I noticed Junzi Kitchen a few weeks ago, as they opened their doors few steps from Bryant Park. This fast casual place serves noodles and bings, these Northern Chinese thin crepes (also called Chun Bing) that I tried for the first time at Mr Bing in Urban Space Vanderbilt. I was excited to try it, although feeling the pressure in this type of restaurants to give my order quickly, people waiting behind me. Not that it was crowded though, but I thought it might have been because they opened recently in a location that is probably not ideal.
So, we ordered at the counter and they prepared our food like they do at Chipotle: They go from left to right to put already prepared food items in the bowl or in the crepe depending of what you order. The crepe is in fact already pre-cooked and cooked in an appliance similar to a quesadilla maker (I have one that I admit I am not using much: crazy what you put on your wedding registry...).
They have few vegetarian choices made with either tofu or mushrooms. So, Jodi went with the rice noodles and chose the Furu tofu, that was a griddled tofu with Furu sesame sauce (Furu is a brand), Buddha’s palm, cucumber and scallion. It was ok and would have been probably better with more vegetables and additional sauce.
On my side, I went for a bing with chicken (they also have beef or pork). It was the roasted sesame chicken bing with similar ingredients that Jodi had in her dish except tofu: Buddha’s palm, cucumber and scallion in a roasted sesame sauce. Similar to Jodi, it was ok and could have had more flavor. I also found the chicken to be overcooked.
So overall, I was not impressed by Junzi Kitchen. Not that I was expecting fine dining but more something close to Chipotle: tasty and comforting. I am not sure that would be my go to place for a quick bite for sure.
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Junzi Kitchen - 135 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036