Monday, March 30, 2009

Flushing Food Tour

A few weeks ago, my friend and I did a Flushing Food Tour.

1. Before we hit our first stop on our itinerary, CP couldn't wait and got us the lamb & chicken skewers. This one is by Chase Bank on Main Street/39th Avenue. I still think the one on 41st/Kissena Blvd is fattier, hence better. I absolutely love the picture below with WY holding the skewers with her cute dimples.

2. Our next stop - the $1 peking duck bun. This little take-out window is on Main Street & 40th Rd. The lady working carved out the crispy skin of the roast duck with a little bit of meat attached, added some hoisin sauce, some cucumbers, wrapped it with steamed muntou bun, and there you have it! One of the tastiest treat a dollar can get you. I read a blog that said it was 75 cents back in 2007...*shakes head*..inflation sucks!

3. Next up is the "Golden Mall" on Main Street & 41st Road. Seriously, if my friend didn't point out exactly where it was, I wouldn't have noticed it. This mall is a food paradise! Once you walk through the small door, down the stairs into a narrow corridor, you'll find food from different regions in China - Xi'an, Fujian, Sichuan, Zheng Zhou. I mean, who knew??!

3A. Across from a very old school looking hair salon is a small restaurant with about 4 tables and some plastic chairs called Shu Siang Yuan (蘇香園). This restaurant serves Zheng Zhou (鄭州) cuisine. A little search on Wiki tells me that Zheng Zhou is located in the Eastern part of China, in the Henan Province. Mutton noodle soup (羊肉烩面) and beef noodle soup (牛肉拉面) are apparently must-eat in Zheng Zhou. The lady at the restaurant recommended the mutton noodle soup and dumplings. The mutton noddle soup was really delightful, the noodles are hand-pulled so it was slighty chewy and it didn't get soggy. The soup was mutton-y and tasty, with chunks of mutton, served with some cilantro & mushrooms. The soup went down the throat and I went "ahhhh" (with a smiley face). The dumplings were pan-fried with beef & vegetable fillings. It was really good with the chili sauce. Check this out, halfway eating, some dude brought out Anthony Bourdain's book "No Reservations" and showed us the book he gave them and signed, he also whipped out his camera (God knows why he had it with him) and showed us the pictures of Anthony Bourdain visiting the restaurant, I look forward to seeing this being shown on TV.

3B. We stopped at a Malaysian grocery stall (kedia runcit style) on the way out and suddenly CP hollered and said "Hey, over here, second stop"...WHAT?? He found this Tianjin (天津) food stall called Wang Zhen Qing Zhen Xiao Chi (王鄭清真小吃). 天啊!我都還沒有開始消化之前那一餐! He ordered the chive pie, beef pie and something else (brain fart). Note: no pork here because this place is halal. In case you are wondering, China has a large Muslim population, even outside of Northen cities such as Xinjiang. While sitting in the snack stall, I peered over and saw a Fuzhou food stall called 老王记, and I saw the magic words - Fuzhou Fish Ball Soup (福州魚丸湯 )! So what's so special about Fuzhou fish balls? There are basic fish ball but with meat fillings. Ok, so these were nowhere as good as the ones I used to eat growing up, but I am 10k miles away from home, these more than made me happy!

3C. On the way out, we checked out the Xi'an (西安) Restaurant which sells the popular lamb burgers & pork burgers. The lamb burger was heavily spiced with cumin, it reminded me of falafel, not very Asian I have to say. The pork sandwich, which I bought and ate the next day was essentially pulled pork stewed in a big pot for a long time, it's very tasty and it doesn't have the heavy cumin taste. By the Way, they even have a website, no joke!! Everything on the menu looks delicious, I must go back.

4. We were all having food coma. So we decided to give our digestive systems a break and went to Rose House in the Queens Crossing mall. I was warned by S. that this place is very over the top, and indeed it was! The place was covered in flowery wall paper, and there were paintings of roses all over. This place is apparently a very succesful franchise now, especially in Asia. The Taiwanese guy who started this has a little bio here that you can read, I imagine Simon Cowell will say that it is very self-indulgent after reading. Anway, back to the Rose House, the place smelled of roses, in a good way, the atmosphere was very relaxing, we sat by the big couches in the middle of the room by the fire place, they used the prettiest china, and the scones & rose jam were pretty spectacular. The tea itself was not too shabby, I had the "Nirvana herbal tea" (no I felt no difference after), the description in Chinese is pretty over the top as well. I wish I could share more photos but the manager barked at me "NO" and walked away, I guess I'll think twice before spending $9 on tea in this place again.

5. Last but not least, we went to Ah Zhong (阿忠面線) and 66 for take-out dinner. They are both Taiwanes restaurants, I ordered similar things at both places - the stew pork rice with eggs (乳肉饭). I think the one from 66 was slightly better, plus the stewed cabbage on the side was pretty tasty. They must've cooked the cabbage in chicken feet stock because I saw a few random pieces of chicken feet, a bit creepy visually....

Anyway, the picture below says it all. By the time we were done with all the eating, and grocery shopping, we were EXHAUSTED! Even writing about it is exhausting. But will I do this again? HELL YEAH!

Address: Golden Mall, Main Street & 41st Road, Flushing, NY 11354.
Address: Rose House, Queens Crossing Mall, 1st Floor, 38-10 138th St, Flushing, NY 11354.
Address: Ah Zhong, Flushing Mall, 13331 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354.
Address: 66 Restaurant (Lu's Seafood), 38-18 Prince St. Flushing, NY 11354

All Flushing Food Tour photos here

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