For this week’s “What She Eats” feature, we sat down with the sisters who have revolutionized authentic Taiwanese cooking with their own healthy spin. Meet Hannah and Marian Cheng, the girls who have taken their delicious, authentic family dumpling recipe, and recreated the traditional dish with sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients. These sisters are just as dedicated to health and fitness as they are to their booming business, so if you’ve never checked out Mimi Cheng’s in NYC, it’s time to go! The restaurant’s current specials for March are a vegan dumpling and a hearty Macro bowl. We sat down with Hannah and Marian and asked what they like to eat during their typical work day, and here’s what they told us:
We believe that everything in life is about balance. Life would be pretty bleak without pizza and wine from Emmy Squared and Pasquale Jones. We decide what to eat by listening to our bodies. It’s not a coincidence that we crave different things in different seasons. Nature gives us the vitamins we need each season from that season’s produce, which is just one reason why eating locally is important.
Since your body has been running all night without taking in any fluids, we always drink a full cup of clean water as soon as we get out of bed in the morning to rehydrate. We avoid drinking tap water, which is full of chemicals. We like to put a kettle of hot water on for tea because it’s so nice to drink something warm to in the morning as you get ready for the day. We like to drink peppermint, detox, or turmeric tea.
Our breakfast rotation is oatmeal with brown sugar, raw honey and cinnamon with a piece of fruit, Siggi’s yogurt with peanut butter granola and some fruit, or a smoothie from the Tibetan health store around the corner from Mimi Cheng’s Nolita. We’re also big fans of the new emerging weekday breakfast scene, restaurants that open early enough for us to pop in before we head to our own restaurants. We particularly love L’Estudio and De Maria.
We usually start getting hungry a couple hours after breakfast, and we like to pick up a local snack to keep us going. We usually get a nut-milk matcha latte from Cha Cha Matcha or Grumpy’s Coffee, which are both right by Mimi Cheng’s Nolita. We love our matcha. It’s just so delicious and it’s just enough to keep us satisfied while working. Sometimes we’ll get a baked good to go along with it.
We typically eat lunch together and it tends to be whatever we’re currently recipe testing. At Mimi Cheng’s Nolita, we have a few new additions to the menu, which we’re hyped about. We split the Beef Noodle Soup, Formosa’s Pride and Macro Bowl. The Macro Bowl is packed with miso marinated mushrooms, steamed sweet potato, greens, beans, homemade pickles, freshly steamed brown rice and topped with a fresh herb-tahini dressing. We’ve been obsessed with miso marinated mushrooms since our recent trip to Sydney. They’re a very popular breakfast item there.
Our 12-hour organic chicken broth noodle soup is also heavy on the lunch rotation. The broth is a bone broth and people come in all the time and tell us that it cured whatever was ailing them. This makes us so happy because we believe food is the best medicine you can give your body. We like it with extra bok choy, cilantro, scallions, and chili oil. We also like to eat our food burning hot, which we’re working on.
We don’t usually eat lunch until 3 or 4pm since we’re busy with the restaurant’s lunch rush. We’ll have been on our feet running back and forth for hours by now and usually have a kombucha, spindrift seltzer, or piece of fruit as an afternoon pick-me-up. Blood oranges have been everywhere so we currently have a ton of those in our office.
Although we try to cook dinner at home twice per week, we love going out to eat. Tonight we met friends at Marta for some thin-crust pizza. There are few things better in life than good pizza and good wine. We opt for more wine and skip dessert.