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Tag: Chinese

Mission Chinese

Much lauded by chefs American Chinese restaurant in the LES.

What We Had

Thrice Cooked Bacon – This dish was bizarre. We’re not sure what to make of it – mouths felt buzzy from spice, like pop rocks. Crazy salty.

Our palates were bewildered. Strangest dish either of us had ever had, and that’s saying something.

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Ma Po Tofu – The tofu was silky and luxurious. Weird layer after layer thing going on with the Sichuan peppercorns and pork nibblins.

Leaves mouth watering ridiculously. Odd – not sure if we liked it – bite in, don’t like – too peppery. And then you eat more… Kind of like a drug. Feel like if we eat enough, might trip out.

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Chili Pickled Long Beans – Crazy salty, loads of taste.

Sweet corn tea

Brooklyn lager

Decor

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Racuous party atmosphere in the tiny dining room. Good music and lots of reds with as much seating as is humanly possible in the small space.

Service

Strangely good, and very friendly. You get the feeling they’re used to bewildered first-timers. Our server said we did end up jumping in with both feet and to maybe try 1 dish with the Sichuan peppercorns and 1 without next time for some respite from the buzz.

Overall Impressions

Crazy busy – 45 minute wait for people lined up outside 10 minutes before dinner service opening on a cold rainy night. We came back a few minutes early for our table, and people were being turned away – at 6:45, the wait was already 3 hours, and the list wasn’t opening back up until 9.

But, these guys are well organized and seem to know how to handle the craziness.

Rating

I can’t honestly rate this place. We are completely unsure if we loved it, hated it, or if we’ll be back on the regular like addicts. I can tell you that in the week+ since our visit, neither of us has stopped thinking about that MaPo Tofu.

I will throw out words of caution about the odd quality of the spice and the daunting amount of salt in each dish.

Ruby Foo’s

Ruby Foo’s

Big Chinese off of Times Square. We visited with a friend who also loves Chinese on the way to the Down show.

What We Had

We foisted our obsession onto our poor Friday post work frazzled friend, to good effect. The Szechuan Pork Dumplings were flavorful; sweet & mildly spicy; and gone all too soon.

We ordered three entrees and passed it all around family style.

General Ruby’s – Good flavor, nice chicken.

Spicy Beef Udon – Good flavor, sweet but spicy.

Kung Pao Chicken – Great spice, nice chicken.

Decor

Gorgeous lacquers, reds and golds.

Service

Not bad.

Overall Impressions

I had zero hopes for this place due solely to its location and large sign; I’m happy to have been proven wrong. We all had a great time and even made it to the show on time – just after the door crowd got their drinks and just as the first band started. Perfect timing.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for presenting a solid option just off the Times Square madness.

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No food pics, just decor. I was too busy trying not to freak out about the possibility of being late for the show.

Excellent Dumpling House

A blind pick for dumplings in Chinatown. I had family in town, we were starving, and the name sounded great. Names, unfortunately, can be misleading.

What We Had

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Korean beef noodle soup – completely tasteless and wholly disappointing.

Scallion pancake – burnt on the bottom, but good despite the char.

Chicken dumpling soup – meh. Not terrible, but not great.

Fried pork dumpling – decent but underseasoned.

Rangoon – not bad. A little greasy, but the filling was nice.

Some sort of beef dumpling – this was the best of the day. It actually had flavor.

A noodle dish involving chicken and vegetables – I only had a bite of this dish, but that was enough to tell it was mostly bland with a hint of wasted possibility.

Décor

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Minimal – mirror wall, lots of greenish hues.

Service

Average.

Overall Impressions

Bland and disappointing, given the name.

Rating

2 out of 5 for bland, boring food overall. Must. Find. Better. Option.

Great NY Noodle Town

Little hole-in-the-wall noodle joint in Chinatown.

What We Had

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My DH had the Roast Pork and Wonton Noodles Soup – This soup had some of the best Chinese-style pork either of us have yet eaten. The wontons were good, but the pork was the real star here.

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I had the Roast Duck and Noodles In Soup – The duck tasted great, but be forewarned that the meat is cleaver-chopped and includes bone fragments. Eat with caution.

Both bowls had deeply flavored broth (his had a fish base; mine had duck base), and the noodles were fresh and expertly prepared.

Décor

Nothing fancy, mostly white walls with menu items and mirror.

Service

About what one would expect. Perfunctory. Stink eye-free, even though we were the only ’round eye’ table in the joint for much of our meal (a good sign, to be sure).

Overall Impressions

This is a great place to grab a really cheap, good bite any time of day and into the wee hours of the morning. Be prepared; the restaurant accepts cash only.

Rating

4 out of 5 for great pork & comforting noodles.

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Red Hot II Szechuan

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While serving an Americanized version Szechuan, the menu holds a few dishes that are slightly more spicy than the more traditional Hunan or Canton style dishes served by most Chinese restaurants. This was also the only restaurant we found open from 4-5 in Park Slope on a weekend day.

Convenient to the F train.

What We Had

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I had the Basil Seafood — Basil-y, spicy, and non-gloopy sauce – a hit. Unevenly cooked seafood, but for the most part cooked well – out of the dozen or so sticks of squid, only 1 was cooked to death; all half dozen or so of the shrimp were cooked only a little over; and the 3 scallops were all cooked well. I didn’t touch the 2 sticks of surimi – I hate that stuff and it looked like styrofoam.

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My DH had the Hot & Spicy Chicken — A surprisingly complex dish that kept him interested until the end. I had a bite, and it was indeed really good.

Décor

Basic non-fancy Chinese restaurant decor.

Service

Not bad. Friendly and efficient.

Overall Impressions

The meal got off to a rocky start with really greasy table chips (fried wontons). Like so greasy, if we weren’t in needing food meltdown mode, we would have bolted. I’m glad we stayed though, because the food was a surprising treat.

Rating

3.75 out of 5. A solid option for lunch or dinner.