Ever since I was a child I would go at least once a month to Jackson Heights with my family on Saturday mornings. After shopping and walking around we would eat at a local restaurant; our favorite and usual spot was a restaurant called Nanking. Though it does not look or feel like one, Nanking is a restaurant chain that has effectively started new locations all over the United States. Its inspiration dates back to 1842, when after Nanking was captured by the British, Sir Henry pottinger signed the Nanking treaty. What followed thereafter was an era where various eating-places opened up for visitors to enjoy the hospitality of the region. The food was modified to suit the palette of the visitors to entice them to come back to these eating-places. This fusion cuisine became very popular. So now Nanking is a fusion restaurant that specializes in different foods that are derived from cultures like the Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc.
Right when one looks at the front sign above the main entrance you can see that it is a new, original fusion idea that combines all the best cuisines from Asia. Once inside the restaurant; the decor is more oriental than anything else, with red paper lamplights hanging from the ceiling in chandelier form. It is beautifully accompanied with black granite looking tables with little specks of gold color dabbled through the tables. It is a clean, warm environment that will make you feel like you are truly in a restaurant in which the Chinese and Thai cultures have a heavy influence, however even more than sight, the very smell of spices cooking from the kitchen will remind you that there is a very heavy influence on the restaurant and its menu by the Indian culture.
The menu at Nanking is broken up by oriental food (which is derived from Chinese, and Thai culture) and then mughlai food (which is derived from Indian culture). It is served family style, and the food is very affordable yet tasty and classy. Even though the foods have different tastes, and they from different cultures; they taste very amazing when combined. For example, having a spring roll appetizer, then a fried rice dish with chicken curry, and vegetable curry, is a great combination, and somehow the flavors all blend together in perfect unison while each plate still keeps its own unique tastes, and cultural influences. Another very famous order that many people have is a drink called “mango lasse” in which yogurt; milk, mangoes, etc are mixed into a smoothie type drink. It is very sweet to the taste buds and cooling to the mouth which (depending on what you ordered) may be feeling a slight bit hot. Of course to end off your meal, there is nothing better than a good dish of Gulab Jam which is a dessert dish which is served hot, and made with milk rolled in flour which is then put into sugar water which is flavored by saffron, cardamom seeds, etc. Of course you can mix it up and try totally different things every time you go, because there is an endless world of possibilities all waiting to be tried. Simply Put Nanking is a place which puts some of the best known Asian inspired cuisine in the world together from three different rich, colorful, deep cultures, allowing you to try food inspired by one, two, or even all three of the different cultures represented, all at a reasonable price, and at a great trendy spot in the middle of Little India.