Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mission Chinese

Kung Pao pastrami (front) and pork jowl with radishes

Eating at Mission Chinese, the hottest new restaurant in the hood, is like going to a hipster house party. With really good food. Upon arrival for dinner, you're asked to help yourself to the beer keg while you wait. And there will be a wait, spilling onto Orchard St. That gesture in itself sets the tone for the place. They care.

Sichuan pickled vegetables
It's a good time to take a peek into the open kitchen, where you may catch a glimpse of chef Danny Bowein, creating his magical thrice cooked bacon ($11.50). Chunky belly is steamed, smoked and then stir fried with chewy rice cakes, tofu skin and a little bitter melon. The spicy dish is a must for bacon lovers.

When your table is ready, you'll follow a long hallway into a ramshackle dining room, buzzing with diners. Plates are generous, made for sharing. Start with pickles. Both the turnips and long bean pickles with cumin ($4), and Sichuan pickled veggies ($4) are zesty and refreshing - and spicy.

Many of the dishes are fired up with Sichuan peppercorn. Be forewarned. If you haven't tasted this spice before, be ready for a heat that sneaks up on you, numbs your tongue and doesn't let go. The signature Kung Pao pastrami ($11), with meat smoked for 12 hours, sets your mouth ablaze. That didn't stop me from taking home the leftovers and whipping up an omelet the next day.

Thrice cooked bacon
Other standouts include the non-spicy stir fried pork jowl and radishes, topped with fresh mint ($11), and the broccoli beef cheek ($13), whose tender meat sits in a pool of smoked oyster sauce.

Charity also plays a role for the New York outpost of this San Francisco cult favorite. A portion of sales goes to the Food Bank for New York City.

While Mission Chinese is eyeing Brooklyn for a second location, enjoy it now.

154 Orchard Street (at Rivington)
212 529 8800
Lunch 12pm -3pm
Dinner 5:30pm - 12am
Closed Wednesdays

Mission Chinese Food on Urbanspoon


  1. How did Kung Pao pastrami omelet turn out!?

    1. Delish. Egg tempered the spiciness for sure.

  2. This dish is very tasty I also make this.......... term paper topic help.!!