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Dec 5, 2011 03:11 PM

Midtown East / Land of Plenty / Yu Mi Zhi Xiang

Anyone hear about this place taking over the Mia Dona space? Who's the chef, related to any of the other places? Signage and what not just popped up maybe last week. Spoke to one of the construction workers or maybe a boss yesterday on the way home and it's going to be Sichuan restaurant, opens today supposedly.

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    1. re: AubWah

      my thought, i'm perfectly happy w/ Cafe China these days as my go-to Sichuan place (as since they sometimes deliver to me in Gramercy/UnionSq on slow night and since it's BYOB for now and since it works vibe-wise for a variety of dinners, it's rather perfect for me)...but the more the merrier, maybe?...

      1. re: Simon

        My midtown chinese lunch has progressed to hunan manor. why dont one of these places open on uws?

        1. re: AubWah

          Because unfortunately the UWS is a culinary Bermuda-Triangle where no good restaurants can exist.

        2. re: Simon

          Meh, do we reallly need another Sichuan restaurant? There are so many under-represented Chinese cuisines that deserve better exposure in New York. Sichuan cuisine already has a vibrant scene in the city, this one barely gets me excited anymore.

          Of course, it probably makes business sense to open a restaurant of a popular cuisine. Eventually, New York is going to be over-saturated with Sichuan restaurants. Or maybe, it already is over-saturated. I imagine ads on the Chinese equivalent of Craiglist: Looking for cooks trained in Sichuan cuisine. Come to New York, America. Make $$$$$$$$.

          I, however, look forward to Lotus Blue. Yunnan cuisine is something new and different this city needs.

          1. re: Cheeryvisage

            I'd like to see an actual Hunan place open up somewhere in Manhattan. Spicy, but without being that mala junk Sichuan and Chongqing are known for.

            Side question: It's very rare for me to eat (any) Chinese in the US, but if I requested to have a certain dish made (say, 擂辣椒茄子- mashed eggplant and peppers), would the restaurant roll with it? Have any chowhoundists made requests before (not at a take-out place, that is)?

            1. re: BuildingMyBento

              "... that mala junk Sichuan and Chongqing are known for. "

              A Chowhound first. You've made my day.

                1. re: scoopG

                  and Mapo Tofu across the street from Hunan Manor. Both excellent a different from one another.

                  1. re: Motosport

                    Mapo Tofu was only so-so at best, when I visited. There are much better Sichuan options.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      Just had dinner there Saturday and it was outstanding. We vwere the only non-Asians in the place if that means anything.

                      1. re: Motosport

                        I think it is the only Sichuan restaurant in NYC that you frequent, no?


                        1. re: scoopG

                          We regularly go Hunan Manor across Lexington. They are both only 2 blocks from our home.
                          We do hit C Town regularly but mostly for Fukien or Cantonese.
                          What is "So-so" about Mapo?

                          1. re: Motosport

                            Comments in linked CH thread in reply above. I found it paled in comparison to Szechuan Gourmet or Little Pepper....

                2. re: BuildingMyBento

                  Ordering off-menu in a Chinese restaurant is common, especially if you can explain what you want exactly. No idea about that particular restaurant.

          2. Walked by and grabbed a menu on the way home, prices are exorbitant but I guess that's what you get for Sichuan by bloomie's. $10 for ox tongue & tripe app but portions are supposed to be large. Manager/owner said that the chef is fresh off the boat from Sichuan. I ended up ordering delivery when the SO didn't feel like cooking:

            Got the seafood hot and sour soup, mouth watering chicken and beef chow fun. Soup was not so much hot and sour but more of a egg white drop soup with a balanced white pepper seasoning thing going on, decent amount of tender white fish filets of unknown origin, small shrimp that tasted a bit off, and slices of scallop that tasted and looked fresh. Throw in mushrooms, peas, carrots to round out the soup.

            Mouth watering chicken was $10, came in a larger round takeout container - 9" diameter maybe - 10-12 slices of chicken, dark meat I think because pieces were bone-in, the ma la sauce was effective and kept the burn/numbing going for quite some time and made for a great additive to the soup.

            Beef chow fun was typical, also $10, take out container was stuffed to the gills, noodles were just a pinch drier than I prefer you could taste maybe such a hint of the cooking wine that was used which I found appealing, gave it an extra dimension and I think is an indication of good wok hay or whatever it's called.

            Menu has a good array of fish dishes so will have to muster group of people to try them out at some point.

            Land of Plenty
            208 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

              1. re: scoopG

                As usual, the review has a strong opinion but lacks substance. I guess this is because you never reviewed that restaurant. ;-) So what's the newspaper to do?

                Calling Chengdu TianFu proletarian is, excuse me, idiotic because their chef is one of the finest Sichuan cooks in the tri-state area and, IMHO, has no rivals in Manhattan. But of course they don't have a fish tank, so if you want a whole fish you would have to arrange that in advance.

              2. I work about 4 blocks away so I went in for lunch with a coworker and ordered Spicy fish filet with silky tofu and shredded pork with asian celery which were part of lunch specials. we also ordered dan dan noodle to taste.
                I really liked the food. They were fresh and seasoned well. The portions were big. I especially loved the service which was a pleasant surprise.
                We are actually going back there for lunch again but I can't wait until I try their regular menu.
                I am hoping to try a few exotic stuff off their appetizer menu.

                Land of Plenty
                208 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

                2 Replies
                1. re: Monica

                  I just came back and wow, I really really like this place. We ordered Ox tongue and tripe with roasted chili and peanut dressing appetizer and Szechuan Pork Dumpling with roast chili soy and Shredded Pork with smoked tofu & asian celery lunch special.
                  The pork dumplings were SO SO good, chewy and thin skin with flavorful pork diced pork meat drenched in hot and sweet chilli sauce oil...I couldn't believe how good they were and the ox tongue and tripe appetizer was also very very good. In fact, i liked it so much I ordered an extra to take it home. Shredded pork with smoke tofu wasn't as good as the shredded pork i had the other day but still very good. On top of that, out waiter was extremely nice. He even gave us extra hot soup.

                  Land of Plenty
                  208 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

                  1. re: Monica

                    Thanks for the review. We have also walked by the spot and it looks good. We will have to try it. Yet, cant anyone open a new good Cantonese spot in midtown...?

                2. I was here for dinner 3 days ago. Everything was delicious. The service was also surprisingly excellent! I don't think they renovated the original Mia Dona space much. The interior decor is pleasant and tasteful. I know I said that Sichuan cuisine is starting to be over-represented (especially in Midtown), but judging from this one meal, I admit that Land of Plenty appears to be an excellent Sichuan restaurant.

                  I'd be happy to return.

                  Photos of our meal: