The Midtown lunch crowd can now dig into tingly, spicy fare from MáLà Project, the East Village Chinese dry pot restaurant that’s constantly packed.
Restaurateur Amelie Ning Kang and chef Zilong Zhao opened the new outpost at 41 West 46th St., between Sixth and Fifth avenues, on Wednesday, offering the same popular create-your-own stir-fry and warm exposed brick decor of the downtown version.
The 74-seat Midtown location, though, is geared more toward office folk with a special lunch menu that has 10 set bowls for one person that cost between $11 and $13. Options include The Classic (potato, sliced beef, cauliflower, five-spice tofu), Porky (pork belly, Chinese cabbage, king oyster mushroom, five-spice tofu), and Veggie Heaven (lotus root, Chinese cabbage, sweet potato, oyster mushroom). Take-out and delivery will be available. See the full menus below.
Dinner becomes more communal again, with guests choosing from an expansive list of ingredients ranging from thin-sliced beef tenderloin and fish filet to lamb stomach and roe-filled fish balls. Custom ingredients are then tossed based on spice level and served together in a big stir-fried bowl for the table to share. A liquor license and full bar will join the restaurant next month.
The original outpost opened in the East Village in 2015, serving a form of Chinese cuisine that’s found elsewhere in the city primarily in fast food-style stores or in food courts. Ning Kang’s attracted crowds by serving the food in a full-service setting, with rustic and downtown-friendly decor. In 2016, the restaurant earned the critic’s pick checkmark in the Times’ Hungry City column.
The new MáLà Project is now open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner on Mondays through Fridays. It’s open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.