NJ Dining: Nanking


Nanking Restaurant
101 Hudson Street, Jersey City NJ 07302
(201) 333-6500

Web Site: http://www.nankingrestaurantgroup.com

Downtown Jersey City is an area that I normally don’t get to spend a lot of time in, and that’s mostly by choice — it is situated in one of the most difficult traffic areas in existence, and if you live in any of the Eastern Bergen County towns like me, trying to get there at any time of the day is an utter nightmare, because you’re dealing with roads that intersect every major crossing into New York City. That being said, I am now working on assignment in the Exchange Place area for a few months, and I’ve had to make the best of my commute, which gets me up at 6am and into work by 8am, missing most of the bad Holland Tunnel and bridge traffic.

Despite the horrendous traffic situation, Jersey City is an absolute goldmine of fantastic ethnic food. One of those ethnic cuisines is Indian food, which has grown in popularity since all the strategic outsourcing started bringing in IT workers from Bangalore and other cities in India to work at many of the financial institutions which migrated to Jersey City after 9/11.

One Indian restaurant that I recently visited in Jersey City is Nanking, which is very close to the Exchange Place PATH station. Nanking is actually an Indian Chinese restaurant (which is part of a small local chain that has several restaurants in NYC and NJ) which also serves Indianized Thai food. For those not familiar with Indo-Chinese cuisine, its a spicy, tangy fusion cuisine that originates from Calcutta and utilizes Chinese-style wok cooking methods combined with Indian spices. Indo-Chinese is a rather rare cuisine in both New York and New Jersey — the two best known restaurants that serve this food are owned by the Mehtani Group, which owns Ming and Ming II in Edison and Morristown, both of which are excellent.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Nanking, in downtown Jersey City features exotic Indian Chinese cuisine. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Nanking’s main dining room.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Nanking Menu Page 1 (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Nanking Menu Page 2 (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

A refreshing iced tea. I was told this was an Indian, not a Chinese variety. The smoky taste was reminiscent of an Assam, but it could have been a Darjeeling.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Three different condiments for spicing up your food — from left to right, Chili Sauce, Soy Sauce and Sweet Vinegar Chili Sauce.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

“Drums of Heaven”, a popular Indo-Chinese appetizer. These are fried Chicken Wing drumettes with a spicy tangy sauce on them with garlic and hot chiles and onions. If India had a superbowl or a tailgating food, this would be it. All it needs is a glass of beer.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Manchow Soup, which is similar to a Cantonese Hot and Sour soup, except with a very strong garlic and chile flavor.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

“Drums of Heaven” closeup

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

An order of “Nanking Vegetables” which I got with the fresh green chile sauce. You can also get them with black bean sauce. Yes, it really is this color, I didn’t Photoshop this. It is blow your head off spicy.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Chili Fried Lamb. Sort of an Indian take on Mongolian Beef. You’ll notice that the menu lacks both Beef and Pork options, so as not to compromise either Hindu or Muslim dietary laws. This is an extremely tasty dish, again very spicy, with quite a bit of tanginess.

Nanking Restaurant, Jersey City NJ by you.

Chili Fried Lamb and Nanking Vegetables, Plated. I liked the fact that the restaurant offers brown rice for those of us watching our carb intake.

9 Responses to NJ Dining: Nanking

  1. creeping says:

    ever consider the bus or the light rail?

  2. Yup. Its a non-starter from where I live. Would take 2 hours to get to work each morning. The closest light rail terminal is in Edgewater, Which takes me 40 minutes or more to get to on busy mornings. Then another 30 minutes or more to get me to Exchange Place.

    The bus would be even worse. If you don’t live in any of the adjoing towns to JC such as Hoboken, or don’t live off the PATH route, then its very difficult to get to JC by anything other than a car.

  3. lauren says:

    I love those shila bakery cream-filled buns…I wonder how to get them direct, because I live in North Carolina and they sell the exact same brand of baked goods at my neighborhood Korean market.

  4. Liz says:

    Ohhh I grew up with Nanking, it is fantastic. We used to duck out of school early to get some chili chicken and cauliflower manchurian..It was sold as ‘Indian-style Chinese’ which always cracked me up. They used to do really great chop suey too! Heh I’m pretty sure I’ve ruined every meal for the next week by reading this post.

  5. davey says:

    I work across the street by the light rail stop….never ate there but always meant to. Jason, ever try La Rustique up the block? It’s a brick oven pizza place and I think one of the best in Jersey.

  6. Patrick says:

    Man, I live right near one of these. I always thought it was just a Chinese take-out place.

  7. deana says:

    i just moved to the j.c. and it is a wasteland for restaurants over here on jfk/ lincoln park. any ideas for local joints that are hidden?

  8. [...] looks like, or if you want another opinion before trying it out, you can check out the review on Off the Broiler, a blog written by Jason Perlow, a self-proclaimed food enthusiast and contributing tech editor and [...]

  9. A secret says:

    I guess you didn’t try the crispy honey lotus…yes, I’m looking for it’s recipe.

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