked

Salt Cod Fried Rice – Very good but why are we getting the mildest dish last.  Loved the tiny Chinese sausage bits.

This was a defeat like I never experienced.  We couldn’t even finish the 6 chicken wings.  My request for milk from the bartender resulted with just a grin.  No, I’m serious, I want Milk.  Whatever! I’ll be back for a rematch now that I know what to order and how to order it.  I’m outta here.  With the doggy bags!

Categories: Lower East Side, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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