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NYT has finally discovered Flushing

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/din...

pretty funny, pretty much summarizes most of the major recs, findings, hits, obsessions, threads, etc. for Flushing's chinese food. I can also picture all the threads (and contributors) I've read over the past few years while reading this article; it's almost like seeing your child grow up or something.

the interactive map is pretty cool though, in particular the printable list:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2...

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  1. Interesting. I'm actually more worried then excited about seeing this, but good stuff. They must've found Chowhound in a google search last week... It's funny that Chengdu Heaven is usually skipped or mildly neglected (as occurred with Fuschia Dunlop's trip through Golden Mall) and it is CLEARLY because the owners speak about 6 words of English if they work together as a team and the menu is untranslated and lacks wall pictures. But so long as they stay in business, I'm happy with that.

    1. The interactive map is super slick, with photographs, pronunciation guide, and video clips! I think it might be worth it alone just for the PDF of all 20 items and photographs OF THE STOREFRONTS! Wow, so, so helpful! This would have come in handy last time I was stumbling around for the amazing lamb noodle soup place in 41-28 Main St Golden Shopping Mall, looking for a non-existent chef's hat sign. Just make sure you click on "View 2 Photos" buttons for each.

      Now, I'm wondering how many non-Chinese speakers will be wandering around the Golden Shopping mall this weekend...I am hoping that the vendors are ready for increased attention.

      Disagree that Dunlop neglected Chengdu Heaven -- I think there's a good 3-4 paragraphs devoted to it in her Serious Eats trip. Though I suppose they probably shouldn't have saved it for last. That's the trouble with having a finite amount of stomach space!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        Yeah, pretty much. She seemed very enthusiastic, but they completely neglected the really hearty main course sort of menu in favor of other things. I love the dishes that they ordered, but she would've been wowed by the other menu. I find it hilarious, btw, that Sichuan food in London of the same or lower (usually much lower) quality than Chengdu Heaven would run around 80 dollars for two with smaller portions.

      2. hey this is a good thing, more business = don't go out of business....although i doubt many people from the city are going to trek out to flushing as they're already intimidated by chinatown, which really isn't very intimidating unless you're way into the Fujian area

        ive been or heard of almost every place, except this place on Union St called Yipin Chinee Cuisine...those sesame noodles look awesome...anyone ever been?

        Also, anyone ever tried Happy Beef Noodle? ive been meaning to for a long time, but it hasn't been top of my list, so i havent gone there yet. ive been looking for a good beef noodle place for a long time, the fujian / lanzhou places in the city get the noodles right, but no one can get the broth and the beef right

        Oh one more thing, the korean-chinese dumpling place in the Flushing Mall, in the article, it quickly notes the lady was making naeng myun...anyone ever tried?

        8 Replies
        1. re: Lau

          The Yipin place looked interesting as well, particularly in that they source some of their own specialty ingredients.

          1. re: JFores

            Might I add that the noodle portion is HUGE. Could easily feed two people or one person three times. YumMMy.

          2. re: Lau

            I went to Yipin yesterday to get the sesame noodles ($5) and the thistle dumplings (12 for $4.50!!). Both were delicious. The noodles are handmade and are doused in red pepper sauce and the dumplings are great. I've never tried thistle dumplings, so I'm not sure what I should be tasting, but I gobbled half of them down. Both dishes taste like something that came out of a home kitchen. The dumplings were boiled (I'm not sure if you can ask for them fried), but they were great boiled and she gave me some vinegar and red pepper sauce to bring home.

            1. re: Cygne18

              thanks for the report, will get over the myself next week, and try it out.

            2. re: Lau

              I ate Happy Noodle everyday for one month last year. Their pickle vegetable (the ones you put on top of the noodle) is very good. Their soup base is delicious and very authentic Taiwanese but their noodle quality is iffy, very limp and over cooked. I now frequent the Taiwanese noodle stall in Flushing mall for beef noodle. Same delicious soup base but their noodle is more "al-dente".

              1. re: PaMa

                the hand pulled noodle place that is to the right of the main food court?

                1. re: Lau

                  I think pa ma is talking about Ay Chung, the Taiwanese chain. The hand-pulled noodle place to the right of the food court is not Taiwanese; I think it's another Lanzhou-styled place.

                   
                  1. re: Xiao Yang

                    yeah i thought that place said something about lanzhou hand pulled noodles

                    is that ay chung a real branch or just using the name? those places specialize in those thin noodle ah zhong mian xian (its great if they make it right)

            3. The Times is dying. The home bound elderly can now find out about food in Flushing. I don't see how the map is interactive. While I like the PDF summation it should have been done with google maps so that a bicyclist could plan a route. Very old style journalism. They also should have had a comments area.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Geo8rge

                The map is interactive because you can click on the markers for the various restaurants and get a description of a dish the NYT decided to highlight (along with photos of the dish and an audio pronunciation of the dish's name). There's a comments area at http://community.nytimes.com/article/...

                  1. re: Geo8rge

                    The pdf map that bigjeff linked to is not interactive; it's the map you get when you click on the link under the second picture:

                    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...

                    The area is compact and walkable, no need to bicycle.

                  2. Based on discussions here i've been to Chengdu Heaven 3 times , twice on a wednesday and last night on a tuesday, but each time the male chef has been absent and twice the woman could not make the "main" dishes, e.g. Ma Po Bean Curd. However, the cold dishes we had and the Mai La have been excellent.
                    Anyone else experience this? Suggestions?
                    Has anyone translated the menus at the other stalls in Golden Mall?

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: cervisiam

                        yup-saw your earlier note-trying to get a gauge as whether he is more often not there then there;
                        last night we were told he was sick and Ma Po bean curd would only be available on friday

                    1. I wouldn't mind #12 from that PDF on my training table every morning! A lamb sandwich AND chilled noodles?!?! That's insane in the membrane. I can't believe I never thought of that.....My favorite line was "where 10 or 12 vendors might operate beef cheek by pork jowl". Hmm, can they make dumplings out of those two meats???

                      Anyway, I prefer OB board coverage of the neighborhood, but the interactive map is nice- though in Google would have been better.

                      1. Just a note. The New York Times first wrote about Flushing restaurants in 1995, when Ruth Reichl asked Chinese cookbook author Ken Hom to pick three Chinese restaurants in Flushing, choose what to order, and take her there. She then wrote reviews of three restaurants. Sichuan, Fujianese and Taiwanese. I read and was amazed. I went to all three, even dragged my dad out there. This was my first visit to Flushing.

                        http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                        And despite going just after those reviews appeared, I rarely if ever saw a diner who wasn't from the neighborhood. So you needn't worry that Flushing will be invaded by throngs of tourists.

                        I liked the article because for me here in Oklahoma it's always a thrill to read about Golden Mall.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Brian S

                          Hi Brian, you should've written the article! Has anyone tried these sesame noodles at Yipin? Also, is there any place in Flushing that has wontons with shrimp or chicken inside, and served with a spicy sauce, and not pork inside?

                          Thanks!

                          1. re: janie

                            Thank you, Janie! Actually quite a few people on this board contributed research for this article -- unless it's total coincidence that the Times happened to visit the places we love.

                          2. re: Brian S

                            Agreed, I really doubt the Manhattan masses will go to Flushing in significantly greater numbers than they do now. But who knows, look at what happened to the Ball Fields...

                            1. re: Astoria Lurker

                              ya the comments section that someone posted above is actually pretty cute; there are some real flushing virgins out there who seem genuinely interested in checking out the scene and for sure, it's more than welcome; these stalls can grow to become restaurants or who knows what else?

                          3. Thanks for mentioning this. The map is very helpful!

                            1. Heh... I was heading here to post the same map. Great resource.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: danoots

                                Last time New York Times wrote an article about Spicy and Tasty and their tea smoke duck, they sold out of it on a Thursday night. By the way diddo with Janie, Brian S. would have done a better job with the piece. Flushing rocks!

                                1. re: danoots

                                  Another hound-worthy resource: Chowhound's own restaurant database. It's reasonably up-to-date, and additions, corrections and updates are always welcome. And, unlike most listing sites ("Be the first to review Restaurant X ..."), most of these Places pages link to Chowhound threads, and many link to online menus.

                                  Search options include ZIP code (11354 takes in the heart of Flushing Chinatown; 11355 stretches south of 41st Ave.) ... http://www.chow.com/search?Search.x=2...

                                  Or cuisine, e.g. Taiwanese ... http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

                                  Or you can just open up the search to, say, "Flushing" and "Chinese" ... http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

                                2. The dumpling place in Flushing Mall has great Korean cold noodles --- Technically, it's Chinese Korean cold noodles there because it is Korean noodles but how it's prepared in a certain area in China. Anyway, give it a try. Very vinegary soup and delicious homemade kimchi on top.

                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: Hanachan

                                    Is it a variation of mul naeng myun?

                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      yeah thats what i was asking earlier...i was hoping they have good mul naeng myun...they mention it in passing in the NYT article

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        Is naeng myun a Korean-Chinese dish? I thought it was just a Korean dish -- more N. Korean.

                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          possibly; I've had good ones at Dae Dong (in douglaston and manhattan) and I read somewhere (prob round these parts) that Dae Dong actually has some North Korean influence in their food?

                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                            Perhaps. I don't think I've heard of the Dae Dong/N. Korean connection, but it could be true. I know that N. Korean food has more wheat and noodles and is not as highly spiced as food from the South. As I always preferred noodles to rice growing up, my mom used to say it was the N. Korean in me coming out.

                                            I think what Hanachan is saying (and I may be wrong) is that this dumpling place serves mul naeng myun in a different style than Korea. If so, can you please explain how it differs?

                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                              i believe naeng myun is a north korean dish actually...i believe there are a couple dishes that are common in korean restaurants here that are actually north korean dishes, but people just don't realize it b/c they're fairly common (read an article a long time ago)

                                            2. re: bigjeff

                                              Here's where I heard about the northern connection at Dae Dong ... http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/19/din...

                                              1. re: squid kun

                                                great article! didn't realize they were handmade in each restaurant

                                      2. re: Hanachan

                                        Is that the place upstairs from the main food court?

                                        1. re: Xiao Yang

                                          ya, what many call the "fountain" dumplings . . .yum!

                                          1. re: Xiao Yang

                                            yeah its by all of the retail stores upstairs

                                            1. re: Lau

                                              I stopped into the golden mall Thursday for lunch with outsized hopes of seeing miles of Xian lamb and pork burgers being consumed by happy first timers, the hand pullers of noodles needing breaks due to possible repetitive motion strain as a result of sudden overwork, and Chengdu running out of tissue. Not so, so sad.
                                              What I saw was odd. Photographers, lots of them, they, come, shoot, and leave. They, well the vast majority, ate no food. Maybe an eyeful was enough for ‘em. So sad, not a bite.
                                              I saw the brave few holding the Times open, strangely, to the same page rolling the dice and winning.
                                              Saw several folks come in take a peek, flee.
                                              Heard the Chengdu chef (who was breaking in some new help on the wrong day) chanting to himself, “Dan Dan me, Dan Dan noodle, Dan Dan me, Dan Dan noodle “.
                                              I wish, for the malls’ biggest economic boost, this article had appeared in the fall, not in the middle of a strong prolonged heat wave. I would guess the lack of air conditioning was a factor in some folks’ decision to depart without eating. We have watched one mall close, and on that day a second one was shuttered (the owner posted a note saying that the vendors had not paid their utility bill and a small crowd of stall tenders were showing what looked like a Con Ed readout to a cable station reporter to show they had paid).
                                              Since the chef was in I had the tofu and fish slices, which I recommended to the curious, and, for the first time, pork instead of a lamb burger. Great.

                                              1. re: wew

                                                Thanks, wew,for the update - Which stall did you have the tofu and fish slices, and the pork (burger?), at? Thanks!

                                                1. re: fredid

                                                  Fish and Tofu from Chengdu, and the Pork Burger from Xian

                                        2. I loved the cold sesame noodle at yipin. Unfortunately Ms Shu wasn't there the last few times I stopped in. Without her the noodle dish is average, although I hear they still make a fantastic dumpling. anyone know about Ms. Shu's wherabouts???.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: hee jong jong

                                            ya apparently, new people.

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/597411

                                            if anyone can suss out her whereabouts, I'd put my money on DaveCook.