Sometimes you run across a restaurant that has something improbable about it. It could be the location, or the decor, or perhaps the menu. In the case of Lee Chung Cafe, it's all of the above. Lee Chung Cafe is located in the grittiest part of Chinatown, where even newly opened restaurants look like they've been in business at least 30 years. In contrast, Lee Chung Cafe is modern and airy, and would fit in quite well on Mott St. or Canal St. or even Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel, but is certainly out of place where it is located.
If one had to classify Lee Chung Cafe, I think it would be considered a boba parlor, particularly since the only things listed on the color menu are the drinks. Like many of the restaurants in the Fujianese part of Chinatown, there are a number of cheap snacks on the paper check-off menu, like the fish balls with cheung fun that AubWah found recently over on Monroe St. Frankly, I hadn't seen this combination before. Four fish balls are put in the bottom of a small styrofoam container, then the container is stuffed to the top with pieces of cut up cheung fun, then laced with soy sauce, Sriracha, and other toppings. At $1.75 I consider it a real bargain, which makes the $1.50 charge for the item over on Monroe incredible. But there's more on the menu. Ramen. Grilled cheese. Baked rice. Hong Kong toast. Egg dishes. Chicken sandwiches. Croissants. Burmese fish broth noodle soup as mentioned by Sgordon. If anybody can find a common thread here, please let me know.
Lee Chung Cafe
82 Madison St, New York, NY 10002
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