HLing's food court ROCKS, Chen & Chan disappoints
I stopped by Chen & Chan in Flushing and they had changed their menu... just as Mr Lwong warned they would. Of the eight glorious yellowfish (or croaker) preparations, six were gone and the remaining two were more expensive. Yellowfish with pinenuts had gone from $10 to $14. I ordered an oxtail casserole, which was very small and somewhat bland.
In need of further sustenance, I headed for the food court at 41-82 Main St, at which H Ling had written so glowingly of breakfast. 9 PM and it was still hopping. Everyone there Chinese. A stall in back, the first after the floor changes color from grey to red, was busiest. The sign said, in Chinese (all the signs in this court are in Chinese except for the front stall), Chengdu Little Somethingorother. A woman was sitting at a table eating a yummy-looking soup. I asked her what, and she said swan la (sweet and hot) noodles (no 48 on menu, $2.50)... too hot for you. I love hot, I said, and ordered it.
The guy in charge poured various bright red oils and spices in the bottom of a soup bowl. His assistant took noodles, put them in a cage, and plunged them into a cauldron of boiling chicken stock to cook. The assistant poured stock in the bowl, and then the cooked transparent noodles. He put in a spoonful of bean sprouts, of preserved vegetables, a few scallions and peanuts, and there was my soup. Man, it was spicy! Almost as spicy as the water cooked pork at Spicy & Tasty, and that's the hottest thing they have. And it was as GOOD as Spicy & Tasty.Lots of Sichuan pepper flavor. I wolfed it down. There was a whole bunch of guys at the next table. They had brought some beer and were making a night of it. The assistant brought them dish after dish of Sichuan cuisine. They probably paid as much for all that as someone would now pay for yellowfish with pinenuts