Mission Chinese - Midway through the Feast

Mission Chinese Food – Lucky in NYC

In NYC, Restaurants by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch7 Comments

Traveling can be full of surprises, both bad and good.  We were recently surprised in San Francisco to find out that Mission Chinese Food was closed for a summer holiday.  Then, we were surprised again a couple of weeks later when we got into the normally crowded New York City location with a minimal wait.

We had wanted to check out Danny Bowien’s restaurant for a while, but the timing was never right.  We suspected that we would dig the spicy fusion food since we love flavorful, creative food and have been enamored by Sichuan spiciness since our trip to Chengdu, China in 2010.  Long story short, our suspicion was correct.

Mission Chinese Food’s New York City location is on the Lower East Side, right on Orchard Street among the Jewish clothiers and former tenement buildings.  It looks pretty basic from the outside.

Mission Chinese Food NYC

Mission Chinese Food

We jumped at the chance when we saw the relatively short line on a hot July Saturday evening.

Outside Mission Chinese Food NYC

Outside Mission Chinese Food

The inside of the restaurant is totally different from the outside.  Since we were on the early side, we were seated on the tail end of the restaurant’s first seating.   We got the end of the large communal table in the funkily decorated room, which had a great view of the bar.

Our View of the Bar Mission Chinese Food NYC

Our View of the Bar

We started reading the menu and realized that we had a problem  The two of us, even with our hungry appetites,  couldn’t order everything that we wanted.  If we did, then we’d be ordering the entire menu.  We ordered drinks as we narrowed down our options.  Daryl ordered a glass of the Gotham Projects Riesling, and Mindi ordered a Sixpoint Crisp Lager, both on tap.  We narrowed down our food options, and happily waited for the feast to begin.

2foodtrippers at Mission Chinese Food NYC

2foodtrippers at Mission Chinese Food

Although we had gotten right in, all of the tables were full.  Everybody was glad to be in the air-conditioned food mecca, even the servers.

Inside Mission Chinese Food NYC

Inside Mission Chinese Food

Food at Mission Chinese Food

Soon, the food started coming at a rapid pace.  First out was the smashed cucumbers with salted chili, sesame paste and fresh garlic.  Fresh and crunchy, the dish’s flavors got our mouths primed for the spicy food yet to come.

Smashed Cucumbers with Salted Chili, Sesame Paste and Fresh Garlic Mission Chinese Food NYC

Smashed Cucumbers with Salted Chili, Sesame Paste and Fresh Garlic

We were especially curious about the Kung Pao Pastrami with thick chunks of pastrami, peanuts, celery, potato and explosive chili.  Our curiosity was quickly sated, as this dish came out second.  We loved the clever dish that took a Chinese standard and added an ethnic element from the neighborhood.

Kung Pao Pastrami with Peanuts Celery, Potato and Explosive Chili Mission Chinese Food NYC

Kung Pao Pastrami with Peanuts Celery, Potato and Explosive Chili

Next out was the Chongquing chicken wings with explosive chili and even more explosive nuggets of crispy beef tripe.  The server had warned us that this was the hottest dish on the menu, which was anything but a deterrent for the 2foodtrippers.  Of course the wings were hot, but the dish also had a complexity of flavors beyond “hot”.  Plus, the crispy beef tripe pieces were little gems in the plate that added a spicy sweetness.

Chongquing Chicken Wings with Explosive Chili and Crispy Beef Tripe Mission Chinese Food NYC

Chongquing Chicken Wings with Explosive Chili and Crispy Beef Tripe

Daryl needed some rice and a napkin to counterbalance the heat from the wings.

On fire! Mission Chinese Food NYC

On fire!

Mindi passed on the rice and instead enjoyed a T-100 with rum, cantaloupe, soy milk, almond and black pepper.  It was liquid refreshment with a kick.

Cheers! Mission Chinese Food NYC

Cheers!

The fun continued as the noodle dish arrived.  We had been tempted to order ramen since we love ramen.  (See our previous post about Tokyo’s Ramen Street.)  But, we instead ordered a dish unique to Mission Chinese Food – egg egg noodles with a soft hen egg, ginger, scallion and black vinegar.

Egg Egg Noodles with Soft Hen Egg, Ginger, Scallion and Black Vinegar Mission Chinese Food NYC

Egg Egg Noodles with Soft Hen Egg, Ginger, Scallion and Black Vinegar

Egg Egg Noodles - All Mixed Up Mission Chinese Food NYC

Egg Egg Noodles – All Mixed Up

The final dish that came out was ironic insomuch that we thought it would come out first.  Our dessert became Beijing vinegar peanuts with smoked garlic confit, anise, fennel seeds and rock sugar.  Not a problem.

Beijing Vinegar Peanuts with Smoked Garlic Confit, Anise, Fennel Seeds and Rock Sugar Mission Chinese Food NYC

Beijing Vinegar Peanuts with Smoked Garlic Confit, Anise, Fennel Seeds and Rock Sugar

The impromptu meal was a good surprise and quite a feast.  It’s a good thing we took some pictures before it was all gone.

Mission Chinese - Midway through the Feast Mission Chinese Food NYC

Mission Chinese – Midway through the Feast

We have several standby’s in New York for inexpensive, delicious food.  Mission Chinese Food is now on this list.  We will be back.

Mission Chinese Food is located at 154 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002, USA & 2234 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.


Comments

  1. Love the photo of Daryl on fire. I’m going to NYC from 9/5 -9/22 ad would love to see and eat with you both in either NYC or Philly.

  2. Wow, I need to try this place. I’ve heard so much about it and now that I’m in San Fran it’s on the top of my To Do/Eat list!

  3. I’ve only just made it to mission Chinese food in SF, and I live here! Your photos are making me want to go back and try their other dishes 🙂

  4. A mouthwatering post indeed! Chinese dishes are very popular and easy getting thing in overall Asia truly. And dishes are unique for its color, aroma, taste, and texture. Have you ever try Bangladeshi authentic foods?

    1. Author

      We have not yet visited Bangladesh. Hopefully one day we will, and then we will eat some authentic food.

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