Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot Kitchen 02-18-2011

Time: 12:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

Feelings: It seems like the area of St. Marks and second avenue is booming with authentic Asian cuisine. Hot Kitchen, who took over my favorite udon restaurant, Matsukado, offers authentic Sichuan dishes along with the more obvious Chinese American dishes. With a bona fide spot like Hot Kitchen, we may not need the unreliable 7 train any longer.

It is owned by the same people of Old Town Hot Pot in West Village and Grand Sichuan, so you can enter the restaurant without foreseeing any disappointment. The prices are certainly higher than most Sichuan spots in Queens, and if you are looking to relish some hot pots during this winter, there are four tables in the back solely available for that. Make sure to ask the server for a hot pot before being seated.

The menu is extensive, so it may be helpful to review it beforehand. Definitely skip their "American Chinese" section on the menu unless you're dining with palate-challenged friends who only dine at Ruby Foos and Chili's. Here, you come across the liberal usage of the Sichuan peppercorns we experienced at Uncle Zhou in Elmhurst.

The service was a bit strange and slow, and it did not help that CK was overtired nearing meltdown. He is usually better behaved at restaurants, but today, we were "one of those" parents. I sincerely apologize to the other patrons. But there was only time CK was serenely quiet: When we were sharing the tasty vegetable mai fun noodles ($7 for large). It was perfectly seasoned, and if you are not up for fiery, face numbing Sichuan dishes, mild noodle dishes like this one would be excellent.

RB's gui zhou spicy chicken from lunch special ($7 with soup) was crispy and full of the deliciously tingly and spicy-citrus flavor of Sichuan pepper.

I would really like to go back to try more dishes, but I'm afraid I'm already remembered as "that lady with the screaming child!" So please try this place and let me know what other dishes you enjoyed.


Unknown said...

Sounds good! I'm loving the variety of stuff on St. Marks. It's one of my fave places to just walk through and pick something.

And mild is always a good thing. Sorry CK was moody that day. I'm sure they won't hold it against you. Good patronage should not be looked down upon.

Yosh. O said...

Yeah..maybe I'll go back there soon! Hopefully they wont remember me.