I admit I was a little skeptical when I saw that a new restaurant was coming to Morningside Heights, but after a couple of meals and a lot of tea at Junzi Kitchen, it has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Besides being fast-casual, aka my favorite type of restaurant, Junzi Kitchen has a flavorful menu and adds something diverse and interesting to the community, including Junzi After Hours. 

Junzi Kitchen came to Columbia after several very successful years in New Haven, and last weekend launched Junzi After Hours, the New York version of New Haven's Late Night Lunch, a late night menu that is completely different from their every day food and has some rotating menu items.

Sometimes Junzi After Hours even has fun themed nights, like the event they held with Diaspora Tumeric Co in November. 

Tina Simpson

It's easy to find Junzi at night because the brightly-colored lights stand out in the darkness and make the restaurant look like the most fun place to be. And if the lights weren't enough, there's some good music blasting in the restaurant as well. 

The Food

Junzi After Hours features a selection of small plates, ranging from $5-$10 and drinks, including Juicebox Cocktails, Group Cocktails, and Chinese beers, in addition to all their regular drinks like tea-on-tap, cold brew tea, and juice box drinks. Everything on the menu looks so good it was hard to decide, but we eventually settled on a few plates

Tina Simpson

I wanted to try the dishes that would most appeal to my most frequent late-night cravings, and at the top of the list was chicken tenders. General Chu's Chicken had everything I love most about chicken tenders (aka fried chicken) while remaining fresh, flavorful, and downright delicious. The sesame sauce was perfect and I can't wait to have it again. 

The second thing on that list was something spicy. After a long day, there's noting I want more than something that is easy to eat and packed with flavor, and that's just what you get with the Mala Instant Noodles. The noodles came in a big take-out style container and there were a lot of noodles, so you can totally get one order and save half of it for lunch the next day.

Tina Simpson

Sometimes it's midnight and all you want to eat is breakfast, which is why I tried the Bacon, Egg, & Scallion Bing. This is a breakfast twist on their daytime menu bings. By far the most popular with my friends, its a must-try for breakfast lovers and bing lovers alike. 

And, of course, there's no food group as important to the late night crowd as french fries, and the Jaja Waffle Fries are the perfect Junzi twist on a late night classic. The fries themselves were fluffy and crispy, my two favorite fry qualities, and came with an incredible black bean aioli (better than ketchup!). 

The Drinks

That's just the food. After hours also has a selection of juice-box cocktails (I tried the Gin and Chrysanthemum) and a couple group cocktails that you can get and share around. I thought I could get away with drinking one on my own, but its a literal take-out bucket filled with alcohol, so definitely bring friends! That said, between about four friends, we managed to drink two whole group cocktails. 

There's a couple of Chinese beers available as well, but if alcohol's not your thing, they still have regular juice-boxes and draft cold brew tea available as usual.

Junzi After Hours is running every weekend and is open from 10:30pm-1:30am on Friday and Saturday nights. Whether you're on your way back from something and want to grab a bite to eat, or looking for a chill, fun, and delicious night out with friends, Junzi After Hours is a go-to destination.