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Flushing's Best

b
Billy Aug 31, 2002 01:16 PM

What is, hands down, the BEST Chinese restaurant in Flushing? And if you know of any non-Chinese winners I guess that's cool too...Thanks!
--Billy

  1. c
    cteats Aug 31, 2002 09:55 PM

    One vote for Chao Zhou, on Main Street. The house-smoked duck is amazing.

    BTW, last week at CZ the waitress tried to talk my wife and I out of ordering the water celery, saying it was "too smelly." We persisted, and it wasn't.

    1. m
      m00ncakes Sep 3, 2002 01:41 AM

      I don't know how to answer this question because I love a little of everything, but here are some good places:

      Homefood: (38-05 Main St., 718-463-6868) has no-nonsense homecooked Chinese food with a Taiwanese flavor. Everything there is generally pretty good, but be sure to try the scallion pancakes which are thick, chewy, and made with lots of flavor-absorbing scallions!

      Juo Fun Garden: (42-09 Main St., 718-888-0011) has really good scallion pancakes too. They're translated as "hand-made pancakes" and they're a lot thinner and crisp than the Homefood kind (kinda reminds me of indian roti). I can't speak for the other food...I just remembered that the food off the dinner package (you get 3 dishes for a set price) came in small plates and weren't good). Probably a good idea to stick with the chef's specialties.

      Yang Tze River Restaurant: (135-21 40th Road off Main St., 718-353-8500) has delicious Shanghai snacks. Recommended dishes: big sesame studded-scallion bread, radish soubing, any stir-fried vegetable, scallion pancakes with beef, fried buns stuffed with chives & egg, panfried buns, dumplings, soup dumplings, shanghai style stir-fried noodles, gluten & black mushroom, and crispy fried chicken. Why it's great: it's cheap and you get soup and dessert (red bean soup) with your meal.

      Shanghai Tide (135-20 40th Road, across from Yang Tze River Restaurant, 718-661-0900): good soup dumplings...much less fatty and more delicate-flavored than Joe's. Their version of radish soubings is also good.

      Sun Young Spring: (41-27 Main St., 718-321-7392) has good noodles and a very good version of Beef with pancakes roll-up. I usually go there for a bowl of noodles or stir-fried rice cakes so I can't vouch for the other food.

      Nam Bo Won: (156-26 Northern Blvd., 718-886-1368) is a Korean/Chinese joint with good noodle dishes as well. A different twist on typical Chinese noodle dishes.

      Zhu Ji: (take out stand a few doors down from Chao Zhou on 41st I believe?) has really good pan-fried and steamed vegetable/pork buns. It's a madhouse in the morning, but if you can brave the rude attitudes, it's definitely worth a try. They also sell the fried dough/sesame bings in the morning with soy milk, small meat buns, sticky rice wrapped in bamboo, and rice rolls stuffed with dried pork, fried dough, etc. Oh, there's no English name for it, but the sign is red, with 4 white Chinese characters arranged in a grid.

      I know a bunch of good Cantonese seafood places too, but I'm more of a noodles/bun kinda girl myself.

      10 Replies
      1. re: m00ncakes
        m
        m00ncakes Sep 3, 2002 01:55 AM

        Forgot...for Nam Bo Won, order the zha jiang mian. it's black bean sauce with other things over thick noodles. very good and not spicy like the usual chinese version.

        1. re: m00ncakes
          b
          Billy Sep 3, 2002 02:00 AM

          Wow, thanks!
          Since you're a "bun kinda girl," what are your favorites for buns??? I prefer the steamed ones myself...

          1. re: Billy
            m
            m00ncakes Sep 3, 2002 09:09 PM

            Hmm, buns...
            I used to always get the pan-fried vegetable pork buns at Zhu Ji because the steamed ones were never ready in the morning when I stopped by. I'm sure the steamed version is just as good, but in my opinion, anything pan-fried is just more savory. Not a fan of roast pork buns, but I always had to have the mini ones at KB Garden. I recently started liking flaky pastries after trying the radish soubings at Yang Tze River although having too much can cause a grease overload.

            Oh, and if you like dumplings, the ones at Mayflower (food court/bakery on Main Street next to the LIRR station) are also pretty finger-licking good.

            And just as a disclaimer, my taste in food tends to be pretty simple. I've never really appreciated a great shark fin soup or braised sea cucumber. So...just keep that in mind if you order any of my "recommended" dishes.

            Enjoy!

            1. re: m00ncakes
              b
              bigjeff Sep 4, 2002 10:10 AM

              to continue on the "simple is good" philosophy, the best restaurants in Flushing are really home-style, and you might be embarassed to eat there, unless you're with food enthusiasts who don't mind the environs . . . for a quick and filling takeout lunch or dinner, the steamtabes at Mayflower are usually really good. I think it costs $3.95 for three (or maybe four) dishes, over rice, plus a soup. Big selection that changes daily (even hourly) . . . you could eat there for a week and not have the same meal twice . . . there are now plenty of these "3 dish + soup" places, often found in chinese supermarkets and such, but the Mayflower one is one of the better ones in Flushing . . .

              1. re: bigjeff
                z
                zemilideias Sep 8, 2006 03:36 AM

                your right...check out the steamtables inn Flushing supermarkets for rockin food for under $4!

              2. re: m00ncakes
                s
                soopling Sep 20, 2002 04:09 PM

                buns, mmm...!

                my favorites tend to be the savory ones, rather than the sweet...for a few vegetarian options since the savory buns tend to involve meat: i love the "mushroom bun" at Yi-Mei Bakery on Roosevelt (right by the train entrance)...it is spicy dried radish, shitake mushrooms and probably some other stuff in a baked sweet bun...very savory and delicious. I haven's seen this version anywhere else, so if anyone else knows of a spot, let me know! Another pick from the same place, which is pretty oily (better than the straight up fried buns though) is the "vegetable bun" which is sour preserved veggie with mayo, chili and chopped peanuts on top stuffed in a baked bun cut lengthwise. and of course, corn and mayo...yeah! Chinese folks seem to love the mayo for some reason, but it all tastes good to me.

                1. re: m00ncakes
                  s
                  soopling Sep 20, 2002 04:40 PM

                  buns, mmm...!

                  my favorites tend to be the savory ones, rather than the sweet...for a few vegetarian options since the savory buns tend to involve meat: i love the "mushroom bun" at Yi-Mei Bakery on Roosevelt (right by the train entrance)...it is spicy dried radish, shitake mushrooms and probably some other stuff in a baked sweet bun...very savory and delicious. I haven's seen this version anywhere else, so if anyone else knows of a spot, let me know! Another pick from the same place, which is pretty oily (better than the straight up fried buns though) is the "vegetable bun" which is sour preserved veggie with mayo, chili and chopped peanuts on top stuffed in a baked bun cut lengthwise. and of course, corn and mayo...yeah! Chinese folks seem to love the mayo for some reason, but it all tastes good to me.

                  1. re: m00ncakes
                    z
                    zemilideias Sep 8, 2006 03:35 AM

                    more on simplicity. If you go to the place in the basement of the 99 cent store on the corner in front of the entrance to the flushing library you'll get awesomde bun and soup. but if you go to the place in the 99 cent store upstairs in the mall you'll get slop

                  2. re: Billy
                    m
                    m00ncakes Sep 3, 2002 09:12 PM

                    Hmm, buns...
                    I used to always get the pan-fried vegetable pork buns at Zhu Ji because the steamed ones were never ready in the morning when I stopped by. I'm sure the steamed version is just as good, but in my opinion, anything pan-fried is just more savory. Not a fan of roast pork buns, but I always had to have the mini ones at KB Garden. I recently started liking flaky pastries after trying the radish soubings at Yang Tze River although having too much can cause a grease overload.

                    Oh, and if you like dumplings, the ones at Mayflower (food court/bakery on Main Street next to the LIRR station) are also pretty finger-licking good.

                    And just as a disclaimer, my taste in food tends to be pretty simple. I've never really appreciated a great shark fin soup or braised sea cucumber. So...just keep that in mind if you order any of my "recommended" dishes.

                    Enjoy!

                  3. re: m00ncakes
                    e
                    Eric Eto Sep 3, 2002 10:21 AM

                    Wow, m00ncakes, what a great detailed list. I wish I had this to reference when I was in Flushing this weekend. Since I don't get to Flushing as often as I'd like, I'm still a bit intimidated by the sheer variety of the Asian cuisines there. Your list will surely help my food decisions there. Thanks so much. Looking forward to more of your posts.

                  4. j
                    JackS Sep 3, 2002 01:09 PM

                    Funny you should ask. My girlfriend and I got into NYC yesterday from Columbus, Ohio jonesing for chow and took the Q48 from Laguardia to Flushing. Although I don't have the extensive Flushing knowledge that others here apparently do, I can heartily recommend the dim sum house we went to, East Lake, at the corner of Main and Franklin. Every dish we got was piping hot and delicious (even at 2 pm! but it was a Monday, after all): the slippery noodles, the shumai, the shrimp dumplings. Their hot sauce, in addition, was an interesting blend of traditional chili sauce and hot mustard.

                    1. p
                      Pan Sep 8, 2006 10:32 PM

                      I won't claim it as "hands down the best," because I don't know every restaurant in Flushing, but I can say that of all the Chinese restaurants I know in Queens or Manhattan, I like Spicy & Tasty the best!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pan
                        Brian S Sep 8, 2006 11:11 PM

                        For Sichuanese definitely the best I've had... though Xiao La Jiao around the corner is a worthy contender.

                      2. z
                        zorgclyde Sep 9, 2006 06:09 AM

                        the best Taiwanese restaurant in flushing is no doubt Gu xiang on 39th Ave(i am not sure if it has English name...) right next to the church/cemetery. That place is consistenly good - my parents and I have been going on for years. Plus they have a separate vegetarian menu cooked in a separate kitchen too. They are also one of the few places that really know how to sautee that stinky tofu, haven't found a better version of that in New York than theirs.
                        The place is packed on weekends though - all the Taiwanese seem to know the place already.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: zorgclyde
                          squid kun Sep 10, 2006 09:25 PM

                          a.k.a. "Gu-Shine"? http://www.yelp.com/biz/LIo7CUUgZBZw8...

                          Appreciate the tip. What else do you like there?

                          1. re: squid kun
                            z
                            zorgclyde Sep 11, 2006 04:49 AM

                            Yeah that's the place.
                            Their Taiwanese family menu is a good deal - the soup is actually a real soup, not just broth. I am not familiar with the meat menu, but my dad always orders the fish (in brown sauce? anyways hong shao style in chinese) and beef in satay sauce with spinach. Their fa cai soup on the veggie menu is good too - you can mix and match. Also you can ask for their pickles, which they give automatically to the regulars, and I really like it with heavier dishes. The mixed veggies buddhist style is pretty good too. Basically just go and try out their family meals. But do order the stir-fry stinky tofu.

                            1. re: zorgclyde
                              Brian S Sep 13, 2006 02:31 AM

                              I detoured to see it tonight after eating at Xiao La Jiao, the great new Sichuanese place. There is indeed a big sign in English that says "Gu Shine"! The place was packed and people were waiting for tables... on a Tuesday! It's just west of Roosevelt at 135-40 39 Av.

                              1. re: Brian S
                                g
                                GtotheRace Sep 17, 2006 08:27 PM

                                Actually another really great Taiwanese place to try is Red Chopsticks (136-17 41st Avenue)- the food is consistently fresh and piping hot - we especially like the pan fried flounder that is part of the family menu, as well as the oyster omelette thing. The fact that the surroundings are not red/pink and gold or covered in years of grease is just a nice little bonus.

                        2. Brian S Sep 13, 2006 02:38 AM

                          Are there any Cantonese/Hong Kong places that are worth the trip from Manhattan? Based on two visits, I think Ocean Jewels is... if you order the right dish. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                          But are there any others? And how about Shanghainese?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Brian S
                            designerboy01 Sep 30, 2006 04:39 PM

                            There is a place that is right next to Joe's Shanghai in Flushing that is Cantonese. I'm sorry I don't have the name or the address, but its to the left of Joe's Shanghai on
                            (13621 37TH Ave), if you are facing Joe's. One of their most popular dishes is dungeness crab steamed with sticky rice. It comes out in a steamer. You have the option of getting it with crab or lobster. The juices of the crab/lobster go into the sticky rice. The rest of the dishes I think are OK. I almost had the abalone there but I thought it wasn't worth it. But I have to say abalone is very good. I had a chow adventure with my aunt in Vancouver and we had abalone which I think was in the range of $900/lbs. NY only has a fraction of the real form of Cantonese food.

                            1. re: designerboy01
                              l
                              lwong Sep 30, 2006 10:34 PM

                              The restaurant that Designerboy01 is referring to is named “Imperial Palace.” We had posted earlier on 12 April 2006 (in reply to Bud) about the restaurant in a similar thread about Flushing restaurants. See the posting at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/.... In this very long thread, there is a link to another long Chowhound thread on Flushing Cantonese restaurants.

                              Yes, you are correct that one of the more popular dishes at the Imperial Palace is the steamed Dungeness crab or lobster on top of sweet rice, but as we had mentioned in our previous post, the crab can sometimes be over cooked, but overall, the food is generally good. Usually most of the dishes that you order are good, but typically out of say 5 dishes ordered, there may be one dish (on a bad day, more than one) that is not fresh or only fair, but this is par for the course for most Chinese restaurants in the NYC Chinatowns.

                          2. h
                            HLing Sep 18, 2006 03:10 PM

                            I remember Red Chopsticks! My last visit to Red Chopsticks was at least 1.5 years ago. I agree they have very good Taiwanese food. It is a little bit pricier than the other Taiwanese places, but it was one late night spot that we could go to past 10 PM. Don't know about now, but back then there were sometimes Taiwanese "businessmen" who smoked and are usually semi drunk and intimidating to anyone around them who wanted peace and quiet. I hope food's still good, nevertheless.

                            My new favorite Shanghainese is the Noodle House (Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao) on Prince between 39th ave and 37th ave, across from the municipal parking lot. They have the best soup dumplings in Queens and NYC. At least they had. Two weeks ago i ordered the scallion noodles, which was supposed to come looking all plain and white, and then you would stir and mix it until the scallion oil and a little of sauce underneath the noodles all get evenly distributed....and then you'd have the best plain noodle dish ever....BUT, it was different the last time I ordered it. It came already stirred and mixed...with too much sauce...all dark and inedible! No subtle scallion flavors...still had the burned pieces, but not tasty at all.

                            I asked what happened..they said they have a different chef.

                            The soup dumpling woman chef was still there, but appear to be training people.

                            OH well, this seems the pattern of good places to eat..

                            Only the good die young...

                            So, along the same vein..get yourselves to Vanilla Cafe on Roosevelt between Prince and Main street. I've posted about them since they opened less than a month ago. The new treasure though is their Pineapple Walnut (upside downish) roll. Excellent by Western and Eastern pastry standard!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: HLing
                              Brian S Sep 20, 2006 01:48 AM

                              I trekked over to Flushing on a chow quest and had a look at these places. The Noodle House sign says Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao in Chinese only, and it's one of two noodle places. It's the one on the left, next to that bar with "love" in the name. I slso passed Vanilla Cafe but they closed at 8. Why not stay open later, I asked. Next week we start closing at eleven, they replied.

                              I ate in New Pacific Chinese Cuisine, a place at 37-17 Prince which apparently replaced the Prince Restaurant, well-reviewed on this board. (see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... ) I had a fish and dofu casserole from the Chinese menu. It was better than average, and the coating on the flavorful fish (cod or pollock?) was very well done. It's not worth the trip from Manhattan but if you live nearby and crave Cantonese chow, it might be worth checking out.

                              1. re: Brian S
                                ltlevy Sep 20, 2006 02:31 AM

                                My wife and I went to New Pacific a few weeks ago and we were underwhelmed with the food and service. We had Chinese broccoli, a short rib dish, and steamed chicken with ginger and scallion. None of them were worth going back for. The chicken wasn't prepared properly, too much pepper took away from the ginger/scallion flavor that should have dominated. I didn't try the short ribs. The Chinese broccoli was just ok, nothing special.

                                1. re: ltlevy
                                  designerboy01 Oct 1, 2006 06:06 AM

                                  I went to New Pacific restaurant tonight. They have a chinese menu that has a list of casserol dishes not on the English menu. I went for the Frog leg casserol and it had very good wok "air". I also ordered the lamb chops and the duck with lohan vegetables. The chef try to deter me from ordering the duck dish because the preparation is more complicated. He try to tell me that this dish is for non-asians. But I know better because this is a favorite dish of my grandfather and I know this is an old school dish. I told him I still wanted it. I also had the clam soup with squash. The meal was enjoyable. I enjoyed each dish. I also noticed several restaurants in Flushing offering similar types of dishes, the lamb and the frog casserol (its frog legs in a clay pot with onions, chinese sausage, and chinese mushrooms). I would go back and try some of the other dishes on the chinese menu. The english menu was not impressive. Peking duck is for people who can't tell the difference between chinese cuisines. This is not Cantonese and I would stay away from it. I was going to go for the slow cooked soup but they ran out. Maybe next time. Your restaurant experience depends on what you order and its important to go with what the chef does best.

                                2. re: Brian S
                                  bigjeff Jun 22, 2009 03:29 PM

                                  just ate here (New Pacific) last night for Father's Day and it was a mess! The last time I was there, it was a different owner/name, I knew it only as "Li Yu Men", something like "bronze-fish-door" and it was an old school place. we had a table of 12 for 6:30pm and basically, we didn't get our dishes until 8pm, having ordered one of the banquet meals. The main problem is that they were experiencing some sort of kitchen strike, as every single table (with generations and generations of fathers) was not being served; dishes were coming out one at a time, maybe every 15-20 minutes, and each server that walked out of the kitchen was angrily eyed by every single hungry diner in the joint. Our server said there were only 2 chefs working the kitchen, and when I went downstairs to the bathroom (where they have another dining room) there were 8 or 9 guys hanging out playing mah-jongg, in civilian clothes. Upstairs, the manager was still seating large groups but it was insane; we were getting crazy hungry after having finished off the little bowls of preserved vegetable; we ordered some pea shoots and tofu aside from the banquet meal and somehow, those came earlier than the actual banquet stuff; the food itself, once it came, was aight; crispy chicken with garlic and jalapenos, twin lobsters, weird shrimp salad thing, fish fillets with mushroom, crab over sticky rice in lotus leaf, whole fried flounder, couple other things but it was just very irresponsible of the place to remain open on Father's Day with a dining room about to strike a mutiny or siege on the place. thankfully we were in good company so we all laughed and chatted, even breaking out some snacks that someone had at the table but seriously, it was bad, total lack of regard for diners (esp. the ones that the manager kept seating, even though every single large table was filled with angry diners).

                                  I will never go back there again, and just stick with a place that knows what they're doing, like Canton Gourmet just a half block away. When we finally left the place and walked by the open kitchen door on prince, the place was seriously empty; there were literally 5 people in the kitchen, including the servers who seemed to be doing double-duty as dishwashers and bussers. Really felt bad for the servers who had to directly face the angry customers (at least the servers were professional and apologetic about the sitatuion); again, the management should totally be at fault. It is pretty dumb too because they've been advertising a lot in the Chinese papers and since it was a holiday, there were many customers (maybe some new ones) on a day that they should be impressing all guests.

                                3. re: HLing
                                  h
                                  HLing Oct 1, 2006 03:14 AM

                                  Sorry to say, Red Chopsticks did pretty poorly when I went back there last week, after almost 2 years. The drunken ribs were ordinary, as was the shrimp with soybean. (both dishes luke warm). The Ma Puo Do Fu Casserole was one-dimensional. The oyster pancake was alright, but the sauce was too sweet and bland.

                                  Toward the end of our stay, we smelled something horrible coming from the kitchen that made me think there was a live poultry farm right in there....

                                  Oh well. Maybe an off night, but the price was higher than other places with better food...so..guess I'm not returning.

                                4. Linda Oct 1, 2006 01:24 AM

                                  is yang tze river restaurant still operating? my significant other and i were trying to locate the place today and couldn't find it for the life of us...

                                  thanks!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Linda
                                    ltlevy Oct 2, 2006 12:35 AM

                                    Unfortunately, Yang Tze River is closed. We haven't been to the restaurant that has opened in the same location yet.

                                  2. m
                                    m00ncakes Oct 7, 2006 05:11 AM

                                    Wow, it's been a long time since I posted, but thanks for the Shanghainese tip. It seems like my beloved Yangtze River and Sun Yang Spring restaurants have since closed.

                                    But in the meantime, I go to King Five Noodle on Prince between Spicy & Tasty and Sentosa. Besides their great noodles (must tries: beef noodles, shredded pork and preserved vegetables, zha jiang mian), the 3-in-1 appetizer (seaweed, marinated boiled egg, and dried tofu), and beef pancake roll are good too.

                                    1. Gary Soup May 22, 2007 07:45 AM

                                      Any recent notable experiences or discoveries? I'll be in NYC at the end of next month for a few days and definitely will be spending some time jonesing for Chinese.

                                      1. s
                                        shoffner Aug 13, 2007 08:25 AM

                                        My hands-down favorite is Szechuan Gourmet (135-15 37th Ave., off of Main Street Flushing, 718-888-9388). Food has good, intense flavor--hot and authentic. Try the beef tendon and soups. Beware the giant cloves of garlic and chile peppers if that's not your thing. Also has a good atmosphere and slightly upscale Chinese clientele, with a few white people "in the know". We went for New Year Eve (that's our tradition--go to Flushing where its less crowded on American New Year) and it was $12 a person for a massive feast with steamed whole fish, beef tendon, noodle dishes, and delicious eggplant.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: shoffner
                                          Brian S Aug 13, 2007 09:11 AM

                                          I've noticed that place ever since the Times reviewed it in 2003.
                                          http://events.nytimes.com/mem/nycrevi...
                                          But I've never been, I always seem to go to Spicy & Tasty.

                                          1. re: shoffner
                                            p
                                            Pan Jun 22, 2009 08:51 PM

                                            I guess that Szechuan Gourmet in Manhattan on W. 39 St. is a branch of this one?

                                            1. re: Pan
                                              squid kun Jun 22, 2009 09:05 PM

                                              That's correct as far as I know. The new one in the 50s, as you've read, is affiliated in some way, though the ownership arrangement seems to be more complicated, I've tried only the 39th St. branch and enjoyed it a lot.

                                              -----
                                              Szechuan Gourmet
                                              135-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                              Szechuan Gourmet
                                              21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

                                              Szechuan Gourmet
                                              244 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                              1. re: squid kun
                                                p
                                                Pan Jun 24, 2009 02:28 AM

                                                I like their 39th St. location a lot but do not think it's as good as Spicy & Tasty.

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