China Syndrome

Parm and Kutsher's try Chinese food on for size

Manhattan's Chinatown must be a little threatened.

Because non-Chinese restaurants left and right have begun dabbling in Chinese-inspired food–with epic results, if our meals are any indication.

Kutsher's Tribeca: We've already declared our love for the matzo-ball soup at this spot. Once you've tried that, return on a Sunday for what chef Mark Spangenthal dubs the "whole Megillah," the same soup amplified with wontons, roast duck and sesame oil ($15). Garlic-juice-injected pastrami stuffed into steamed buns ($10) goes surprisingly well with a marshmallow-white vanilla egg cream ($5). 186 Franklin St. (between Greenwich and Hudson sts.); 212-431-0606 or kutsherstribeca.com

Parm: The $25 dinner specials at this Torrisi Italian Specialties offshoot are ones to set your calendar by (see schedule here). And you should be setting your reminder especially for Chinese Sundays. To begin the meal, nacho-like fried wonton skins come cloaked in a blend of hot Colman's mustard, duck sauce and sesame seeds. A lightly fried side of rice-flour broccoli is blasted with fish sauce, garlic purée and cayenne. Lacquered char siu spare ribs set over egg-fried rice loaded with Italian sausage speak to that mall favorite–bourbon chicken. This food is a mite kooky among the twee wallpaper and red sauce specialties, but, wow, it tastes crazy good. 248 Mulberry St. (at Prince St.); 212-993-7189 or parmnyc.com