Mission Chinese – NYC – Disruptive Chinese Food?

In 2012 Korean-American Chef/drummer Danny Bowien from Oklahoma City opens Mission Chinese in NYC. He brings Sichuan Chinese food which he discovered in his mid 20’s, post culinary-school, whilst cheffing in San Fran.  He was instantly intrigued by the cuisine, especially since he found it hard to decode it ingredients, the flavours and how it all tasted to him. He started cooking Sichuan cuisine at a San Francisco pop-up within a Chinese restaurant, this was how Mission Chinese was born. 

So the the entire menu isn’t typically Sichuan but a a variety of ideas modded by ingredients all over SE Asia. It’s disruptive, in a very intriguing way. 

Brewed especially for Mission Chinese and it was darn refreshing, especially served in an iced glass.

Tropical fish separates us from our neighbours. 

Char Siu Pork Cheek, pickled beets and hibiscus glaze $12 was a pleasant surprise of unctuous pork, with hunks of sweet earthy beets and pickled ribbons of the stuff. Seemingly, it was char siu pork hipsterfied, look away if you’re a purist. 

Malaysian beef jerky fried rice $15 came with a variety of mushrooms, fragrant sawtooth coriander and topped with, from what I gather cheese and onion crisps! The portion size wasn’t shy which we loved, and with all the wok roasted ingredients eaten together, it was sublime.  

Broccoli beef brisket $21 was a concoction of baby Chinese kai-lan, house-made oyster sauce and roasted seeds. The broccoli was sweet and tender, the salinity levels of the brisket marred the dish though, which made it almost unbearable to eat. Come on chefs, taste before you serve. It was a classic combination that could have been great. 

The sweet and sour schnitzel $30 was a whole deboned fish with stewed red plum, topped with grapes and sorrel. Steam puffed out of the crispy exterior when broken into, exposing the beautiful white fish. The sweet citric notes of the fruit gave balance. 

Thrice cooked bacon and rice cakes $16, came with bitter melon and sweet tofu, topped with lashings of coriander and spring onions. The result was a blast, I can only describe it as an umami, chewy chilli bomb. A total stand out and a must have IMHO!

The verdict:

When did I go? Nov 2016
The damage: Expect to pay $45ish (£35ish)
The good: Rule breaking dishes with delicious ingredients and lashings of wok magic. There isn’t a lot the not to like! The jerky fried rice was a feast for the senses, the schnitzel eaten effortlessly and those chewy spicy rice cakes were a flavour punch to the palate. Everything was wrapped up in a quirky and fun atmosphere.
The bad: The brisket broccoli dish was a real challenge to eat, loosen up on the salt please!
Rating: 4/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 171 E Broadway New York, NY 10002
Phone: N/A info@missionchinesefood.com

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