Are you a middle-aged mother looking to reconnect with your daughter? A middle-aged father looking to reconnect with your family? Or maybe a middle-aged truck driver looking to reconnect with a sense of adventure? Here’s a list of delicious, exotic, plot-device-infused spots in the hot Chinatown food scene.
(Mott and Bowery, $$)
This little hole in the wall specializes in small bites. Come for the delectable soup dumplings, stay for the powerful magical fortune cookies that switch your life with that of your overworked mother. Learn valuable lessons that come from walking in another person’s shoes while enjoying a lovely boba tea.
(Grand and Benvenue, $)
This bustling tourist favorite comes with something extra special: a wizened Asian man who practices a vague form of Chinese medicine and doles out even vaguer platitudes that you, a white protagonist, will inexplicably find germane to your situation. Also, the scallion pancake is to die for!
(Houston and 1st Ave, $$$)
The front of the house may be charming, but it’s the kitchen that really sizzles at this Western Chinese staple. Here you’ll meet a martial-arts master turned line-cook who can teach a white protagonist how to fight, often using hilarious training techniques that may or may not just be manual labor. Never mind that this character’s backstory (an immigrant who’s forced into a low-paying job despite clearly exceptional skills) is never explored, as long as the protagonist can learn enough kung fu moves to score with the hot girl.
(9th Street and Franklin, $)
Dim sum places are a dime a dozen in the city, but New Canton will completely blow you away. That’s because this restaurant is also the meeting place for an ancient Chinese god of wind. Ask for the secret menu, and then rescue white women with your gleefully ignorant, all-American, can-do attitude.
(Baxter and Canal, $$)
Rich delicious curries, astounding stews, and existential enlightenment are all right here at this busy late-night South Asian spot. Millennia of wisdom, which take many a lifetime to understand, can be ingested by a white protagonist in a few sweeping montage scenes. Here, the charming, young, easily impressionable, and financially desperate staff will be more than willing consorts for your journey of privileged self-discovery. Namaste!