nanbeihe / gu-xiang / yi-jia / carnation
okay I hit nanbeihe first:
which was great. walked down the block and saw that gu-xiang had a brisk business w/ pre-made takeout like steamed pork buns, various porridges/congees, bings, pickled stuff. it's barely possible to keep up with all that is happening in flushing these days; tons of cantonese seafood places, turnover at the food courts, turnover on 41st. crazy. laifood was totally empty on a saturday afternoon and taipan was overrun with people late for their moon cake orders.
went home, and then met up with my parents and their friends for dinner; they chose yi-jia, which I've never heard of but is sandwiched by some korean bars across from gold city supermarket on kissena, near holly. it's a taiwanese joint, but they also have a full menu. order from the 'TASTY ENTREE' section; it's all the greatest hits of taiwanese food and all absolutely delicious. I arrived late so they were actually finished, but there was plenty of food on the table so I cleaned up. we had:
+ 3-cup chicken
+ fried oysters
+ kidneys w/ scallion
+ duck blood w/ scallion
+ A-cai vegetable, like braised romaine, sorta.
+ squash and bean curd
they also have on the menu the stinky tofu, oyster omelette, boiled intestine's, egg omelet with radish (so old school), and all manner of other yummies. the food was absolutely delicious; really! everyone watched me eat up this food w/ two bowls of rice and it was great. the chicken was really dark and flavorful; the fried ginger, garlic, the basil and bone on flavorful chicken, not to mention the thick goop of a sauce. the fried oysters were cold when I got there but they beat any fried oyster from mary's or pearl's. served w/ a bowl of peppercorn-scented coarse salt, the small oysters were dipped in a light batter and just quickly fried. irregular, delicious, amazing. the kidney and duck blood were ok, I liked the kidney a lot better with its crispy texture, the duck blood was sorta lifeless; I was expecting pig's blood cakes instead. the vegetables were great, the squash is the snake-squash (sometimes called loofah) and the greens were pretty unique.
the house was packed because of mid-summer autumn festival; the upstairs had all 9 tables full and a singer on the keyboard, while the downstairs area was full and had to keep turning people away. upstairs was real banquet style with all manner of platters going out; we were just having the equivalent of supper w/ our taiwanese food. amazing.
and, afterwards, in the Gold City Supermarket plaza, there is a place on that block called Carnation Bakery and they have the most enormous chinese baked goods ever. and not just big bread and skimpy on the fillings, but proportionately monstrous suan-cai-bao, the oblong brioche slit and slathered w/ mayo, topped with a serious amount of suan-cai and then plenty of crushed peanuts. insane. and they also had the buo-luo-bao (coconut bun) cut in half, mayo and cuke and lettuce, and a chicken cutlet. for serious. both for $2.20. insane. I didn't eat these yet but I'll save them for tomorrow. crazy.
that little plaza is worth paying attention to; it's right next to East Manor Pavilion II or whatever, there is a malaysian place called Satay that was absolutely packed; and yi-jia is sandwiched by all these korean hofs so those should make for good eats. oh, and yi-jia also had on their menu the same breakfast stuff