Mission Chinese Food. Location: Lower East Side. Orchard and Rivington. Food: Chinese. Beijing Vinegar Peanuts. Savory Egg Custard. Westlake Rice Porridge. Broccoli Beef Cheek with Smoked Oyster Sauce. Scene: Communal Table. Bar Seating. Red Dragon.
- Mapo Tofu: Pork Shoulder, Doubanjiang, Sichuan Pepper (1st pic)
- Tea Smoked Eel: Pulled Port Trotter, Chinese Celery, Cheung Fun, Crisp Fish Skin (2nd pic)
- Salt Cod Fried Rice: Slow Cooked Mackerel, Chinese Sausage, Lettuce, Egg
- Kung Pao Pastrami: Peanuts, Celery, Potato, Explosive Chili (3rd pic)
- Mongolian Long Beans: Roasted Chili, Horseradish, Garlic Shoots
San Francisco meet the Lower East Side. The infamous Chinese restaurant opened tonight, and the unusual entrance begins with a view of the kitchen and a fast-food looking sign with menu items ordered by number. The long entry way (perfect for guests to wait in line in) leads to the back with a handful of tables and twelve seats at the bar (these are the only ones available for reservations). The gigantic shiny, red, and fierce Chinese dragon hanging over the dining room creates authenticity and feels like Chinese New Year all year round. Plates are colorful with large portions and nice and spicy! The Tea Smoked Eel is similar to David Chang’s Pork Buns but in spring roll form. It’s tender and… I like it better. The Savory Egg Custard is definitely something to try (see below). Don’t let the trout roe fool you, this dainty mug is sweet and could be served as dessert.
However, what kept me digging back for more was the Mapo Tofu with Pork Shoulder. For best results, ask for a tiny rice bowl, fill it up with the Salt Cod Fried Rice and dump the Mapo Tofu over it to help absorb the spicy sauce. Now this is a dish and something good for the mouth. In San Francisco, the Kung Pao Pastrami is known as a crowd pleaser, and it reminded me of Red Farm’s pastrami egg rolls. It’s unbelievable how smooth Mission Chinese Food sailed the first night. Service was great, dishes came out quickly and it’s obvious they’ve done this before.
Listen up y’all, vegan options are available and all dishes rack in under $12 with beer at $5 and wine at $7. In addition, this Californian restaurant is so kind that they are donating 75 cents from all dishes to the Food Bank of New York City. What are you waiting for?
***Tip: Restaurant closed on Wednesdays.