I admitted last time that I’d never had the “infamous” pork chop over rice when I wrote about NYC Cravings. It’s mostly because I quit eating pork for a number of years after an unfortunate food poisoning incident (I was laid out for an entire week; at the time, I was quite underweight already and lost another 15 lbs, and managed to turn this green color, unable to eat, unable to hold down any fluids, even, and as I’d just dyed my hair red the week before… well, I was this lovely green&red color. It was awful!), but also because I don’t frequent Chinatown or high-Asian-population areas. I am working on changing that because the food is delicious and freakin’ cheap.
In any case, when I wrote about NYC Cravings, a number of people reminded me about May Wah, the original pork chop over rice joint in Chinatown. I’ve heard about this place for years from all of my Asian friends, but just never went. And then… they closed down!!! In its place opened up … Wah Mei, with nearly the same exact menu and items. I’ve heard from a few people that it’s the same, and from other people that it’s not as good as before, but since I never went to the original, I can happily not be a sour puss about it and just go on with my life, right?
I ordered a pork chop over rice, which came quickly enough, and then left to bring it back to the office for a photo… but ate it for dinner. Because I’d already bought lunch – from Paris Sandwich. In any case, when I first ordered, the woman quickly plopped a cooked (half-cooked?) pork chop from the pile into the deep fryer, turning it several times. If you’re worried about undercooked pork, you don’t have to worry about that here. I’d almost say it was overcooked, or cooked well beyond the point where it might have had a hint of pink inside!
While she did that, another girl behind the counter quickly scooped some white rice into a plastic container, spooned some mustard greens and cabbage on top, and then ladled special pork sauce on top of the rice from a giant vat of it that was bubbling away. I mean seriously, you could bathe a child in there (but you wouldn’t, not just because that’s disgusting, but because it was boiling hot, what kind of person are you???), it actually looked like one of those giant restaurant-sized rice cookers, with no lid. Maybe that’s what it was. It was ridiculous.
After a few minutes, the woman cooking the pork chop took it out and placed it on top of my rice, sealed it up, and then took my $4.50. Yes, you read that right. $4.50.
While the exterior wasn’t crispy like NYC Cravings’ had been (almost like it was battered), this was very juicy, moist pork. I didn’t even bother heating it up for dinner – I just tucked in and inhaled the entire thing, not even using a knife to cut the pork chop (hehe, piggy), with the pork sauce/cabbage/mustard greens mixed through the white rice making the whole thing super delicious. I was incredibly happy with this meal, and totally stuffed at the end of it. $4.50. Seriously. Totally worth the train ride from my office to Chinatown on what had to be the muggiest, most disgusting day of the year so far… for this plate of awesome.
It’s take-out only there, I don’t believe there are any seats (and you wouldn’t want to eat there anyway, not in the summer, as there’s no air conditioning- there’s no point, as half of the place is cooking equipment, deep fryers, ovens (or something that looked like one)… it’s hot in there), but that’s okay. They also had a stack of chicken legs next to the fryer, par-cooked much like my pork chop, and I’ll try that next time… but for now, this was awesome. Total WIN.
Seriously, I need to start hitting up the cheap ethnic places. I forget often how delicious and cheap Asian foods can be… *slaps forehead*
Yvo says: So, no, there’s no seating, and I definitely got an icky vibe when I stumbled over ordering – ordering in English because the menu had two pork chop items (house special pork chop over rice, and pork chop over rice – WTF?) – but whatever, I was served delicious food for $4.50 and I don’t care if she is judging me for not being able to speak Chinese (yes, I have issues, you should already know that). Just. If you like pork chops, you should go here. They cover your rice in ground pork sauce made with pork fat and some sweet delicious brown stuff. What are you waiting for???