When my brother was in town over the summer, we visited the weirdest Chinese restaurant ever. I had a $50 gift card to Mr K’s from when I won a contest earlier this year. Without the gift card, I don’t think we would have ever heard of this place.
You enter Mr K’s Restaurant through revolving doors, and the quiet interior is a shocking contrast to noisy Midtown East. It was dead silent, and there was not a single person in sight. Seconds later, a hostess suddenly popped out from behind the bar and welcomed us.
This place is super old school. It attempts to be grandiose, but it feels outdated and frankly, kind of tacky. I’ve visited Chinese restaurants with a similar style of decor, but that was back in the 90s and those places were always lively and energetic. The eerie silence was not helping.
John and I were both thinking the same thing, “Did we just step into The Shining?” It totally has that vibe, and to be honest, I wanted to leave ASAP. Thankfully, the waitress was cheerful and friendly, which encouraged me to give this place a chance instead of just walking out. A few more customers showed up after we were seated, and one guy seemed to be a regular.
John and I ordered a couple beers, and my brother asked about their tea selection. It’s pretty sad when a Chinese restaurant only has green tea available. The table was very cluttered with tableware, and John ended up accidentally spilling his beer. Our waitress hurried over to tidy up the spill, and it was really nice of her to bring out another beer on the house.
We shared several meatless dishes: Mapo Tofu ($19.95), Vegetable Lo Mein Noodles ($19.95), and the Vegetarian’s Purse ($19.95), which was veggies wrapped in tofu sheets. My brother also ordered the Chicken Skewers ($12.95) as an appetizer for himself.
The food was basically Chinese takeout, which I enjoy pigging out on occasionally, but I’d rather do so at home in front of the TV and in my PJs. Overpriced and way too salty. Putting takeout on golden platters does not make it upscale. It’s been a while since I’ve had my rice served in a blinged up rice bowl though. (That was not a first for me!)
I like the concept of upscale Chinese food, but Mr K’s just didn’t do it for me at all. John pointed out that even though this was a mediocre meal with terrible ambiance, at least we now have a good story to tell. Man, what a incredibly strange restaurant…