Like most Indians, there are two things we’re passionate about – Bollywood and food (no, cricket is not that hot on our list).
In a long life, we’ve watched several hundred Bollywood movies (Hindi and Tamil) and dined at scores of Indian restaurants in Asia, Europe and North America.
North Indian or South Indian, Gujarati or Indian Chinese, Chettinad or Andhra style, the smell and sight of Indian food in any of its myriad flavors sends us into raptures.
So it was no surprise that during our last visit to New York City, we headed to Curry Hill, the area of Manhattan famous for its concentration of Indian restaurants.
This time, we decided to make Chinese Mirch on Lexington Avenue (corner of Lexington & 28th St) our port of call.
As its name suggests, Chinese Mirch is the place for noodles, chop suey, fried prawns, Gobi Manchurian, Szechuan Fried Rice and a host of other exotic Indian Chinese items.
Its neighbors include Curry in a Hurry, Copper Chimney, Pongal, Indo Munch, Chennai Garden, Tamil Nadu Bhavan, Banana Leaf and Diwali.
No sooner had we stepped into Chinese Mirch than we were quickly ushered into the upstairs seating area. The place was almost empty as it’d just opened for lunch.
Famished as we were, we quickly ordered a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items from an extensive menu.
Our waiter Johnny from Bangladesh repeated our order to ensure that he got it right. We were pleased by his careful attitude since sloppy service is a hallmark of most Indian restaurants in New York City
We started with vegetable Manchow soup ($4.50).
Our waiter was solicitous enough to ask if we intended to share it. When the soup arrived, it came in two small bowls. The soup had cabbage, cilantro, crisp noodles and green chilli. The temperature was just right and we could get started immediately. It was simply delicious and whetted our appetite.
As we were finishing our Manchow soup, our eternal favorite appetizer Gobi Manchurian (of the dry kind, $8.50) arrived. Although a teeny-weeny bit short of salt, it was yummy when combined with red chilli sauce or the green chilli in vinegar on the table. Not the greasy, oily mess Gobi Manchurian usually is at a lot of other Indian restaurants that we’ve had the misfortune of having this item.
For the main course, we went on for Chilli Chicken of the gravy variety ($12.00) as well as Chinese Mirch Potatoes ($9.00).
What would an Indian Chinese meal be without some noodles, right?
So, we asked for Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles ($10.00) and Szechuan Egg Fried Rice ($11.00).
Chilly Chicken was beyond reproach as was the Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles.
Set in a slightly thick gravy, with good chunks of tender chicken, our plate of Chilli Chicken with Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles seemed like the shortest path to Nirvana.
Szechuan Egg Fried Rice gave no room for complaint either. Tasty and hot, it was just the right combination for either the Chilly Chicken or the Vegetable Chilli Garlic Noodles.
Although our taste buds preferred the Chilli Chicken to the Chinese Mirch Potatoes, that’s more a matter of individual preference.
Clearly, Chinese Mirch has a capable kitchen that knows what it’s sending out. Not the clueless bozos in the kitchen of most Indian restaurants in New York City.
Unlike a lot of other Indian restaurants where the food comes in a haphazard manner, the folks at Chinese Mirch ensured that our main course arrived as our plate of Gobi Manchurian appetizers was getting empty.
We also ordered some Red Wine to go with our food. Our choice was a glass of Tempranillo Bodegas Gormanz 2006 Ribero del Duero, from Spain ($7.00).
Our one complaint was that as the restaurant became crowded our table was not cleaned after we finished our main course. As a result when our dessert Walnut Date Pancake with Green Tea Ice Cream came, the waiter had to quickly clean up the table to make room for the dessert.
But that was a minor blemish in an otherwise fine meal.
The Green Tea Ice Cream that came with Walnut Date Pancake was not as sweet as we’d like our Ice Creams to be but it was a novelty for us since we’d never had Green Tea Ice Cream before.
The serving sizes at Chinese Mirch are fairly large. Given the decent quality, service and portion-sizes, the prices charged at Chinese Mirch seemed reasonable and good value for money.
In Manhattan, where a visit to an Indian restaurant can quickly turn hope into despair, Chinese Mirch is that rare oasis of good food and mostly good service.
Chinese Mirch is one of the few Indian-Chinese restaurants in New York City that we’d consider returning to.
strange,because cricket is atleast 100 times bigger than bollywood in whole india,cricket is like a religion whereas bollywood is mere entertainment
thanks for sharing this…definetely want to taste the food there. now, does anyone know where to find indian chinese food in new jersey?
We’ve been to a few Indian-Chinese restaurants in NJ like Szechuan Garden, Nanking and Chopstick.
Did not like the food at Nanking & Szechuan Garden. Chopstick (essentially a takeout joint) stinks but offers decent Indian-Chinese.
it would be great to know if we get similar stuff to eat in nj…
For Indian dining in NJ, pl see http://www.njindia.us
I have eaten at Szechuan Garden and I highly recommend it. I noticed this restaurant received a bad review on this website and I was very disappointed. The head chef was raised in India and his cooking is delicious. Whoever posted the negative comment about Szechuan Garden obviously doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. If you’re looking for good Indian-Chinese cuisine, definately check out Szechuan Garden.
1. You write above: I noticed this restaurant received a bad review on this website and I was very disappointed
Overall, we did not find the food delicious at Szechuan Garden (Parlin, NJ). Read the Szechuan Garden review here.
I highly recommend Szechuan Garden. Even though this site bashes the cuisine at this restaurant, whoever wrote those comments obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The head chef at Szechuan Garden was raised in India and his wife is from China. Ig this isn’t Indian-Chinese fare, I don’t know what is. The food at this restaurant is delicious and I suggest you try it for yourself before believing what the negative people on this site have to say.
1. You write above: The food at this restaurant is delicious and I suggest you try it for yourself before believing what the negative people on this site have to say
We did not find the food at Szechuan Garden delicious. Read the Szechuan Garden review here.
Stop this nonsense about ‘negative people’. We are fair and balanced here.
2. You write: The head chef at Szechuan Garden was raised in India and his wife is from China
So? You think that makes Szechuan Garden a fine Indian-Chinese restaurant? If the dishwasher is from Mexico, would that make it a fine Indian-Chinese-Mexican restaurant. Ridiculous.
Chinese-Mirch serves 3 purposes nothing more nothing less….
1. It is nostalgia food for FOB, and College going desis still coming to terms with the cheap corner chinese take outs and want to connect to the palatte of yonder years
2. Soak up some fuel after weekend drinking binges and gawking at some of the indo-rap night club or the other in the Garment/Chelsea area.
3. Provides non lard(pork) and *non* beef items to satisfy the foolish sense of piety of the indians 🙂 who are perfectly fine gorging french fried from McD in the B&T locations 🙂
Sorry to be that blunt. There are excellent Chinese restaurants in Queens, and a couple in Manhattan, Chinese-Mirch aint it.
1. You write: There are excellent chinese restaurants in Queens, and a couple in Manhattan
Yes, we have a few Indian-Chinese spots in Queens on our list that we’ve been planning to visit for quite some time.
Will visit and review them here on SI in a couple of months.
BTW, which are the Indian-Chinese restaurants in NYC that have found favor with you?
2. You write: It is nostalgia food for FOB, and College going desis still coming to terms with the cheap corner chinese take outs and want to connect to the palatte of yonder years
You could make the nostalgia argument for desis/FOB visiting any Indian restaurant in NYC or elsewhere. Does not fly.
3. You write: Provides non lard(pork) and *non* beef items to satisfy the foolish sense of piety of the indians
Chinese Mirch is hardly the first Indian restaurant in NYC to eschew beef dishes.
Most Indian restaurants in the U.S. stay away from beef, presumably because of religious and commercial reasons (the restaurant owners are often Hindus and their Indian clientele is mostly from the Hindu community and it makes no business sense to irritate the cow-pissing drinking Hindus).
If you guys are talking about Indian Chinese food in New York, no doubt that its one of the hot things that make the Indian Community united. I’m one of the fan of this food.
Recently, I’ve visited Sagar Indian Chinese Restaurant, Jamaica, New York. Their prices are pretty cheap than others in New York. More importantly, their food quality and test really impress me. Very good environment good for family.
Their all food items are authentic of real Indian Chinese test with Indian MIRCH MASALA. I like their checken chillion onion , fried rice specially sagar fried/vegetable rice. They serve Indian Chinese food for vegetarian as well. Their web site http://www.sagarchinese.com 87-47 Homelawn Street (169 St. & Hillside Ave). Hope also enjoy guys
Let’s see what we have here – ‘Pretty cheap than others in New York, Very good environment good for family, all food items are authentic, food quality and test (sic) really impress me, their web site’
Folks, what is the likelihood that the ‘comment’ is actually an ad for the restaurant – 100%.
Hey Coolmaninny, you forgot to include the Telephone Number. 😉
checken chillion onion sounds delicious.
That sounds like Banglish (English as spoken by the Bangladeshi bozos).