New Year’s Eve is always a big deal in New York (as these classic photos show), and last night was no exception. Now that the confetti has settled and you’re gearing up for a New Year’s Day of mainlining coffee and bingeing on new movies on Netflix, let’s take a look at all the crazy stuff we got up to at midnight. Happy New Year, everyone!
Maneuvering through what is almost inarguably the dodgiest area of town to approach China Xiang, my expectations for the restaurant just about imploded. Needless to say it was quite heartening when the food began to arrive to squelch this misperception. The room itself is pretty bare-bones, although a step up from what you normally find in Chinatown. Charcoal grey stonework comprises one wall, and there are some attractive modern lanterns suspended from the ceiling, but the windowed facade looking out onto a shoddy stretch of 42nd street doesn't do much to improve the ambiance. So shift your focus to the voluminous menu, spanning from an innocuous but respectable saute of mixed vegetables, to more audaciously authentic Hunan fare like chili-spiked frog or baked corn with a salted egg. While the former is a laudable, if somewhat uninspired melange of crisp-tender broccoli, enoki and straw mushrooms, plus the requisite water chestnuts and ba mboo shoots, the hacked-up frog jumps in to sate more ambitious palates. It boasts an incendiary duet of chilies, red as an engine and green as… well, frog. It is the scarlet ones to which one should pay deference, although the frog-hued ones too are not just there for decoration. Pay attention to the bones, too, as this meat will need to be sucked off of them. If that's a little much for you, there are numerous soups, rice dishes and noodles, of course, skinny lo mein or fat, hand shaved ones slicked with a subtly sweet, umami-rich glaze b
Venue says: “Nancy Xiao brings Authentic Hunan Cuisine back to Times Square. Enjoy dishes like Hunan Smoked Barbeque Pork and Spicy Braised Short Rib.”