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Chu Ying / Woodside Ave

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  • alekz May 23, 2006 11:05 AM
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i'm wondering if anyone has ever tried Chu Ying? i've kept meaning to try it (i've lived in the nabe almost 5 years), but am so afraid that there's no good Chinese around here that i don't.

it's on Woodside Ave around 87th St and has a fairly nice, sit-down interior. i haven't looked at the menu in a years, but i seem to remember that it was "expensive" (of course, not really, but comparitively to the crap) -- i think most entrees were around $20.

anyone taken the plunge? i did a search which turned up nada.

thanks,
alekz

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  1. I've been meaning to try Chu Ying for a while. It's a Korean-style Chinese restaurant, and I'm not that familiar with that style of Chinese. I know that ja jyang myan is one of the staples of Korean-Chinse, but no one mentions the one here. I'm not sure if it's not worth mentioning, or if it just hasn't been tried yet. I'm hoping to have a Korean friend coach me through some of the menu, and help me make an assessment of it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eric Eto

      interesting ... i thought the characters out front looked Korean. i picked up a take-out menu on the day after i posted my query (was warned that it was out of date) ... i think the reason i haven't taken the plunge yet is the menu seems to be a meld of standard-issue Chinese dishes. the menu states that it's a Mandarin Chinese Restaurant, but i spot Cantonese and Shanghaiese dishes, mixed with take-out mainstays.

      the menu also appears to be in Korean, Chinese, and English.

      maybe i'll pop by for their $6.45 lunch special one of these days and try "braised triple dishes" or something.

      i'll follow-up if i go...

    2. I finally tried Chu Ying (I had gone in so many times before and menu never looked apealing enough), but last night I was in a hurry for the Sopranos, and the place was on the way - we ordered jia jan mein and garlic beef. All I can say about the noodles in black bean sauce - wow! I had just plain jia jan mein (thick chunky blackbean sauce, with onions in it), next time I'm ordering the same dish w/ seafood. On the menu it's called 'Noodles w/ mandarin sauce'. Garlic beef was good but not too outstanding to my taste. The noodles dish comes, btw, in an enormous size and is only 5-6 bucks. Not sure which dish, but it came with sides of cabbage kimchi and pickled radish.
      I was most impressed by the service - even we were ordering a take-out, the waitress brought us glasses of water! The menu has a lot of Sichuan specialties.

      1. ya definitely sounds like a korean-chinese place (in all it's typical descriptions, Linda's above). what's funny is that in many korean restaurants in flushing/queens/nyc even, the servers and staff speak both chinese and korean, which was a trip the first time that happened to me. my fave place in manhattan is hyo-dang-gok, but I haven't yet explored all the places in queens (used to be a nice place on northern boulevard across from h-mart plaza but it burned down a few years ago). like Lau, I've always found korean-chinese food to be sorta like american-chinese food but much higher quality, and a guilty pleasure, like the sweet and sour dishes. maybe when chinese food gets exported overseas, they somehow always pick up on the general tso's-type dishes (e.g., certain dishes in indian-chinese restaurants), which are hardly representative of chinese cuisine in general.

        1. > we’re not quite sure why the reviews on Chowhound state that Chu Ying is a Korean Chinese restaurant. ...

          Did you happen to notice whether the menu listed dishes in Korean as well as Chinese and English (as alekz observed last year)?

          I got a takeout menu from Chu Ying more than a year ago. It listed dishes in all three languages and included several of the Chinese-Korean specialties mentioned in this thread, but not in a way that they'd jump out at you as Korean-influenced. Jja jjang myun was "noodles with Mandarin sauce," as welle noted. Tang soo yook was "sweet and sour beef," and jjam bbong was "noodles with vegetable soup (seafood)."

          I haven't been back since, and a fellow at the restaurant, an older man who may have been the owner, told me that the menu was about to change. So it's possible they've dropped the Korean-Chinese stuff.

          1. this was pure speculation on whether chu ying was a "korean-chinese" restaurant. for the record, i have never, ever been to chu ying. i couldn't tell you what was on the menu. i listed the popular dishes found at korean-chinese restaurants as a guideline for what someone can order if they do go to such a restaurant. in no way was i implying that chu ying was a place to go for these korean-chinese dishes.

            in addition, when i, my family, and most of the korean community that i'm aware of here in queens refers to korean restaurants, there are various ways that we classify them. perhaps this classification system doesn't sit well with some, perhaps it's not historically on par, but it's the norm.

            if i want kalbi, i go to a standard korean bbq restaurant.
            if i want hwe/raw fish, i go to a korean hwe restaurant.
            if i want jja jjang myun, i go to a korean-chinese restaurant.
            i don't go to a kalbi place expecting to eat jja jjang myun.

            a korean-chinese restaurant is very different from an authentic chinese restaurant, an indian-chinese restaurant, or an americanized-chinese restaurant, is it not? when i'm in the mood for a specific interpretation of chinese food, then i'll head to that specific type of restaurant.

            1. Adam, went to Chu Ying today for lunch and ordered the outstanding Prince's Chicken. Next visit, I want to try the Noodles with Seafood and Soup which you highly recommended. The Menu lists two: Thin Noodles with Seafood Soup (not spicy) the first item on the Noodles Section and further down (#10) is Noodles with Seafood & Soup (fried) hot & spicy. Which one did you order? #1 has thin Rice Noodles, #10 Fried Noodles. After just one visit, I'm very impressed. They deliver to Jackson Heights (up to 81st ) & Sunnyside according to the friendly husband/wife owners.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Mike V

                nice! I've gone by this place a million times. I've always ordered from one of the budget chinese places, the one on roosevelt accross from Donovans, which was pretty good for cheapo chinese the first few times but eventually something bad happened. Knowing Chu Ying delivers has made my day. Just hope I like it as much as everyone else seems to!

                1. re: Mike V

                  Mike, I'm glad you went. I knew others would enjoy Chu Ying's food as much as we did. Yeah, the Prince's Chicken is definitley a winner. I think this dish is also know as Kung Pao Chicken at other Chinese places, but we feel Chu Ying's version is the best tasting.

                  The noodle dish we ordered was the Noodles with Seafood & Soup (the #10 item down in the Noodles section). The noodles in this dish is NOT fried, but is fresh boiled noodles sort of like pasta/spaghetti noodles. The "fried" written next to this item is a misprint on the menu. My wife and I also thought the noodles would be fried, but our server cleared this up for us. This noodle dish is usually served spicy, but can be ordered mild if you request it or can be ordered semi-spicy. We had it mild (my wife don't take spicy too well) and it was wonderful.

                  We haven't tried the #1 item in the Noodles section, but it did sound interesting to us when we asked our server about it. Is it rice noodles? I thought my server told us that it was the same noodles used in the other noodle dishes except that it's pressed into very fine strands. We were told that they are able to control the thickness of the noodles since all of their noodles are made from scratch in-house throughout the day. I think this explains why their noodles taste so great.

                  We plan to go to Chu Ying again this coming weekend to try some of their other dishes. I'll post our thoughts on the dishes we try next.

                  1. re: AdamBNYC

                    Adam, many thanks for your reply. I plan to return today and I'll order #10 Noodle Dish. I just assumed the Noodles were Rice but most likely not. Home made on the premises is a plus. I plan to be a regular especially since this restaurant is walkable.

                2. I had the "Noodles w. Seafood & Soup (Fried)" last night. It was a decent rendition of what I was expecting: A thick red broth based on red chili paste (tasted like gochujang) containing sliced onions, scallions, squid, scallop, mussel, shiitake mushrooms, and excellent noodles. I don't quite recognize what was "fried" in this dish. I'd asked for the broth to be searingly spicy hot, but it was only respectably spicy. The lone scallop was tender and sweet, the squid pleasantly chewy, the onions crisp and the mushrooms juicy and robust. The yellow curly noodles were the highlight. I just wished that the broth was spicier and had another dimension of flavor.

                  I was also served cabbage kimchi, yellow pickled radish, raw onions and a brown paste which tasted vaguely of ja jang myun.

                  The noodle dishes are $6-8, but the majority of the menu consists of entrees ranging from $10-18 and one at $40 (braised pork covered with sea cucumber).

                  Definitely worth a return trip for further exploration.

                  -----
                  Chu Ying
                  6721 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Joe MacBu

                    yep, sounds like yer standard jamppong, alright, for sure, get the jajungmyun next time, the noodle with brown sauce.

                    if anyone else is interested in this hybrid stuff, here's a good thread:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/414319

                  2. This place is literally right around the corner from me, so I'm in there quite often. It can be somewhat inconsistent, but when it's "on" most things are quite good to great. The ja jang myun ("noodles with mandarin sauce"), and indeed all of the noodle dishes, as well as the fried dumplings, remind me of the Chinese restaurant that was across from my building where I spent a lot of my time during the brief moment I lived in Seoul. So it's sort of a delicious nostalgia trip for me.

                    It's nice to see it mentioned here and I hope they get a little more business. I worry about their future. They're really nice folks, but the location is somewhat out of the way and the place is empty a lot of the time. I think this creates some of their inconsistencies, as things can occasionally seem a little less than fresh.

                    Beyond the noodle dishes mentioned here they also do quite good Korean-style variations on several Chinese restaurant standards, albeit at prices quite a bit higher than the regular NYC neighborhood Chinese places. The sweet & sour beef (tang soo yook), kung pao ("princess") chicken, and mu shu pork are all a big step up from the usual rendition of these dishes in the U.S., and certainly better than anything from the otherwise awful Chinese carryouts in this neighborhood.

                    Closed Mondays!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Woodside Al

                      They're now open 7 days a week, including Mondays.

                      1. re: Woodside Al

                        Al: I went at 2PM today for the second time. First visit was yesterday at 2PM and ordered lunch special Prince's chicken (Excellent). Today I had Noodles with Seafood & Soup (#10) which indicated Hot & Spicy. It was good but not great. Not spicy enough and it had far too many Noodles and mostly chewy squid . I would have preferred thin Rice noodles which they don't serve. When I asked the owner how many years he was in the area he said 20 years. With that he said, "I want you to know that I'm Chinese and this is a Chinese Restaurant." I was a bit stunned by the comment and replied, "Well, of course this is a Chinese Restaurant." Response: "Most people think this is a Korean Restaurant and it's not." I've rarely eaten in a Korean Restaurant so didn't know what to make of this. I took home a lunch order of Chicken with Red Pepper which I'll have tonight. I did taste it when I arrived home and it doesn't begin to compare to Prince's chicken but at $6.45 it will be fine.

                        1. re: Mike V

                          hahaha, that's pretty funny. so weird! I can understand that you would add korean language to the menu if you are in an area with many korean residents, or that you might naturally have your servers speak a different language, depending on the neighborhood, but if he's got takuan, raw onions and the bean paste dipping sauce on each table, then buddy, you ARE running a korean-chinese joint. perhaps if you asked further, he'd say something like, well, I did move here from seoul 20 years ago; THAT would explain it. sounds like a case of some proud chinese guy who simply won't acknowledge where the influences are in the food he's serving.

                      2. Just ordered from here for the first time in a while, had a longing for decent Kung Pao chicken (which they list as Prince's) and I don't trust any of the takeout places in woodside. The lunch combo was 9.50, which I thought was pricier then the menu i had listed, though I knew they're generally pretty pricey, I figured it was worth it. Was it ever! The combo was the chicken with pork fried rice, a fantastic egg roll, some egg-drop type soup, pickled radish, raw onion, some of that black bean sauce and an entire side of Kim Chee. Everything was great.

                        They have a new menu from my old one with a statement from the chef on the front about how fresh and authentic everything is. I don't care if it's Chinese, Korean-Chinese, Chinese food made for Koreans, Chinese food made by Koreans, whatever, that chicken is fantastic and blows away anything else in the area.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: Widmark

                          have you eaten at any of the fancy-ish places right nearby? Spice Tree, I think is the name, and another asian place with pretty dark/sleek exterior. The names escape me.

                          1. re: bigjeff

                            Spice Tree is pretty new, I think it used to be the lesbian bar Chueca? Haven't been, wasn't sure what it was. What else is near by? I know a bit further down is Spicy Shallot, which is a very nice place, very cute with decent thai food and sushi that I've never tried. With Srip and Zabb closer, we don't usually have a reason to go to Spicy Shallot, and they don't deliver as far as me. We have gone when we feel like taking a walk though.

                            1. re: Widmark

                              if you're headed down that far, definitely hit up Ayada, it's right across the street from Spicy Shallot; pretty good coverage on the boards for Ayada already (and in the Voice I think). I was thinking of a place very close to where Chu-Ying/Spicy Shallot is, maybe its in the opposite direction towards the LIRR? Either way . . . . try Ayada!

                              1. re: bigjeff

                                I did go to ayada and thought it was ok, but we ordered pretty boring/typical stuff. A friend went later and ordered more adventurous and said it was great. We liked it enough, but Srip is closer and Zabb is just as convenient.

                                And for ordering we recently got Central Point, I really like their noodle dishes.

                                1. re: Widmark

                                  great been meaning to try central point to (I have an internal bias against srip); the reports on the board are scant on that place; which noodle dishes are good? dry? soup?

                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    I've just had some basics, pad see ew and drunken noodles. I wouldn't say it's a destination place, but they're really nice, the food is good, they deliver.

                            2. re: bigjeff

                              Hmmm. Spice Tree. I don't like to disparage a restaurant that's really trying to add something new to the neighborhood, but I'm afraid the place needs a lot of work, both with the menu and what it's wants to be. The industrial decor and loud techno music doesn't lend to a comfortable dining environment, and while the food can be creative and perhaps a bit contrived, it also seems to miss on the execution. Perhaps that might change with whoever might be working in kitchen, but I have a feeling the place is a bit doomed. The hours seem erratic, and is shuttered on some weekend evenings, and hosting parties at other times when I've passed by. It might be worth checking into once in a while, but I'm reluctant to give it any more chances.

                              On the other hand, there's a little Filipino place that recently opened near the corner of Woodside and 65th Place called Go2King in a very residential section of Woodside. I've had a couple takeout lunches from there and it's a fairly promising place with lowered expectations going in. It's mostly a steam table-combination plate joint, but they offer catering and such. It's run by a very friendly couple.

                              1. re: E Eto

                                Thanks for the heads up on this, EEto.
                                I've gone twice in the past few days. I think their items from the steam table are excellent. I had a rotisserie chicken today and it was a bit dry. I wish I would get it fresh from the rotisserie. I dont think they have enough traffic yet to have good rotisserie.
                                nice lady who works there. integrity with their food. 2 tables, 8 chairs.

                                and they are open 24 hours apparently. Very interesting place...

                              2. re: bigjeff

                                Did a little investigating tonight...
                                http://www.spicetreeny.com/spicetree.swf
                                Spice tree is an "American south-asian restaurant". ran into some drunk irish guys leaving and the guy was very proud to say it was "amazing" haha, i don't know if I believe him, but I did take a step in... it's a little clubby, dark with laser lights going around the disco ball.
                                The website shows the owner is pakistani, but I don't see much of that influence on the dishes in the menu, other than an emphasis on spice on a few select dishes and a coding on the menu measuring either "1st step to spice", "2nd step to spice" or "spice heaven". Prices are excellent, burgers(w/ fries) for $6-7, sandwiches/wraps up to $8 and entrees barely reaching the teens. As you can tell, the menu seems very americanized. Almost taken straight out of TGI Friday's.
                                Seems like they put a lot into the place. I am willing to give them a shot. Hey, maybe it's awesome Friday's food.

                                The other place I was interested in: Fizz lounge. it's a new club and soon restaurant. http://www.myspace.com/fizzlounge
                                I don't think i'll go, but seems interesting that these places are on woodside ave.

                                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                  I think maybe Fizz is the place in what used to be Chueca, fwiw.