In the 19th century, British rule in the city of Nanking created an influx of travelers from abroad, uniquely altering the local cuisine in the process. The cooks at Nanking continue this hodgepodge culinary philosophy with a menu that seamlessly blends Chinese, Thai, and Indian dishes. Diners can explore a diverse array of lamb, goat, and vegetarian dishes from India or Asian chicken and noodle dishes, garnished with Indian herbs or smothered in Manchurian sauces.
By the early 20th century, an influx of Chinese immigrants transformed the Indian city of Kolkata into a thriving Chinese community. Naturally, the migrants began to assimilate into Bengal culture, yet they maintained a few traditions of their own—most notably, their food. Like Bert's kidnapping of Ernie, the mixing of Indian and Chinese cultures gave rise to an iconic partnership: by the 1920s, restaurants in the city were dedicating their menus to desi-style Chinese cuisine.
In the United States, it's still rare to find Indian and Chinese cuisine in one place. Yet, Jackson Heights delivers thanks to the quaint and casual Chilli Chicken, where chefs prepare a well-rounded mix of American-style Chinese food and Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani cuisine. Chinese classics such as egg rolls, beef with broccoli, and wonton soup grace the menu alongside Indian and Himalayan dishes such as eggplant pakora and steamed or fried momo dumplings. Though many customers opt for takeout, the eatery's long, narrow dining area is also suited to casual sit-down meals or impromptu rounds of bowling.
Chinese hamburgers might sound like a distinctly American hybrid, but in fact, they've been served for some time on the streets of Xi'An. There and here, they're combinations of spiced meat and fresh garnishes, enclosed in a somewhat dainty bun that's midway between a Chinese bao and an english muffin. The star sandwich of Chinger's concise menu incorporates another Xi'An specialty: shredded, marinated pork, graced simply with cilantro and sauce. Other versions sub in beef spiced with cumin or a gluten-based meat alternative with sliced daikon and kelp. The kitchen also fills bowls with five styles of ramen and cups with tapioca pearls harvested by tiny milk-tea divers.
The ingredients that make up Savory Café are simple enough: spices, seasonal ingredients, and a menu that's equal parts Southeast Asian cuisine and American diner staples. The result, however, is far from run-of-the-mill. Flavorful dishes, which the restaurant describes as "thoughtfully progressive," sail to tables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Early risers can feast on Western stalwarts, such as a farmer's omelette, or can try out Malaysian breakfast dishes like telur, a two-egg dish served with soy sauce and pepper. During dinner hours, guests can have a two-continent feast: an appetizer of chicken satays or homestyle spring rolls precedes a pork chop sandwich or bacon cheeseburger. They can even enjoy a side of onion rings, which are what chefs use to propose to their fiancees.
Borrowing its name from the Greek word for "fish," Psari Restaurant bedecks dishes with the ocean-fresh bounties of the sea, serving up seafood broiled, grilled, or fried whole along with traditional Mediterranean eats and raw shellfish delicacies. To begin meals, guests pick out their favored catches of the day from their chilly iced display, or mull over choices of juicy steak, lamb chops, and subtly seasoned Greek appetizers. The café bottles its savory aroma within an elegant space decked in dark wood, a gleaming stone bar top, and soft accents of blue and white to match the colors of the Greek flag, as well as the chromatic scheme of Poseidon's underwater bungalow. In addition to preparing tantalizing meals of fish, crab, octopus, and lobster, Psari's helpful staffers pair meals with selections from an ample wine list as well as a complimentary phyllo-and-egg-custard dessert with each dinner.
Bushwick Kitchen's chefs seek out inspiration from cultures and cuisines across the world, using these disparate flavors to create eclectic menus of reinterpreted international staples. Just like Linda Blair’s head, these menus rotate every few months, allowing the staff to incorporate newly imagined recipes as well as seasonal ingredients. The scope remains consistently broad though, with truffle-cream sauces, chili-ginger glazes, and honey, mango, and sriracha chutneys representing flavors from the various regions around the globe.
In contrast to the jet-setting menus, Bushwick Kitchen's intimately sized dining room adopts a slightly simpler ambiance. A handful of shelves line the sunset-orange walls, displaying everything from empty bottles and small lanterns to a pair of wooden bellows. These casual touches help convey a grounded, homespun atmosphere.