Disappointment in Chinese mirch
Went with some friends there yesterday to try Chinese Mirch, a Chinese Indian (or Indian-Chinese?) place on Lexington.
We ordered the fried cauliflower, Singapore noodles, and vegetable in green curry. The fried cauliflower was the only good thing there, with chili and tangy ginger ontop of peppered cauliflower. The Singapore noodles were limpy and look ...uninspired. My friend who ate that said it was worse than the $3 boxes you get in Chinatown. The vegetable in greey curry sauce actually didn't have any curry in it, at least I didn't detect any. It tasted like vegetables with lots of garlic, ginger, and cilantro in gooey sauce. All the entree servings were tiny, plus rice was extra (and small serving too!).
This was my frist time trying indian chinese, and I was a bit underwhelmed. Most of the food wasn't that different from the cheap chinese but with more ginger, the gooey sauce has no taste of real broth or curry, and plates were tiny and overpriced. Clinentle mostly indian and white. No east Asians save my friend and I there.
I am wondering if Indian Chinese is like American chinese - cheap, generic dishes with some modification added to them. BTW I dislike American chinese, so maybe I'm not being fair. But I wonder, is there such thing as really good Indian Chinese? Like real original dishes? I want to say yes but I cannot say so unless I've tasted them myself.
At its best, Indian-Chinese is spicy, garlicky, and delicious -- nothing like American Chinese. The best analogy I can think of is to Korean-Chinese, which I also love.
There are basically four items worth ordering from Chinese Mirch. Lollipop chicken, chili chicken (dry), gobi manchurian, and crispy szechuan lamb. For sauced dishes, you need to hit places in the outer boroughs.
Sorry for your bad experience. I've had 3 good meals there, the last one on Saturday night.
Things I've had -
Mirch 65 (chicken spiked with curry leaves and hot chiles - very good
Chicken lollipop - bland chicken doctored up with various dipping sauces. Most people like this but I don't.
Hot & Sour chicken soup - wonderfully spicy. A knockout.
Chili chicken (dry) - an excellent dish, mixing the best of Indian and Szechuan ingredients.
Chicken hot garlic - I could have done without the sauce (tasty enough but a distraction) but the dish itself was well made. A solid B to B+.
Crispy Szechuan lamb (dry) - outstanding.
As far as the crowd goes, I'd say 70% - 80% was Indian and the remaining Cacausian during my visits on Friday and Saturday nights.
I was also very disappointed in my meal from Chinese Mirch. I got delivery last week and ordered the Kung Pao chicken and Pinapple Chicken dishes. The pinapple chicken was very good while the Kung Pao chicken just frankly wasn't tasty. Overcooked chicken in a weird hot, sour sauce. My biggest gripe though is the size of the 2 entrees. I am a very small person and I could have eaten both the dishes amd had room to eat more. My boyfriend and I were starving after our meal. For spending around $12 on each dish you would expect a little more. At least some rice maybe!
I ate at Chinese Mirch last night too and loved it. We didn't eat much, but we had the Baby Corn Manchurian (classic Indian Chinese dish which can be found all over Mumbai), some crispy lamb (spicy and delicious, not too greasy either), and the sweet corn fritters. They were so good I almost ordered another set to go. We also had the tropical asian salad which wasn't very good.
I followed previous recommendations to have dry dishes and it worked out well. Indians or South Asians tend to have clear expectations of what Indian Chinese is (it's not just a combination of the two cuisines, which are both so varied within anyway), and I would say that Chinese Mirch fit those expectations well.