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Fantastic Big Flat Lamb Noodle Soup in Flushing, 41-28 Main

I had gone looking for the mall that was posted about a month or so ago on the Flushing board, where the stalls were mostly Szechuan and there is little to no English to be found. I'm guessing that the mall I wandered into today, not far from the corner of 41st Road and diagonally across from the library, what with its' emphasis on dumplings (one stall has English on its' menu) and noodles, is not the one.

That's okay.

I had a heaping tub of noodles in broth, instead, the best I've had in ages. Near the back of this narrow mall, where it seems like everywhere you look you're surrounded by big glass windows reminiscent of a claustrophobic chase scene involving a Snake Lady in "Blade Runner", across a narrow walkway from a tiny hair salon where you can see in, is a small joint, about 6 or 7 randomly placed tables with stools on a green and white checkered floor, with all the charm of an unemployment office waiting area. About four workers behind a colorless counter.

Me being the only caucasian in the room, all eyes eventually made their way to me. The friendly proprietor, a man hand rolling a big flat noodle, offered up the house specialty - noodle with lamb. "Real Chinese noodle", he said. I ponied up the ante - all of 4 bucks for the large size - took a seat, and caught any number of amused smiles coming my way from the other patrons. About ten minutes later, another friendly employee brought me the white plastic bucket of joy - reminiscent of but ultimately superior to the hand pulled thinner variety served up at Super Taste on Eldridge Street. This big flat noodle, plentiful and coiled like some once proud sea snake, with it's thick hills and deep valleys, surrounded on all sides by tinier , thinner noodles and other strandlike objects and greens of varying chewy textures, caught the flavor of the subtle broth (sufficiently kicked up with just a dab of the hot condiment of the house) like a second spoon. Like all fresh noodles, it retained its' texture for the duration, never getting soggy. A great noodle experience, to be sure. What kicked this into the stratosphere, however, and makes it my choice for the best 5-buck-and-under-meal I've had all year, is the slide-off-the-bone-smooth chunks of fattty lamb, which reminded me more, in its' overall feel, of the effect a great piece of chashu has on a bowl of real Japanese Ramen. It had that kind of warm, buttery effect. Pure chunks of flavor amidst texture and subtlety.

What I'm getting at here is that I liked the noodles.
Can't wait to go back. Some of the other stalls looked equally tempting as well. For lack of an even rudimentary grasp of Chinese, and until someone tells me what this joint is really called, I'll just call it 4128 Flat Lamb Noodle. Again, it's at the back of the mall. Just look for the sign above the door, in Chinese, of a man in a chef's hat, a blue arrow pointing inside. I've been pointed in far worse directions.


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  1. The mall you were looking for is at 41-82 Main St. It's lucky for us that you went to the "wrong" place!!!

    1. Nice post. I have to admit, I find Flushing intimidating. There are just so many little restaurants and "malls" at every turn. I just don't know where to begin. I like reading these type of posts so I can have a destination to hone in on. Sounds like a great dish you had. Do you know the name in Chinese?...Chinese characters I mean, not romanized...

      1. I'd like to sample this soup too, but how does someone order a dish there with no knowledge of the language? Do you recall the number of the dish? How did you go about it? Ask for the 'house specialty', I suppose? If I wind up with duck tongue soup, you'll hear about it! : ) LMK.

        1. Silverjay, sorry. My Chinese lags way behind my pig latin, which, to be honest, was never all that ot-hay.

          This place is not hard to find; the mall is tiny as malls go. Like I wrote in my post, walk to the back, go up a few steps, it's on the right hand side, across a narrow hallway from a haircutting place. There's a small-but-hard-to-miss sign with a man bearing a chef's hat, underneath him an arrow in blue I believe. I did not find this place intimidating at all. The proprietors and the other customers were very pleasant to me, and encouraging, even if we couldn't communicate all that well.

          Also, for what it's worth, the other stalls looked good as well, and there was one dumpling place, not far from the entrance, that had English translations on the wall menu.

          Cheese Boy: I was fully prepared to just walk in anywhere, look at what others were eating, and point out the dish that I wanted. But, in this case, the guy who was making the noodles by hand said, "noodle with lamb" to me. It looked to be what everyone else was having as well. This is not a joint with a lot of choices, to be sure. Maybe this was the noodle soup of the day - who knows? I'm always prepared to take a chance, but, if you're not in the mood to do that, it would probably be a good idea to hit up Chinese speakers on this board for some simple translations. Come to think of it, that's a nice topic for another posting, and it ties in well with the other recent post about being intimidated by Flushing.

          Duck Tongue Soup, huh? That actually sounds enticing, but I'll owe you one.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Polecat

            Polecat, you just simplified things big time. I'll go to the guy making the noodles by hand and say 'noodle with lamb' please. Done. I intend to do this when the temperature outside is in the 20's or nearabouts. I'll enjoy a hearty soup like this most then.

          2. there is another one of these weird mall places across the street from the Post Office and Kam San on Kissena; this place also has a great sesame bread, and a smaller variety with a lot more fat in it, which made a very flaky bread, almost like a cross between sesame bread and 1000-layer cake. amazingly cheap; and they also sell a very cheap vegetable bun.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bigjeff

              I walked by yesterday and yes, as Brian S., said, this is the 41-82 Mall, a much smaller production than the 41-28 Mall, also called Golden Shopping Mall, where this wondrous lamb was noodle was (many many stalls in there, hard to find the exact one although they all seemed to offer up delicious noodle soups.

            2. i'm pretty sure the mall on 41-28 main street is the golden shopping mall. but there are three different entrances and two separate floors, which makes things really confusing.

              my question for polecat is, which floor (street level or basement) is this lamb noodle soup stall located on? i'll describe the golden shopping mall's layout as best as i can (based solely on memory) and hopefully you can figure out what i mean.

              one of the entrances is on the main street side, right at the corner of 41st rd. this entrance leads to one set of shops and food stalls on street level if you walk straight ahead, and to another bunch of places in the basement if you head down the stairs to the right.

              there's a second entrance on 41st road, about 1/3 of a block west of main street. as soon as you walk through this entrance, there's a long flight of stairs leading up to the street level shops and food stalls. the first time i used this entrance, i thought i was on the 2nd floor of a completely different part of the building, but after walking around i realized i was on the same old street level that's accessed from main street. really confusing because i'd walked up a flight of steps yet still ended up on (main street) street level. i guess 41st road slopes downward as you walk west from main street.

              and then there's a third entrance to this golden shopping mall. it's also on 41st road west of main street, but even further from the corner of main & 41st than that 2nd entrance i just described.

              this third entrance slopes downward after you enter (there may or may not be stairs, i forget) and immediately ahead of you is a handmade dumpling operation. i've eaten there before (and posted my thoughts a few weeks ago at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/330368 ). if you're facing the dumpling stall, the hallway veers to the left, where there are even more stalls. and after walking down to the end of this short hallway, you hit a t-intersection. to the right of this intersection is a stall that apparent serves shabu shabu, ma la shabu, and noodles. i don't remember if it had a picture of a man in a chef's hat, but i did note that it was labeled "stall 15".

              is this the stall you're talking about?

              or at the very least, based on my description can you tell if you were on street level or in the basement of this building?


              4 Replies
              1. re: surly

                I entered from the Main Street entrance, walked straight ahead,
                past a dumpling stall on right (only stall with english, so far as
                I could see)and another food stall. There were other non-food stalls
                on the left side of the narrow hallway. I walked up a small flight
                of stairs - it was all street level, kind of a split level street
                level floor - maybe another, and, that's when I noticed the sign with
                the chef's hat. So, yeah, according to your description, the place
                is located on street level, 41-28 Main. The Chef with hat sign is
                what you should keep an eye out for. I am not aware of there being a basement floor, so I definitely did not go downstairs.

                After all this, I sure hope the noodle lamb soup is worth it.
                I myself look forward to returning sooner than later.

                1. re: Polecat

                  thanks for the clarification, polecat.

                  based on what you're saying, yeah, it definitely sounds like this place is on street level. if so, that dumpling stall with english on its wall menu would be "shandong dumpling", which i've been to - ok boiled dumplings but really great fried ones. it's on the right after you enter, and it has an orange color motif. i mentioned this place in my post from a few weeks ago (link provided above).

                  can't wait to try this flat noodle lamb soup - thanks for the tip.

                2. re: surly

                  having revisited the golden shopping mall two nights ago, i'd like to correct my december 27th description of its layout/entrances.

                  there are actually FOUR entrances to the building, NOT three as i'd indicated. two of these entrances are on main street and two are on 41st road. while my description of the 41st road entrances was correct, i need to revise what i'd said about the main street entrance:

                  "one of the entrances is on the main street side, right at the corner of 41st rd. this entrance leads to one set of shops and food stalls on street level if you walk straight ahead, and to another bunch of places in the basement if you head down the stairs to the right."

                  what i found out the other night is that one of the main street entrances leads straight ahead to the street level of the golden shopping mall, while the other main street entrance leads to a flight of stairs that takes you down to the basement. the entrance leading to the basement is closest to the corner, while the entrance leading to the street level is a few steps to the south (i.e. to your left if you're standing on main street facing the building).

                  just thought i'd clarify that. sorry for any confusion.

                  1. re: surly

                    also, i'd like to verify what polecat has already said about the stall's location - it's situated toward the back of the golden shopping mall's street level. as i explained above, there are two entrances to the building from main street and two from 41st road. to get to this stall from main street, take the left (i.e. south) entrance and then walk straight ahead past a bunch of stalls, up a few steps, and it'll be on your right. if you're entering from the 41st road side of the building, though, you should take the entrance that leads up a flight of steps, then turn right at the top of the staircase; the stall will be on your right.

                3. Polecat:

                  I believe the stall you are refering to is called "Lao Suen Yang Rou Huei Mian." I have yet to try it, but it sounds very good. If the dish you ordered is the their namesake, I am guessing it is actually not a noodle soup per se, but one that comes with a soupy gravy? The name is "Yang Rou Huei Mian," which means something like lamb gravy noodles. "Huei" usually means a thickened broth/gravy over either rice or noodles. As in "Niou Rou Huei Fan," which means beef gravy/stew over rice.

                  But there is only one way to know for sure -- I think I am due for another Flushing visit very soon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Arete

                    Arete, I had the same thought as you before I went to Henan province, that "Huei Mian" means without soup, as in braised something, or stir fried...and that is the case in some other regional food, such as the Xi An, and maybe evening Xin Jiang cooking where there gravy is thickened tomato based, with beef, that gets poured over a plate of noodles.

                    Since then I've been to Henan province twice (for other less careful readers, it's Henan, not Hunan). In Zhengzhou city of Henan province, you can get the most delicious Huei Mian in Moslim places, and they are always in soup, with wide, pappadelle-type of noodles, and all the garnish that's showned in the picture below.

                  2. so i finally made it back to the golden shopping mall two nights ago to try this flat noodle lamb soup. and despite fighting a cold that had reduced my usual appetite, i have to agree with polecat - this dish was delicious.

                    i went to this stall with my mandarin-speaking friend, not knowing what to expect other than what i'd read. first thing we saw was a middle-aged chinese man wearing a white johnny rockets-style hat standing behind the counter and rolling a long, flat noodle over his index fingers. to his right were two somewhat older women fussing over the vegetables, meat, and broth. my friend asked to see a menu, and was told that there were none - all they serve is that one soup with the flat noodles and lamb. this was really encouraging, as ethnic places that specialize in only one dish are often pretty good, if not great. also, the fact that the gentleman with the hat concentrated solely on the noodles was a terrific sign.

                    turns out he's from the henan province of china, which is in the east-central/northeast part of the country, just west of shandong and anhui provinces.

                    my friend ordered two bowls of the soup, and we sat down. it took a while for our order to come out, as everything was freshly prepared to order. but once the bowls finally emerged from behind the counter, we immediately knew it was worth the wait.

                    the flat noodles were delicious - buttery, soft, but not mushy, with a rich flavor and a slightly chewy texture. the lamb chunks were fresh, somewhat fatty, and very tasty, yet they did not overwhelm the broth at all. there were a number of other ingredients in the soup, too, including long slivers of seaweed, clear cellophane noodles, flat black Chinese mushrooms, and two ingredients which i couldn't identify. one of these was a long, thin, yellow, ridged strand of what initially appeared to be a type of noodle, but tasted more like tripe (it was chewy and a little rubbery). my guess is sliced tripe, though i could be totally wrong. the other ingredient tasted like slivers of bamboo (it was a long, fibery, somewhat thicker yellow tube), but again, not sure.

                    all of this was topped by a mass of fresh cilantro and sat in a thin, clear, somewhat muted broth. taken as a whole, it was delicious. everything was fresh, and the flavors were clear and distinct.

                    fyi i took a few photos of the soup and the surroundings. perhaps someone who's able to read chinese characters can translate some of what's written.

                    1) the flat noodle lamb soup as it was served to us

                    2) the soup after i mixed it up to show all of the ingredients:

                    the two ingredients that i couldn't identify are visible in this photo. the long, thin, yellow, ridged strand that was chewy and a little rubbery to the taste is bunched up in the center-right of the bowl, in between thin green strands of seaweed and a piece of black mushroom.

                    the other ingredient that i'm not sure of is located in the upper left and bottom center of the photo. it's the long, somewhat thicker yellow tube. tasted like bamboo, but i'm not certain.

                    3) this is a close-up of that long, thin, yellow, ridged strand:

                    4) this sign was posted on a wall inside the eatery. we're guessing that the lower row of characters is the name of the soup. not sure about the top two characters. would appreciate a translation by any of the chinese reading/writing experts out there:

                    5) this is the sign hanging in the hallway outside the eatery. again, requesting help on the translation:

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: surly

                      Am really glad you dug the soup and are now spreading the word. Thanks so much for the pix and clarification. I had first thought that the thin ribbed yellow strand was tripe as well, but unlike any that I had had before. The texture of this dish, in addition to the taste, is outstanding. I'm not surprised that this is the only dish they serve - I had assumed that, if at all, they might serve one or two other items. They also have a few soft drinks, I think, and, when I was there, two guys were drinking beers out of paper bags.

                      I also went when I was somewhat under the weather, and this soup completely hit the spot. I am now chomping at the bit to return, and maybe even to hit the Changdu stall at 41-82 as well.

                      1. re: surly

                        Just to ease everyone's mind, the ridgy ribbon is soybean curd sheets, the light yellow/golden vegetabel is actually a flower bud, that of a variety of tiger lilly, and the dark color thinkly sliced, crunchy threads that look like leather is the Wood-ear funghus, something that is said to have a blood thinning property.

                        Actually the first time I found this Huei Mian in Flushing was in the back of the other mall, further up from the Golden Mall. I'm now unsure of the address..as there seems to be 41-28 and a 41-82? If so, it's the one closer towards the direction of the Botanical Garden...where I found the Northern Chinese Breakfast of Doufu Nao at the Muslim stand. The traditional Henan style Huei Mian I had was way in the back, past the muslim place, and turn left. They offer lamb, beef, and I think something with preserved vegetable, but some not with the wide noodles. Maybe they moved?

                        As to the various pictures of the signs, it all say Suen Ji (as in the shop that belongs to the last name of Suen's )Lamb Heui Mian, the added words were either "Hao Chi" (Tastes good), or "Huan Yin Guang Ling" (Welcome).

                        In China some of the places offer "San Xian" flavors, something that has 3 ingredients, I don't remember exactly which 3, now.

                        With the offering of the Huei Mian now, I wonder how long it will be before the other Henan dishes, "Hu La Tang and Hu Tu Mian" will surface? Hu La Tang is great breakfast soup that packs a punch. It is a dark brown goo that's spicy and hot...and makes the cold mornings bearable..they eat it with some sort of bread, bun, bao. The Hu Tu Mian (the exact words I'm not sure, but it sounds like the words for being "forgetful", or "absent minded". Not sure why that name, but it's redder in color from tomato..and has some sort of noodles, in thick, gluey soup, spicy from black and white pepper...

                        1. re: HLing

                          hling, thanks so much for identifying the "mystery" ingredients and for translating the signs into english - it all makes sense now. much appreciated.

                          to answer your question, yes, this building (golden shopping mall) is on 41-28 main street at 41st road, and that other place with "j & l mall" written on the awning outside is at 41-82 main street between maple and sanford.

                          so you had this yang ruo huei mian noodle soup at the stall all the way in the back left of j & l mall? the one past the sichuan chengdu and chinese muslim stands? that's one of the only stands i hadn't yet tried in that place. according to someone on another thread, that stand is called "yuan ji la mien". anyhow, thanks for that tip - i'm gonna try it there and see how it compares with the suen ji yang ruo huei mian stall at golden shopping mall.

                          can't wait for more food to come from henan province. i wasn't even aware of a henan presence in flushing/greater ny, to be honest. seems like flushing's constantly changing.

                          1. re: surly

                            You're welcome!

                            Now, I'm really going to have to go back and make sure we're all on the same page, though. As I remembered, there's the Golden Mall that's on the corner of Main and 41st Rd, then there's another little food alley near the middle of the block on Main, then there's yet another after the bank, on Main. The latter two both have a muslim stall. Since I don't remember seeing a J&L on the awning on the one I went to, I can't be sure we're talking about the same place. Hmmm.

                            Anyhow, the noodle place has La Mian, and Huei Mian. I think their beef la mian might have been better than the lamb Huei Mian, but I can't be sure now. This noodle place is all the way in the back on the LEFT hand side, while the area all the way back on the RIGHT hand side is a squarish area of a few tables and eating area along the walls. Wonder if this is indeed 41-82?

                            Another identifying factor is at the entrance of this "mall", on the right hand side is a stall for all sorts of tang sui (sugar water) and tonics such as mung bean soup, or boiled papaya with white funghus, or red bean soup...etc.

                            1. re: HLing

                              yeah, the mall you've described is definitely 41-82 main street, a.k.a. j & l mall. i think the name on the awning outside the mall changed to that from "l & n market" sometime after your first post about the place.

                              everything you've describes perfectly matches j & l - the long hallway from the entrance toward the back, the muslim stall (actually i think they take up two stalls, side-by-side, although they could be separate vendors) serving breads and buns on the left before the hallway ends, the szechuan chengdu and yuan ji la mien stalls if you turn left down a short hallway from the muslim stall, or the small, drab room with a few tables and an eating area along the walls if you go to the back right.

                              i'm not familiar with the third chinese food court that you mentioned, though. obviously we've got the golden shopping mall and j & l mall covered, but other than that other place further north up main that closed a while back, i can't think of any others.

                              1. re: HLing

                                Hling, YOU were the first one to visit 41-82 and post about it, for which we are all grateful.

                                1. re: Brian S

                                  It's been a whole year since that post...For those hounds who wants to go to China for a eating tour..this is a place to start..and just know that the real thing is EVEN BETTER! :)

                          2. re: surly

                            Man, the noodles look so good I almost lick my monitor! Gotta get some of that!
                            I too, am intimidated by Flushing and I'm Chinese!

                          3. I don't know who to thank, but, I visited 41-28 Main recently and the stand you singled out (Suen Ji Lamb Heui Mian) is a great find. The soup served there was delicious. I just wanted to mention that their small portion is $3 and the large is $4. I chose the large size, and opted to flavor mine with their chili oil. I enjoyed it immensely. The noodle guy was very cordial, and the place was surprisingly fairly clean (compared to some of the places in 41-82 up the street). Great seating too, LOL. You'll know what I'm speaking about when you decide to go. : )

                            How can you resist this? ... http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/33...

                            1. Cheese Boy, thanks for the excellent shot - that's a party in a bowl, right there.

                              I went back today, second time, this time with my wife and 4 month-old kid along for the ride. After having this version of Huei Mian one more time, I can honestly say that it is my favorite Asian noodle soup in the whole city(the hot and sour soup at Chengdu, up the street, by the way, being a close second), and, by far, the most unique. This time, I noticed even more so than the first time, how the flat serated noodle actually absorbs the lamb taste - you are actually tasting a lamb noodle. The broth, too, is even better than I remember. And, as CB notes, just a little of the chili oil condiment goes a long way.

                              Cheese Boy is also not kidding when he speaks of the spare decor. This place gives new meaning to the term "makeshift decoration". It is, at heart, a street food shop indoors, which is, pardon the expression, right up my alley. I would also like to reiterate that, 1) it is not hard to communicate here, especially since they only serve one item. you only need to specify which size you want, and, 2)the noodle chef and staff are very gracious and friendly.

                              Noodle enthusiasts one and all - I give this joint my highest recommendation.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Polecat

                                Polecat, I can't take credit for that pic. Surly took that shot and posted it in an earlier
                                reply -- I borrowed it for effect. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly -- that's a party
                                in a bowl right there. I can't wait to go back and party some more!

                                I agree also with the comment regarding their spartan décor. It's *very* minimal. I was impressed with their cleanliness though, and of course, I was impressed with their soup. There's no soup-nazi tendencies (regardless of what I'm about to say). The way to order is, you go up to the counter, order 'lamb soup with noodle', specify the size, and sit down at a table. The noodle guy prepares everything fresh and will gesture to you when it's ready.
                                When he (noodle guy) gestures to you, go up, pay, and walk your soup over to your table.
                                After you've sat down and are comfortable, that's when you get to enjoy the party in a bowl. If you want to spice things up, try some of their chili oil. It's one of the best oils I've ever had. Be forewarned -- go easy with it.

                                I second a high recommendation... especially for those of you who like hand-pulled noodles and soup. Give Suen Ji Lamb Heui Mian a try. You won't be disappointed. : )

                              2. Can't wait to check this out! Thank You all.

                                1. okay this may be a late thread but anyway, I went last night with my sister and my parents (they are chowhounds in their own way!) and had these noodles; quick notes are that it was as delicious as described in all of the posts above, the small was adequate for me, each dish is all freshly prepared and they also have some cold apps you can order, and it is on the street level entrance of 41-28 Golden Shopping Center, and not the basement (which has about 6 vendors, more than a few of which looked great).

                                  as to 41-82, about a block away, we stopped in for some of the large sesame breads (left side, almost to the back) and also ordered the dofu-nao (basically the tofu curd that is usually served sweet with a ginger syrup, but here they top it with some thick vegetable sauce with mushrooms and bamboo, swirl in some sesame paste and some other flavors). It looks not so appetizing, and I personally didn't like it, but they have some great buns and breads there. Ignore the places near the front and head to this bun place; the mall actually has an L shape so if you go all the way back, you'll see the sichuan place with all the cold apps sitting in chili oil (it all looked good) and also a hand-pulled noodle place in the very back. They also had this dish which is basically a large cracker deep-fried, and then they break it up and somehow griddle it into a pancake, with an egg. I didn't order it, and I didn't see it but that's what the proprietor said; it looked really unhealthy, but probably delicious.

                                  anyway, if anyone else has notes on either 41-82 or 41-28 we should do some sort of map or something with translations, etc. between those two buildings there's probably at least 8 vendors that all looked amazing.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                    Thanks for the tip, Jeff. I'll definitely have to try the downstairs at the Golden Shopping Mall (41-28 Main). Glad you got around to trying the Huei Mian (thanks to HLing for identifying it by name).

                                    I actually tried the place with the sesame breads at J&L, and had the Shao Da Bing. According to this excellent thread, it is one of the few places in the tristate area to get an authentic Northern Chinese Breakfast:http://www.chowhound.com/topics/247907


                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                      jeff - Thanks for the report. I've gotta get to that noodle place at 41-28. Here's a recent thread on J&L Mall (41-82 Main) that includes a floor plan plus menu pics and translations for three of the vendors in back (hand-pulled noodles, Sichuan, Guizhou noodles) ...


                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        bigjeff, the following link has an excellent description of the layout and offerings of the stalls at j & l mall (41-82 main st btwn maple & sanford):


                                        i'd been to this food court several times before eade and squid kun posted all those extremely helpful details, but after reading what they had to say (and returning with mandarin-speaking friends), navigating this "mall" became so much easier.

                                        my two favorite stalls at j & l mall are the sichuan chengdu stall in the back (GREAT dan dan noodles) and the northern islamic stand on the left (actually, the islamic guys take up two adjacent stalls, although perhaps they're separate vendors working together). while the food court is open from at least 9am until around 9pm (perhaps later), i've found that it's best to go to the islamic stand early in the day, as they stop serving their excellent breakfast offerings around 12 noon. also, some of their non-breakfast items aren't always available, such as the "red bean filled golden fried glutinous rice pastry" or "steamed lamb buns" that hling described.

                                        at golden shopping mall (41-28 main st @ 41st rd), my favorite stalls are "suen ji yang ruo huei mian" (the flat noodle lamb soup that's the subject of this thread) and "shandong dumpling", which is also located on street level; it's on the right as soon as you enter from the left main street entrance. i discussed "shandong dumpling" in greater detail at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/330368 (not to be confused with my description in the same post of the boiled shandong-style dumplings at best north dumpling shop, which is in a separate mall on roosevelt).

                                        i've actually been to a couple of stalls in the basement of golden shopping mall - one is the boiled dumpling place near the 41st rd entrance to the building's basement level, and the other is the shabu shabu eatery located deeper in the maze of hallways. both were solid, but i wasn't blown away. i should note that i've only been to both of them once, and am planning a return trip soon. there are a couple of other places down there that really caught my eye as well, so i'll be back sooner rather than later.

                                        1. re: surly

                                          the shabu shabu looked a bit too fancy, but I wanna try the place thats almost the deepest part of it, across from a woman selling underwear and socks, and right near a DVD store. This would be making a right BEFORE reaching the hotpot place. last time I passed through, I saw a table of maybe 5 people having noodle soup and eating meat right off the pork shoulder bone (pai-gu) what my parents usually make stock out of. that looked pretty insane, as if they just asked the cook for the bones they use for their pork broth. I'm interested, and also, in the basement, in the very first stall when you enter, on the left, the sichuan noodle stall. I saw a woman eating this noodle soup that was swimming in chili oil; it looked really flavorful.

                                          my big question is, who would buy those clothes when the taste of mutton and sichuan chili permeates the steamy humid air all day long?!?!

                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                            Just peroused the downstairs a few hours ago, after eating at J&L up the street. I know what you mean. It's a singularly disarming experience when, just prior to entering a subterranean shabu shabu wonderland, the first thing you see is a collection of knock-off high heel boots at the foot of the stairs.

                                            There's also a place in the small inlet off to the right that seems to be serving a big white plastic bucket of noodles in soup.

                                            Alas, it beckons.

                                      2. I followed your directions and found this restaurant last night. 41-28 Main Street is 3 stores south of 41st Road on the West side of Main Street. The street number, and the name "Golden Shopping Mall," are tucked over the front window, but underneath the awning, making them difficult to see. When you enter, it does not feel like a court court - in fact there are stalls for a pharmacy, a seamstress, and others. The noodle shop is at the very rear, up a short flight of stairs, on the right hand side. The owner calls his shop "Sun's Lamb Noodle." The telephone number there is 917-838-1011. The owner and his helpers are very friendly and very eager to give you a good experience. The lamb noodle soup is obviously made from home-made noodles, since Mr. Sun picks up a square piece of ingredient and twirls it around and splits it until it is finally in noodle shape. They also make lamb dumplings, fried, delicious, but they are sold only 18 at once. The lamb noodle soup itself, however, is well worth the trip.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: FarVistas

                                          Didn't know about the dumplings. Thanks for the tip. P.

                                        2. I keep meaning to make a trip out to flushing and try some of these places out, but i'm getting overwhelmed by all the 41-28 Golden Shopping Mall and 41-82 J & L confusion.

                                          Here what I want to know: Is the mall with the lamb noodle soup (41-28-golden) also the one with the pork or beef or lamb sandwich thing that one of you (surly? polecat?) reported on in another thread last week, complete with pics that had me drooling over my computer? And if I ate a lamb noodle soup, would I be able to still sample some of those sandwich things? (I'm a big eater)
                                          Also, is golden the one with the excellent dan dan noodles, or is that J & L?

                                          Maybe it'll all seem easier once I get there and see the layouts of these places, but at the moment it seems so daunting!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: missmasala

                                            the flat noodle lamb soup that polecat brought to our attention in this thread is indeed in the same building as the arepa-esque ro bing sandwiches that i described in a different thread. both are located in the golden shopping mall (41-28 main street at 41st rd) but the noodles are on street level in the back, while the ro bing sandwiches are in the basement. note that there are four entrances to the building, as i outlined in the posts above from dec 27th and dec 31st.

                                            it's definitely possible to have a lamb noodle soup followed by a ro bing, but you really do need to have a big appetite. i've had no problem doing that but i eat more than most people.

                                            if you plan on having both, i'd recommend ordering the smaller ($3) size of the noodle soup, which should leave room for a ro bing. we're actually thinking of getting a group together for next sunday to eat at some of these places; if you're interested, contact prunefeet (her contact info is listed on her profile). going as a group will allow everyone to sample multiple dishes rather than filling up on only one or two.

                                            the excellent dan dan noodles are at the sichuan chengdu stand in the back of j & l mall, 1 1/2 blocks to the south. we will definitely be visiting that stand as well.

                                            1. re: surly

                                              Yes, Missmasala, please feel free to email me. We are definitely going on Sunday.

                                              1. re: prunefeet

                                                I hope you post a report on this! I can't go (no 7 subway in Oklahoma). I've always wondered.... do people at Chowhound meetings wear masks to preserve the anonymity we are accustomed to online? I saw a newspaper photo of one in Boston and people did indeed wear masks.

                                                1. re: Brian S

                                                  No way!! Lol. Nope. And we don't call each other by our chowhound names either! You are more than welcome to come to future gatherings, feel free to email me, my email address is posted on my profile. Since I am going with Surly, you can be sure there will be detailed post!! And I will throw in my 2 cents as well.

                                          2. I got a chance to get the aforementioned lamb noodles, and I have to say, I wasn't greatly wowed. If I'd never had this form of noodles before, I'm sure I'd be agreeing with everyone on this thread. But the truth is, this is the same noodle dish that I've been missing from the Xi'an stand that used to be in the Flushing Food Court, which closed a couple years back. And from what my tastebuds can recall, they made a better version. The broth from the former Xi'an stand was much richer and flavorful than the one I had at this stall. It might seem like I'm panning this noodle (I'm not), but I just can't help comparing the two, and while it's wonderful to have it available for me again, it just didn't live up to the high standards set from my previous experience with this type of noodle. I was actually hoping that you found the same folks who ran the Xi'an stand since I really want to find out where they went, but it wasn't them. Next time I'm around there, I'll probably try one of the other several noodle stands in that food court, which looked just as interesting.

                                            Here's a link to an old post about the Xi'an stand:

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: E Eto

                                              But don't you find that such comparisons with food you once cherished always lets you down? Once it's long enough in years, I often find going to the same exact place will leave one disappointed and I don't think it's necessarily because things are not as good, there is a component of memories being better than reality. It's possible that these noodles had to be clearly better for you to actually prefer them.

                                              1. re: spchang

                                                No, I don't find that to be the case. The soup was clearly better at the old place. If it's something you've had dozens of times, it's not just about a fleeting memory, those flavors really stay with you. I'd say maybe you're on to something if I made that claim based on a couple experiences. But I'll grant that based on this single visit to this new place, maybe I caught them on a day when the soup wasn't as rich as it could be. It's happened at the old Xi'an stand, so I'll allow that possibility. It happens at places like Donovan's for burgers as well, for instance, where about 1 out of 6 visits might not yield a mediocre burger, but if you've had enough experiences with it, you just develop a better sense of taste for it. You point also opens a can of worms especially for any old-school foods, like pizza, which many chowhounds claim used to be better in the past. But you'd argue that they were imagining it, right?

                                                1. re: E Eto

                                                  On my 3 visits, Eric, the soup/broth has not varied so much as the quality and amount of lamb chunks. The first time, there was more lamb, and the meat was very tender and flavorful, perhaps more fat there. The ensuing visits proved to be good, but a little less so. For my money, though, having tried bowls at every stall at least once, this is still my favorite noodle soup in the two malls (J&L, Golden). The noodles themselves have a heartiness, a texture, and even a flavor, that is hard to match. That said, I regret not having sampled the soup at the Xi'an stand.

                                                  1. re: Polecat

                                                    Hey Polecat, thanks for posting about this place. But I concur on the soup issue. Interestingly, when I went to order, before I could even open my mouth, the guy asked "Lamb noodle soup?". I was about to say "No, FANTASTIC BIG FLAT lamb noodle soup." But I just said yes. I guess word must be spreading. Anyway, I thought the noodles were great. But I felt the soup was served way too hot and that it really did lack richness and depth. I'm almost positive the soup was chicken stock that was flavored with lamb meat, but I can't be sure. I've never actually eaten lamb broth, but I would expect some level of richness from it....Things did get better as the dish cooled and the meat and other toppings started to coalesce, but I was overall a bit disappointed. I was expecting hardy and rich. With a soup this oily and mild, it might have been saved with something acidic, like a vinegar condiment or something like that. Overall, I felt compelled to compare it to my ramen exploits over the years. In some ways, this reminded me of Okinawan ramen, which has a light broth, doughy instead of flat noodles, chunks of pork instead of lamb, but a chilli pepper vinegar condiment to kick it up a notch. I was kind of wishing I had that condiment the other day.

                                                    Well, that's not meant as the final word on the place, just my two cents. Anyhow, the next time you're in Tokyo and you're craving fantastic big flat noodles, maybe of the pork variety, check out this place- http://www.chowhound.com/topics/365264 .

                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                      Silverjay, Polecat did say something about using a little of a hot house condiment in his original post. That may make the difference. I'll be finding out for myself on Sunday!

                                                      1. re: prunefeet

                                                        It's an oily chili paste and only adds spiciness, not acidity...When you're there, maybe you can try the lamb dumplings. I don't know how to say in Chinese, but the characters read in Japanese as "lamb meat gyoza". I'd be interested to learn how these are.

                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                          Oh ok. I hear you re acid. About the dumplings, MAN I would love to order them, but I believe someone said you have to order 18 at a time?? Maybe we can do that depending on how many of us there are...

                                                      2. re: Silverjay

                                                        As a matter of fact, SJ, I'll be in Tokyo next month. Thanks for the tip. P.

                                              2. while looking at one of the youtube links for Jian Bing (actually Dan Bing) I saw THIS youtube video of a noodle house in Zhenghzou, Henan. I think I actually went to this place, but was downstairs instead of upstairs...
                                                Anyway, the video rambles on a little, but after the soup dumplings you will see the flat noodle soup. At the very beginning of the video you see (and hear) the name of the restaurant referring to the noodles as "Hui Mian", which was a point of confusing somewhere in this thread when someone thought "Hui" usually meant to stir fry, or at least is something soup-less, but later to realize it's a term used to describe that kind of dish in the northern China....


                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: HLing

                                                  Maybe it's hui 回 ... meaning Muslim?

                                                  The video is amazing to me. Wnen I was in Zhengzhou, the only restaurants were dank cavernous places with damp, dingy walls and forgettable names like "People's Restaurant Number 5" -- though there were a few Muslim food vendors in an alley behind the February 7 monument... lending support to my theory that hui means muslim.

                                                  1. re: Brian S

                                                    That's one hurdle of not reading Chinese, Hui 燴here has the fourth tone, which is a totally different character from Hui 回 with the 2nd tone. With the possibilities of the 4 (+1) tones, not to mention many same tone but different character words, it gets complicated to do this kind of guess work.

                                                    you can see it at the beginning of the video, written 蕭記三鮮燴麵館.

                                                    I don't know when you were in Zhengzhou, but dank and cavernous doesn't come into my mind when i think about it. Zhengzhou is the capitol of Henan province, and has available cuisines from many northern Chinese cultures. Muslim influence IS strong, and in fact the best places like this noodle house are Muslim. BUT, the name Hui Mian here is not the character for Muslim.

                                                  2. re: HLing

                                                    Thanks for the link. Damn, those noodles look good. It makes me want to go all the more. It also kind of drove me crazy watching the guy talking while his noodles were sitting there in the soup - cardinal sin if there ever was one.

                                                    1. re: Polecat

                                                      Was it my imagination, or did the soup dumpling he put in his mouth seemed to burn a bit much? He looked a bit uncomfortable. I would definitely use the spoon in hand technique...

                                                      1. re: HLing

                                                        I didn't notice that he was in any discomfort - guess I'll have to watch it again - but I was surprised to see him swallow it whole, yeah. Not to go off on a whole soup dumpling tangent here, but from what little I know from my SD experiences here in NYC, the fun is in taking a little bite and then sucking out the soup.

                                                        I also took note that he felt it necessary to add flavor to the broth, so I'm wondering - based on my own experiences at the Golden Mall stand plus recent comments posted here - if the broth in the Hui Man soup is supposed to be more subtle, not heavily flavored? I have to agree with some of the above posters that the broth at this stall is the weakest element of the soup, but it does get better as it absorbs the lamb flavor, and is offset by all of the other good stuff crammed into the bowl.

                                                        1. re: Polecat

                                                          Vinegar added to the soup does wonders. Before I started doing that I had the impression that it would make the soup "sour". But once I tried it, and miraculously it made the soup taste fuller and more ..rounder ! I will leave the chemical reaction to the knowledgeable chemists who can explain it far better than me. I just know that the outcome is not what I'd imagined, and I'm very glad for that!

                                                          The northern Chinese places I go to, (for example, my earliest lady (Northen Pasta House, or something like that, who makes boiled dumplings who is now also in the downstair portion of the Golden Mall) often have on the table a bottle of white vinegar with whole garlics soaking in them. When the lamb soup gets too gamey, or when the won ton soup feels a bit bland, a few dash of that vinegar and sometimes the white peppers, round off the flavor and taste magically.

                                                          Same goes for putting those special Chinese black vinegar on boiled dumplings and soup dumplings. You don't need to drown them, but just a few dash enhances without changing the taste. I never put soy sauce on dumplings of any sort any more, especially most soy sauce you get these day are awful flavor killers.

                                                  3. Does anyone know if this lamb noodle shop remains open straight thru the summer? I'm really not sure. They have a *slowly* expanding menu that now includes cold beef shank, lamb dumplings (boiled/steamed or fried), tofu threads, cold beans of some kind, along with a few more items I've forgotten. The menu is very limited regardless. As many here already know, their soup is served VERY hot. Are people eating this stuff when it's 80 plus degrees out?
                                                    I didn't notice any A/C either. Just wondering, so I'll know to revisit during the autumn months.

                                                    1. Ok, I'm resurrecting this very important thread!!

                                                      A group of seven of us, some from CH, went to various places in Flushing over the weekend. Surly was our esteemed guide. We started with the Fantastic Big Flat Noodle Soup and BOY WAS IT GOOD. I have been wanting to try this since your original post, and even so it exceeded my expectations. Nothing needs to be added to your description. Really delicious. In the same mall (Golden Shopping Mall) we had fried dumplings at the Shandong dumpling stall, which were very nice but Surly said they have been better. Really nice texture though, sort of light and crisp. Also had 3 kinds of ro bing at another stall, wow these were good. Surly has described these in depth already, but briefly these are sandwiches made of round, flat bread that has been split and stuffed with chopped up meat of your choice...they have lamb, beef and pork, all really good. The beef had cumin seeds in it, really good. Very oily though. The man running the stall (english speaking I might add) also suggested a soup, so we tried one small serving of that. It was a very tasty broth with firey looking oil floating on top (but not so spicy) and a glob of incredibly soft tofu floating in it...it just about disappeared in your mouth. I detected a bit of rice vinegar in the broth. After this we went to the J&L mall and had really good dan dan noodles, best I have had by far, but I'm not a dan dan expert. Had some bad luck at the Muslim stand, a communication problem with a man who had a bad attitude...didn't like us maybe. We ended up with several ok red bean stuffed steamed buns and two unordered bowls of really nasty smelling lamb offal soup. We are not squeamish about innards in our group, in fact we have some enthusiasts, but all agreed that this was just nasty. I didn't try it, I could not get beyond the bad smell. Not to end on this negative note, we went to the Best Northern Dumpling Shop and had one order of Pork & Suon Cai dumplings...really really good. If we had not been full at this point we probably would tried more. Juicy and delicous. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Surly for his guidance!!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: prunefeet

                                                        Myu friend went there today and said it was closed or gone! Anybody else on this?

                                                        1. re: rschwim

                                                          it was there about two weeks ago. i had the soup when i went it. the noodles and lambnwere amazing but there was a smell i didn't like.

                                                      2. What type of noodles are in that Lamb soup dish? Extra wide Ho Fun? Wheat/rice/bean starch?


                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: antanukai

                                                          And as long as you brought this post up I should add that I'm STILL not sure which stall it is. I'm pretty sure it's the big stall on the ground floor (NOT basement) in the back closest to the public toilets.

                                                          Golden Shopping Mall
                                                          41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                                                          1. re: antanukai

                                                            They are hand made wheat noodles, very irregular which gives them a good chew, thicker in some areas than others. Really great. You've got to try it. Brian, I believe there is a sign with a chef's hat and an arrow...

                                                            1. re: prunefeet

                                                              that sign is long gone. Back in August I went through the whole mall three times looking for that chef's hat. Never found it. But I found Chengdu Heaven.

                                                              1. re: Brian S

                                                                Haven't been to this stall in a while, over a year, but I was also informed that the chef sign is gone. For reference, and to the best of my recollection, the vendor is - as you stated - towards the back, up the steps, and directly across the small hallway from a hairdresser.

                                                                1. re: Polecat

                                                                  And across from the toilet. I just got back from using that toilet, prior to eating in the basement at Chengdu Heaven. After eating I strolled around the basement. It is really hopping! Lots of stalls, some new. There's a stall with food from Xian, TWO with Guizhou chow, other soup places, a hotpot place with two rooms, it definitely merits exploration.

                                                                  1. re: Brian S

                                                                    For future reference, there's also a toilet in the basement floor, between the dumpling stall and the exit.

                                                                    1. re: Joe MacBu

                                                                      Thanks, I saw that as I was leaving last night. It's toward the REAR exit, not the stairs up to Main St, but that exit that goes to 41st Street. There are so many stalls in that mall! I bet some of the people from the now-closed 41-82 will move there, if there's space, though as I posted on another thread, some have set up stalls at 41-40 and 41-42A Main Street.

                                                                    2. re: Brian S

                                                                      Damn, I wish I'd known that the chef's hat was no longer there. My friends and I wandered around for a while looking and really confused by the separate entrances and multiple levels...Ended up in the basement after turning around 3 times.

                                                                      We were tempted by the hot pot stall but ultimately ended up in the large stall in the back of the basement, #15, where we had lamb soup but with more boring noodles (not fresh, not hand made). They also had beef noodle soup. It was good but not revelatory.

                                                            2. I passed by what I believe is this stall last night and it appeared closed. Windows covered with newspapers. Perhaps just closed for a day or two. But if you go and it is still closed, just head for the basement and the fantastic (and not dissimilar) noodles at stall 36. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/497820

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Brian S

                                                                Sad to say that is closed. The fellow who was working at the hair stylist across the way left me the impression that it's closed for good. I was just there a few days ago.

                                                                Keep on smokin',
                                                                Joey Deckle

                                                                1. re: Joey Deckle

                                                                  went here last night and yes, it appears that it's gone for good. no idea where this guy went, but as some of the j & l vendors are back on their feet elsewhere, it might be plausible that this guy is cooking in a different spot, or at least is actively searching for a new space.

                                                                  1. re: surly

                                                                    just found this board, the noodles sound like a little bit of heaven, I'm not in NY so my enjoyment is vicarious....I was wondering, after all the discussions of exactly where a paricular place is if any are investing in a cheap GPS and just passing the coords....hey, it works in Iraq...

                                                                    1. re: skwirm

                                                                      As noted above, this particular vendor has closed. But the mini-shopping center it was part of survives and houses a two-level Chinese food "court" that is (for now) the best on Main Street. (A couple blocks off the main drag is the larger, more Taiwan-oriented Flushing Mall, also worth a visit.)

                                                                      As for GPS, I'm glad to hear something's working in Iraq. Another workable option is a Google map - check out the link below.

                                                                      Golden Shopping Mall
                                                                      41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                                                                      1. re: skwirm

                                                                        Yup! Don't think GPS works well with the subway! (Hmmm, what train gets me to...?!)

                                                                2. When I stopped by with some friends on Saturday, expecting only to show them the former location of "4128 Flat Lamb Noodle," a fellow was sitting on those steps at the back of the Golden Mall. "They're closed," he said, but before I could give a know-it-all reply, he added that they'd moved to 41st Ave., six or seven doors along on the north side of the street.

                                                                  We quickly tracked it down. The dba name on a posting inside the eatery called it Qin's Lamb Noodle; the phone number, on an online city document, matches the number in a Chow post by FarVistas.

                                                                  The lamb noodle soup is the same as before, too:

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: DaveCook

                                                                      I finally found this place! Tried looking for it a few years ago, either it had probably just closed or I was too intimidated to go further into the mall.
                                                                      Glad to see that they have a new clearly marked location. I even printed out the pic of their old yellow sign. I showed it to the owner, he seemed pretty happy and said Thank You. I think he understood my Cantonese alright, when I told him I had searched for his shop in the mall and online.

                                                                      I ordered a small lamb noodle soup ($5). From reading the reviews, I guess I had high expectations. At first (am not too familiar with other regional cuisines), the soup had an off smell, kind of briney, not sure what it was coming from. There was some squirt of a yellow oil in the soup (Anyone know what that is?). The fresh noodle was definitely different (chewier than I expected), but later on, absorbed the flavor from the broth and started tasting really good and satisfyingly starchy. There were fresh tree ear mushrooms, vermicellli noodles, creamy yolk quail (I think) eggs, lotus flower knots, and cilantro floating around the soup. The only thing I didn't like where the chunks of lamb, they seemed to be really tough and overcooked. Are they mainly there just for flavor?

                                                                      The workers seemed pretty nice and the owner told me they moved in a year ago. It's a pretty low budget, simple set-up, made for quick turnover. When I left around 3:30pm, most of the tables were filled up. I would like to try some of their "appetizers" in their deli case: tofu chili dishes, (possibly) pickled vegetables, and they had a basket of white buns on the counter. Anyone have suggestions? (or descriptions of the dishes?)