Tiki Spare Ribs
After your famously long wait*(actually if you by 7pm will you not have to) you walk past what looks like a Chinese take out place thru a long corridor…be careful of the steps and curtains and into a funky looking backyard with an orange dragon running through it. We were seated at the bar and and as soon as I saw the Cool Runner on the blackboard I knew I was getting one (Vodka, pineapple juice, jalapeno and basil served as a frozen slushy). This drink rocked with the basil giving it a minty thing ,but it was pretty spicy-hot for a cold slushy drink. My cousin started with a Marg Rover(Tequila, lime, toasted chilies with mint salt) that was a tasty spin on the classic. A cute girl was sitting down the bar from us and we asked her if she would like to join us. Turns out said Redhead was a Paleontologist from LA…she looked more like a Paleontologist from a movie then what one would expect one to look like…then again she was from LA.

We started with the Tiki Spare Ribs that are coated in caramelized soy, coconut and macadamia nuts with pineapple. They were insane and some of my favorite ribs ever. Next up was the Kung Pow Pastrami  which was excellent through not as spicy as I expected followed by the Lamb noodles with spicy peanut, cucumber and mint. Another winner. We also shared the Paleontologists (I never met one before and I love Dinosaurs…so it was cool:) Mapo Tofu and Salt Cod Fried Rice. Both were very good especially the Tofu that had pork shoulder and hot peppers taking the Tofu to a whole nother level. At this point I really liked everything…just that it wasn’t as spicy as I heard it was. Until…

Still a little hungry we ordered up the Chongqing Wings which turned out to be the hottest dish we had by far. Actually the hottest dish I’ve had in a long time. My lips were on fire…the Paleontologist was like “wow…hot!!!” and my cousin didn’t say anything. Once he got his voice back he said his throat was still vibrating. Thing is as crazy hot as they were they had a cinnamon brown sugar thing going on that tasted sweet…so I really liked them.  Of note, these are not wet wings in sauce but dry rubbed topped(read: heaped) with dried hot peppers. After a little while the heat faded away which pleasantly surprised me. So if you love heat, these will put you in you place if you don’t…order something else that will go with your skirt and umbrella drink.

I loved the food and will definitely be back. I have noticed it gets mixed reviews and I think it’s for two reasons. It may be too hot for some, thorough with the exception of the Chongqing Wings I didn’t think so and the fact that calling it Chinese food is a bit of a misnomer. It uses Chinese food as lets say a base, ie spare ribs, noodles, fried rice etc…but the flavors combined are multicultural in some cases fusing Asian and Jewish Deli as in the Kung Pao Pastrami. I think it works and for those who love fusion food and can handle some heat I highly key recommend it. One last, but important thing…*complaints about long waits. If you’re going to go prime time…welcome to New York home to 8 million plus people. More importantly Mission Chinese is not in some strip mall in NJ or Cleveland where there is nothing to do. It’s on Orchid Street that is loaded with bars and restaurants and surrounded by streets of like…So go get something to drink or even a light bite  while you wait. For me…Mission Accomplished and looking forward to the next episode…

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Mission Chinese is located at 154 Orchard Street

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One response »

  1. […] We had time for one more stop and I mixed up which way the Mexican place with the Margaritas was so we popped into Ha Chi at 185 Orchard Street. It’s a cool looking bi level spot with black tables and curved white leather banquets. I got the call from Mission Chinese and was told tables were filling up fast…so we said give us 15 mins and we are on our way. Happy Hour was still on so we ordered a round of Sake bombs and I went Lagunitas IPA’s while my cousin got a Duval. Oddly enough my cousins first Sake Bomb which is somewhat mind-numbing knowing his drinking habits. We downed these and continued on our quest for fire at Mission Chinese. I believe this place more then lived up to it’s hype and wrote a separate piece on it. Great drinks, funky backyard like dining room, very fair priced very good food. Please note…this is not typical Chinese food it’s multicultural Chinese based food…that in some cases packs some heat…See full review here… Mission-Chinese-im-on-a-mission-for-a-spicy-condition/ […]

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