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King 5 Noodle - its good

  • l

woke up kind of early this morning, got on the LIRR with my gf and we ate in flushing at King 5 Noodle for breakfast / lunch...i've been meaning to try this place for a long time and bottom line I thought it was good and i'd definately go back. It was packed, every table was filled and there was a wait although we got lucky and right when we walked in a table for 2 popped up. Everything is really cheap (most expensive thing was $6), so we just ordered way too much food so we could try alot of stuff:
- hong shao niu mian (braised beef noodle stew) - this was good although i prefer mine alot more spicy. The meat was what I have been looking for in manhattan chinatown to no avail...it was tender and had good flavor and no "stops" (ie stuff you cant bite through). The soup was good, not too salty although it couldve been more spicy and the noodles were semi thick egg noodles (not as thin as say super taste, but not those really thick broad noodles either), i dont think they were homemade, but they were chewy and tasted good
- xian dou jiang (salty soy bean milk) - this was great, they don't put enough hot oil or vinegar in it, but thats okay b/c you can just do it yourself. The quality of the soy bean milk was excellent (i've been eating china fun all the time and almost forgot what it should taste like), it had good flavor, smooth and wasn't chalky at all; they included the standard pork sung and suan cai plus some cut pieces of you tiao....my favorite dish of the day
- shao bing (sesame bread) - very good and i think they make it there, didn't taste re-heated, wsa good and flaky and had alot of sesame seeds all over it
- tian dou jiang (sweet soy bean milk) - same as above, great quality soy bean milk and almost as important they didn't make it too sweet (i hate when it super sweet)...very very good
- huang gua (cold cucumbers) - nice fresh cucumbers marinated in the vinegar stuff with some hot chilis, accompanies the meal nicely (if you've never had this, think the cucumbers they give you in korean restaurants as pan chan)
- niu rou bao bing (beef wrapped in scallion pancake) - pretty good although not up to par with the "beef roll" thats all the rage in LA (there is a shan dong place in LA called 101 Noodle Express that is famous for it....google it and you'll find pics of it)...its basically a scallion pancake layered with beef, hoisin sauce and cucumbers (in LA they put cilantro instead of cucumbers). I liked it and would order it again, but the bar was sent kind of high in my own mind, but again it was good and if you go here you should order this

We also picked up some dou hua from that flower store guy on Prince, very good, nice tofu and i love that they give you the ginger sugar syrup as i think the ginger taste goes great....Also picked up 50 frozen dumplings from White Bear for $10; White Bear is awesome and has great shan dong style dumplings, highly recommend

Also, Waterfront Int'l is gone now!...unfortunate b/c i've been meaning to try it and in fact was planning on going to it in 2 weeks with some friends...oh well; that said the restaurant that replaced it was pretty packed

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  1. Hard to disagree about King 5. My wife and I hit the now defunct Elmhurst location, as well as the Prince Street branch, quite a few times. I'm also partial to the shiny tile decor. Feels like I'm eating in a really nice subway station. Admittedly, I like the rich, dense taste of the stewed beef noodle soup so much, that I haven't had the chance to try the other items you (and previous posters) mentioned.

    I ate at the Restaurant Previously Known As Waterfront International (RPKAWI) a few weeks back. It's a mite confusing, as they still have an old NY Times review for Waterfront in the window, but a great many of the menu items that I've read about on this board are gone. It's still a pretty unique selection compared to most other Flushing venues, though.

    Got an address for White Bear and the flower store guy/tofu place?
    P.

    19 Replies
    1. re: Polecat

      White Bear is on Prince right next to the defunct Waterfront, it is easy to miss b/c its so small (maybe 2-3 tables)

      The flower store/tofu store is on 39th bet prince and main, if you're walking towards main then its on the right side of the street, its the only flower store, you cant miss it

      1. re: Lau

        "White Bear is on Prince right next to the defunct Waterfront..."

        Ah, yes, I know the place. I'll grab some to go next time. Thanks for the info.
        P.

        1. re: Polecat

          btw the frozen dumplings are good, i fried them up for dinner...50 for $10, well worth it

          1. re: Lau

            Hi Lau,

            I picked up a bag today. Do you fry them frozen? Boil then fry or defrost then fry? :-)

            1. re: CHtongueEEK

              i defrost and then fry

              eat them with hot oil and some soy sauce

              1. re: Lau

                Thanks... I will give it a try tonight :-) I (obviously) went to White Bear and tried to order the dumplings. They steered me towards the wontons that have been described and discussed on the boards. I guess this "steer" is a common practice here. OMG they were so good that I have not stopped thinking about them. I think I will have to make the drive again tomorrow :-)

                -----
                White Bear
                135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                1. re: CHtongueEEK

                  well their dumplings are actually wontons

                2. re: Lau

                  Cooking tips
                  Frozen dumplings can be prepared three different ways: searing, boiling or steaming. They can all be prepared on stove top. Remember, don't defrost them before cooking.

                  SEARED DUMPLINGS
                  You'll need a 10 inch or bigger non-stick pan, with a lid that can cover the pan entirely.

                  1. Heat the pan on medium heat for a minute, add 3 to 5 tablespoons of any type of cooking oil.

                  2. Before the oil starts smoking, lay the frozen dumpling on the pan. Pour cold water to about inch high in the pan. The water should be about the half the height of the dumplings.

                  3. When the water comes to a boil, put the lid on. Maintain medium heat. Let the dumplings simmer in the covered pan, checking every couple of minutes. Shift the pan a few times so the dumplings are evenly heated. Cook until the liquid is almost gone. Leave the dumplings standing, so you can achieve the desired browning on the bottom and softer texture on top.

                  4. If you like them extra crispy, prepare 5 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of any vinegar. Add this mixture right before the liquid in the pan is almost gone. Close the lid and cook till the liquid is completely evaporated. The dumplings are now ready to serve.

                  BOILED DUMPLINGS
                  You'll need a good size pot, the kind you would use to boil pasta. This way your dumplings won't be too crowded in the boiling process.

                  1. Add water to pot till it's half full, bring to a boil on high heat, and then add the dumplings. Do not defrost.

                  2. Immediately stir the dumplings, so they don't stick to the bottom. The heat stays on high throughout.

                  3. Once the water is boiling again, add 1 1/2 cup of cold water, bring it to a boil.

                  4. Add another 1 1/2 cup of cold water, bring it to a boil. Your dumpling is perfectly boiled now.

                  STEAMED DUMPLINGS
                  You'll need a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer and a wok.

                  1. Bring 3 cups of water in the wok on high heat to a boil.

                  2. Brush some cooking oil on the steamer surface to prevent sticking. Lay the frozen dumplings on the steamer.

                  3. Put the steamer with the lid on the wok, over the boiling water. Keep on high heat, and steam for 8 minutes. Your dumplings are now ready.

                  DUMPLING SAUCE
                  Many customers want to know how to make a simple dumpling sauce at home. Here is a basic recipe:

                  • Use a half cup of water and a half cup of soy sauce.This is the base.

                  • Mix in one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of vinegar (any kind, be creative -- you can even try lime juice).

                  • Add one tablespoon of good sesame oil. If you have fresh ginger at home, add some to taste.

                  1. re: CHtongueEEK

                    thanks, good tip at the end on the sauce, the 1:1 ratio of soy sauce to water is key when it comes to a good sauce. finely minced garlic is always good as well.

                    regarding the pan-fry, I use the technique at the end as well to add some liquid with starch but never added vinegar before. and usually just use cornstarch instead of regular flour, it usually fries up to a finer "lace" with which to hold the dumplings together.

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      I tried the "seared" method and what a mess! Oil went splattering everywhere. They were delicious though :-) I think tonight I will try to either boil or steam and then fry.

                3. re: CHtongueEEK

                  But not to say you can't fry them frozen, which is what I do, throwing in a half cup of water.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    The Wei Chuan brand (I'm partial to them, Taiwan connection) instructions tell you to fry from frozen and they come out perfectly.

            2. re: Lau

              "...The flower store/tofu store is on 39th bet prince and main, if you're walking towards main then its on the right side of the street, its the only flower store, you cant miss it.."

              Lau and Polecat, I'm pretty sure Soybean Chan (the flower.soy store) is on Roosevelt between Prince and Main (not on 39th) !! Don't forget to pick up a bag of fish balls, too!

              1. re: HLing

                Yes it's on Roosevelt not far from that dessert cafe you have recommended.

                1. re: Brian S

                  my fault i wrote that quickly...you're right

                  1. re: Brian S

                    Anyone been to the cafe lately? Last time i was at Vanilla cafe I wasn't able to get the pineapple cake, and also sensed a somewhat changed management. I hope it was just an off day...but then I think while it was a refreshing change when they first opened, over time, they may have had to bow down to what's the norm around there, which would be sad. ..

                    1. re: HLing

                      I haven't been there lately because I discovered a place on Main St just south of the subway that sells Japanese-style cream puffs from an outdoor stand.

              2. re: Polecat

                Maybe the Elmhurst location is not so defunct after all. Walking down Broadway just two weeks ago, I snapped the first picture below; today, I took the second.

                 
                 
                1. re: DaveCook

                  What's fascinating there is that the Chinese name is the same in both pictures.

              3. I passed by Waterfront the Tuesday after Labor Day, on the way to another restaurant, and saw that the name on the awning had been changed to Fu Run. Same old Times review in the window, as Polecat notes, and same owners and chef as before, according to the hostess, who added that they simply changed their name. I noted that the crispy lamb with chili pepper and cumin was still on the menu, but I didn't look further.

                King 5: This is the Taiwanese restaurant catty-corner from Lu's Seafood, a.k.a. 66? Is the address 39-07 Prince St.?

                -----
                Fu Run
                40-09 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                 
                 
                12 Replies
                1. re: DaveCook

                  yeah its taiwanese, close to lu's and that is the address

                  1. re: Lau

                    Thanks; I'll a link to the address and hope to try it soon.

                    -----
                    King 5 Noodle House [DUPLICATE]
                    3907 Prince St, Queens, NY

                    1. re: DaveCook

                      Just note that half the restaurants in Flushing have that address. Spicy & Tasty, Sentosa and King 5. We once had a guy who went off to try Spicy & Tasty and had a great meal... but from what he ate, it was apparent he ate at King 5 Noodle.

                      So the one in Elmhurst is closed? That's a shame.

                      1. re: Brian S

                        Thanks for the clarification, Brian. I'd thought we were discussing the Taiwanese restaurant on the corner, diagonally opposite the Taiwanese restaurant called Lu's. In fact, we've been talking about the restaurant just to the left of Spicy and Tasty, as shown below.

                         
                         
                        1. re: DaveCook

                          For the record, the place on that corner is called Sunshine. From what I hear, they serve Dim Sum into the wee hours. Or they're just plain open late. Either or, or both.
                          P.

                          1. re: Polecat

                            It's actually called Sunway. And they open til 3:30am daily and yes, they do "steam-to-order" dimsum, no carts.

                            1. re: moymoy

                              Right you are, thanks. Sunway. P.

                        2. re: Brian S

                          The one in Elmhurst has become a Halal Chinese restaurant.

                          1. re: Woodside Al

                            its not a chinese islamic restaurant is it? i've been meaning to try one of those forever (in LA), but i wasn't aware of any in NY

                            1. re: Woodside Al

                              It's not Halal anymore - and the lamb dumplings they have on the menu - they're always out of them. The waiter looked surprised when we asked for them, as if she never heard of them, though they're still on the menu.

                            2. re: Brian S

                              I'm the guy who went to King 5 instead of S & T. I think S & T is much better, but I really enjoyed my King 5 adventure. I've been having breakfast at Chao Zhou, on Main St. across from Starbucks, but maybe I'll branch out and try some soup at King 5.

                              1. re: LloydG

                                to be fair S&T is an entirely different type of food (sichuan vs taiwan)

                      2. King 5 is my favorite Taiwanese breakfast restaurant. Next time you go, you should try

                        niu rou jia bing or 牛肉夾餅(beef with sesame cake) - beef inside shao bing. i prefer it over the niu ro bao bing.
                        xian fan tuan or 鹹飯團 (salty rice roll) - sticky rice with fried dough (you tiao), dried pork and dry radish. i always get the salty version, but there is a sweet one too.
                        xue cai rou si mian or 雪菜肉絲麵(soup noodles with green cabbage and pork)- green cabbage (it's salty and perhaps pickled?) with shredded pork. the cabbage is fresh and it's delicious. i love their noodles too. always nice and chewy.
                        san ping or 三拼 - cold dish with seaweed, dried bean curd and marinated egg (lu dan). it's a good appetizer.

                        As for White Bear. I'd also recommend the Shanghainese wontons. They are very tasty.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: teresa

                          oh i knew i forgot to order something...i wanted to get the xian fan tuan

                          looks like ill need to go bck soon

                          1. re: Lau

                            Since you'll be going there...my favorite item at King 5 is their fried porkchops. It's always fresh & has this delicious aromatic, tangy-Worsterchirey sauce...yums!

                        2. Just wanted to mention that the “King 5 Noodle” restaurant has evolved in these several intervening years since the 2007 date of this posting by “Lau.” “King 5 Noodle” recently merged with the long time Taiwan restaurant that closed on 40th Road that served 3 dishes and a soup for a set price.

                          “King 5 Noodle” now serves the original Taiwan breakfast items and noodle dishes, and in addition offers 3 dishes and soup for a set price of about $22, and for now the restaurant also provides diners who order the 3 dishes and soup, a free order of XLB's (a $6 value). This promotion is only good on weekdays (lunch and dinner), and it is not clear how long this promotion will continue. There are also “A la carte” dishes separate from the 3 dish selections.

                          We have been there several times now, and usually order their value 3 dish set. There are over 40 plus dishes to select from and most of the dishes that we had ordered had fresh ingredients and were reasonable tasty for the price paid, and while the XLBs are not as good as the XLB's at the "Nan Xiang" one block north on Prince Street (thicker skins, broth not quite as tasty nor as much, but with greater amount of meat inside and there are 8 XLBs versus only 6 XLBs at Nan Xiang), they are acceptable, especially when they are free. And the XLB’s come quite quickly compared to the very long wait at “Nan Xiang.”

                          We ordered a slice fish dish, which was surprisingly good that was lightly battered and covered with tiny bits of fried garlic and a few spicy red pepper bits. There was also a shredded pork with dried tofu dish that was a little too wet, but still okay, and a beef with soft tofu casserole dish with a brown gravy that was good. Along with the free XLB dish, the four total dishes were more than enough for two people with leftovers to bring back home. We would guess that the three dishes plus the XLBs could easily feed three hardly eaters or four light eaters, all for the low price of $22 (not including tax and tip; and cash only of course).

                          Another time we ordered the seafood Squid, Scallop, and Shrimp dish, but the dish was not very good with hardly any taste (and small number of Bay scallops). But this was our own fault, since we should have known that it would be unlikely that the restaurant could afford fresh and good expensive seafood ingredients charging only $7 per dish. And while there will certainly be other bad dishes on the menu selection for the 3 dish sets, there will be good dishes like the sliced fish dish also. If one decides to try this restaurant, our recommendation is not to choose dishes that require overly expensive ingredients, although the sliced fish dish was pretty good.

                          While the dishes at King 5 Noodle could not compare to the dishes at the better and more expensive restaurants in the Flushing Chinatown, it is a good inexpensive value choice, especially during the free XLB promotion, for those living in the nearby areas of northeast Queens who routinely come to Flushing Chinatown and are not in the mood to drop $30 to $40 plus per person that day.

                          On weekends, there are actually lines waiting for tables at this inexpensive restaurant.

                          Although the media and the market are proclaiming the end of the recession, the recession still must be taking a toll on diners for there to be lines at "King 5 Noodle."

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: lwong

                            well i think that the owners of king 5 (which now has no english name and i believe is just called niu rou mian in chinese aka beef noodle soup) owned nan bei he and then closed it and merged them...they are / were both known for their breakfast

                            i haven't really tried much there outside of their breakfast and niu rou mian

                            1. re: Lau

                              It was sort of strange to hear that the two restaurants had merged, which is not a typical arrangement even for “anything goes” Chinatown restaurants, but your clarification of the ownership situation certainly explains it.

                              Thanks for the info.

                            2. re: lwong

                              They have this cold sliced tofu dish in their refrigerator case which is fantastic. It has the texture of egg white and I haven't run into it anywhere else.

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                Thanks for the information about the cold sliced tofu.

                                From your description of the tofu, it would be the silky style of tofu that has been made even silkier and smoother. Can this tofu still be picked up with chopsticks? If so, this is not an easy tofu recipe to pull off.

                                We will definitely try the cold tofu dish the next time we are at the restaurant with no English name, aka “King 5 Noodle,”

                                1. re: lwong

                                  Well to be a little more precise, it's cold pressed tofu, similar in concept to the dish you see at Taiwanese restaurants with a bit of a dark "crust" (not really, but that's the closest analogy I can think of). However while the concept is similar, the presentation is very different at King 5.

                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                    that is called dou gan although as you know dou gan isn't all that soft...i wonder what this is b/c i cant think of something that matches that description off the top of my head

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      ohhhhh i think i know what this is, is it topped with anything?

                                      there is this dish that they usually serve with pidan (thousand year old egg) and the tofu is very soft and cold with a texture that is different than most tofu's, here's a pic of it at Noodle King in LA (Chandavkl - you might have been here before since u live in LA); they serve it at A&J's too (although I usually eat the A&J's in Irvine when I'm home)
                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/6gTRpc...

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        No. The dish is in its prepared state in the refrigerator case, presumably covered in saran wrap. In concept it's like what is sometimes called savory baked tofu in the stores, but whereas the store bought version is coarse and a little dark on the inside, this is smooth and whiteish.

                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                          hmm interesting, im very curious to go try this