Care for some steamaed fish lips with black beans sauce?
Sautering about Main Street after an appointment with my gastrointerologist in search of something picante to wake up my numb, post-endoscopy taste buds (happy,happy, joy,joy) I stumbled upon the newly opened "Noodle Fare" (42-27 Main Street- right next to "East Lake")
A devout menu collector, I figured I'd just pop in, grab a menu, and then head down to Shere Punjabi (next to the never-open Hafez) for some incredible onion kulcha, keema paratha and aloo gobi. I ended up staying for two hours, chatting with the friendly owner, and checking out the interior of the Tai Pan Bakery that will soon open down the block at 42-05B Main Street (somehow the two owners are related)
This place gets my award for most varied Chinese menu. Offerings ran the gamut- anything from "Boiled Baby Ox Liver" (for those of you who do the Internal Thing, there was goose liver too..), "Silver Fish Omlette", and "Bolied Lettuce" to "Pig's Stomach with White Pepper Casserole", "Veal Ribs Satay Sauce Casserole" and "Double-Bolied Crocodile Meat with Herbs" (there was a whole seasonal "Double-Boiled" section of the menu with everything from turtle and partridge to snake and frog. I think my crocodile virginity was lost- aside from the alligator sausage at "Cooking with Jazz" I don't believe I've ever seen any swamp offeings on a Borough menu before...) The "Steamed Fish Lips with Black Bean Sauce" seemed pretty interesting as well. I have visions of a Seinfeld episode....
I wasn't feeling quite carnivore at the mo' so I opted for the less esoteric offerings and enjoyed a delicious, fragrant wonton and watercress soup and a fresh, crisp plateful of salt baked shrimp. Both dishes were excellent and based on the steady stream of take-out customers and the unavailability of seats within the restaurant, I have a hunch "Noodle Fare" will be doing quite well. (much better than the recently opened "Chao Zhao" which is beginning to look emptier and emptier each time I pass...)
After my little repast at "Noodle Fare", I walked down a couple of feet to one of my old stand-bys- Kam Sam Food Products (41-79 Main Street 718-939-2560/61) As much as I LOVE "Mayflower's" steam table offerings (check out a previous entry if you are clueless or better yet go there- you'll understand why I take-out at least three times a week....), Kam Sam gets my vote for the best variety of stuff (about twenty five ever-changing dishes) and the cutest Chinese counter man- he always gives me extra stuff and tells me what's freshest :O)!!! They have these super delicious bean curd layered cutlets with scallions and a big, fat, black mushroom on top in a fantastic brown mushroom-infused sauce and a great take on my Grandma's Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage- bean curd skin wrapped around ground pork with cilantro and chives in a rich, spicy sauce. They also have fantastic pinwheels of beef (kinda resembles braciole) in a black pepper marinade, a zillion differently spiced bamboo shoot dishes (absolutely ADORE them) whole fried fish, Shanghai chicken, noodles up the kazzoo, fava beans in their shells in a sweet sesame oil sauce etc and a GAZILLION other delectables.. Best part is you can do your Asian grocery shopping here as well..
Gluttonous as it is (gotta have at least one vice these days to be fashionable) I headed over to Shere- Punjabi afterwards (perfect proof that all those elementary school, test-giving teachers were right when they advised us to always stick with our first choice on exams..) and bought a huge bag of kulcha, paratha, nan, poori, and pappadam to bring home to my family...
Happy eating!!!! Wishing everyone a Joyful, healthy and love-filled Holiday....
How wonderful of Lisa to post about this
fascinating development in the local
restaurant scene. One always hoped for a
better representation of the more unusual
dishes in Chinese cuisine and Nood le
Fare seems to be a step further. One
hopes that eateries will arrive using
more of the medicinal herbs, tubers,
rhizomes...etc. Lisa, did they mention
belonging to any specific region in
China, or can this be an outpost using
rare ingredients? (Bronchitis has
prevented foraging there - drat!).