Mission Chinese has always been a good time, but now, with sweet new digs, it’s an absolute blast. We were never into the old Mission Chinese space on the LES. It felt cramped, like eating in a dirty college basement, with the burnout next door acting as a server to make some extra weed money as Method Man blasted from the speakers. Graduation is always a big life milestone. Method Man hasn’t gone anywhere, thankfully, but everything else has changed, and it couldn’t be more perfect.
The food at Mission Chinese will most certainly light your mouth - and your appetite for destruction - on fire. Don’t come to Mission Chinese looking for a formal meal, a romantic evening, or any form of authentic Chinese ritual associated with dining. Come here to have some drinks, have some fun, and eat a ton of delicious, unique, Chinese-inspired food that will blow your mind a little bit.
A few things to note - Mission Chinese doesn’t take reservations, so prepare to put your name down and then spend the next two hours drinking as you wait for your iPhone to tell you your name has trickled up through the list management app Mission uses (a welcome innovation that all no reservations spots need to start using). There’s a bar in the front, but the bar you need to be hanging out is downstairs, in the back, against the silver wall. After dinner, head next door to 169 Bar, an incredible Bayou-themed dive with live music, cheap drinks, and lots of action.
Since they charge $7 for bread, they give you dumplings instead. Oh sh*t, that rhymed. Food Rundown off to a great start.
A big new addition is a massive raw bar section, which has your typical selection of oysters and crab legs, along with some other things you see less often, like a tray of sea urchin served with squid ink and spicy anchovies.
These dry hot wings are excellent and should be on your table. You’ll want to stop eating them because pain, but you won’t be able to.
One of the fan favorites. This needs to be on your table. Salty cod sits inside a pile of soft rice. You’ll be eating from this the entire evening.
One of the dishes that put Mission Chinese on the map. Proceed with caution, as this is one of the spicier dishes on the menu. A beautiful mess of thick, crispy pork belly nuggets in a bowl of rice cakes, tofu skin, bitter melon, and chili oil.
Crunchy pastrami with peanuts, celery, potato, and Tianjin chili. A must order.
A respite from the spicy, these noodles are topped with green tea matcha powder and hoisin sauce. The sweetness is a welcome break for your mouth, which is almost certainly numb by this point.
A favorite of many OG Mission Chinese fiends. These beans are tasty, and really, really spicy.
One of the most ridiculous things one can order at Mission Chinese. A massive cart is rolled out to the table with a huge slab of meat on it. Melted butter is then poured all over everything, and crab legs are stacked on top. It’s delicious, but good luck surviving it.
We’ve eaten a lot of large format chicken dinners, and this is absolutely one of the best. A full chicken is stuffed with stuffing like a Thanksgiving turkey, only this stuffing has sausage, raisins, soft-cooked eggs, and cheese in it. It’s rich and somewhat absurd and you want it.