Hunan in North Flushing
I have noticed a couple of new Hunan Restaurant in north flushing particularly the one on Northern Blvd between Main and Union near the Police Station. If anyone has been, can they give me a run down on their experience and also what dishes would you recommend?
Also on a side note. if anyone can recommend the best "Northeast China" place and dishes you would order, that would be great. Thank you.
Would be interested too, if this is real Hunan food it would be a real find, since pickings are rather slim (basically limited to "Chairman Mao's cooking" dishes on the Grand Sichuan menus in my experience). Can't speak to Dongbei restaurants unfortunately but hope s/o will pitch in.
I've seen it too. had lunch there once, it was empty. Th menu didn't seem to be anything unique. They did have the Chairman specials though.
I ate there yesterday. It is indeed unique, plenty of Hunan-style offerings. I can't say for sure, since I'm not familiar with the cuisine, but my waiter pointed out that the Hunan customers at the restaurant eat a lot of chili peppers. The menu has some Sichuan offerings, but plenty of stuff labeled "in Hunan Style."
I tried two dishes; the first was House Special Chow Fun, which was similar to dan dan noodles, and was basically thin, al dente white noodles sitting atop a relatively spicy sauce (no Sichuan peppercorns) and topped with roasted peanuts, a mass of cilantro, and slices of oxtail tongue. It was good, but not over the top great. The next dish was called "Mashed peppers with tofu" and it was excellent, had this fancy presentation and well, it just rocked. Basically thin slices of pressed, smoked tofu topped with a spectacular relish of warm chopped chili peppers. The dish was set in an "au jus" gravy of sorts.
Being such a nice day, I decided to walk south down Main Street until I got tired of doing so, which basically happened at the Long Island Expressway. A block north of there, I picked up a cold milk tea from a (possibly Taiwanese) bakery. Strong, not too sweet--it was wonderful and really hit the spot. There looks to be some great food to be had south of downtown Flushing.
137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354
I found this page online, somehow, using google maps.
There is a video of the restaurant (I recognize the place) and in the video, about 40 seconds in, I think I saw a fish head.
I also translated the page on google translator, and here is an excerpt: "The restaurant is known for authentic Hunan dishes, in particular, invited more than 20 years of experience in the master chef. 湘水山庄有各色招牌菜，剁椒蒸鱼头、竹筒蒸排骨、毛家红烧肉、香辣蟹、活水鱼等等。 Villa have a variety of signs湘水vegetables,剁椒蒸鱼head, bamboo steamed ribs, Mao红烧肉,香辣蟹, flowing water fish."
I'd guess that "剁椒蒸鱼head" is fish head.
I had the fish head last night (it also seemed to be on almost every table). I found it to be delicious. Big chunks of steamed fish skull with very tender flesh, topped with a ton of chopped pickled chilis ($18). I also enjoyed a cold appetizer of tongue and tripe marinated in lots of garlic and ginger. I didn't care for Mao's braised pork belly (cuz I make it better myself) and the sour beans with pork didn't seem as good as Little Pepper's pickled cowpeas with pork.
I'll be returning after I brush up a bit on the cuisine. The prices are a little bit higher than other Chinese restaurants in the area but I think it is reflected in the quality of the ingredients. It's been open for 3 months and is a great addition to the Flushing chow repertoire.
It's all pickled red chili peppers, no green from what I recall.
For anyone interested in ordering it, take note that the fish head is listed along with whole fish on the same item line (it's $18.95). If you just point to the item, they will assume (unless you are Chinese) that you want the whole fish. You must specify fish head if that's what you want (I pointed to my head).
I want to thank everyone in this thread who recommended this place, and particularly thank PAL for posting that Sinovision link.
I was part of a party of 3 tonight. The food was excellent. We had the following:
Chicken Feet in Wine Sauce (cold dish)
Tree Fungus in Vinegar Sauce (cold dish)
Hunan-Style Sliced Fish (under the "Special Recommand" menu, I believe)
Lamb with Chili Sauce
Pickled with Chinese Mustard
The chicken feet, in Xiaoxing wine with whole red peppers, tasted good but were white chicken feet, which are kind of overly hard to eat.
The tree fungus was delicious.
The fried rice was very tasty, unusually so.
The fish was brilliant, and really had what I'd think of in Indian-like terms as a masala - a delicious spice mixture, including ground cumin, which made it taste like a Hunanese-style curry, or almost. It was accompanied by good steamed bok choy.
The lamb was also lovely, not as chili-oil-laden as I was expecting, and included large amounts of cilantro.
The vegetable dish was just as good, if not better, more green-tasting than pickled tasting, with a bunch of fairly finely-chopped green vegetables pressed together with mustard greens and slices of dried chilis. It was steamed and, therefore, blessedly unfatty.
Regardless of menu spiciness designations, everything except for the tree fungus was spicy, with the lamb 2nd-least spicy.
I definitely plan on going back and having other menu items. Everything we saw there looked and smelled great.
We found the place inexpensive. The bill was just over $60 before tip.
Erica, Luther above says it is called Hunan House - not sure if that is what they are calling themselves in English or not. Their Chinese name is, as he says:
湘水山庄 (Xiang Shui Shan Zhuang)
(湘 - Xiang is another name for Hunan. 水山 - Shui Shan can mean water and mountains and 庄 Zhuang means place of business.)
The owners are from Taiwan and also have some Yunnan dishes as well I think.
Thanks! I love that dish so much at Fu Run that I sometimes stop in for a takeout order after eating someplace else..so now will put Hunan House on my list..
I did not realize that this ares is called north Flushing..it sounds as if it is within a couple of blocks of the core eating area since it is just off Main Street...
We ate there for the first time this afternoon and, despite the looooong subway haul from Bklyn, will be going there often. The food is excellent and plated attractively on nice dishes. The room is very pleasantly decorated and our waiter was very charming and spoke excellent English.
Hunan pickled cabbage - similar to but spicier (with star anise, Sichuan peppercorn notes) than Sichuan versions I've had, also a little sweeter. Crisp, bitey, and delicious.
Soft tofu with scallion sauce - very nice counterpoint to the spicier dishes, dressed in a sauce of what appears to be pureed scallion with sesame oil.
Sliced fish in spicy sauce - plated attractively with three pieces of Shanghai vegetable on each end, small flat pieces of fish that had been fried and tossed in a very spicy and delicious sauce with dry hot red pepper, Sichuan pepper, and cumin. Stellar. This is one of the recommended dishes on the menu with good reason.
Green vegetable (kong xin cai, water spinach) in spicy sauce - only the stems were used, cut into .5 cm lengths, sauteed with dry hot red pepper and small pieces of green chili. Also wonderful - and the first time I've had this veg treated this way.
Bean sheet with pickled veg, hot pepper, and ground pork - we were expecting doufu pi, tofu skin, but were not disappointed to receive a dish of wide flat mung bean noodles, semi-transparent, dressed in a very spicy sauce.
Steamed spareribs in bamboo - good-sized morses of spareibs streamed in a bamboo container in a spicy red-cooked type of sauce. Fantastic.
Several of these dishes are shown in the Sinovision ad.
The only thing I wish they had but do not is Hunan honey ham, which is a dry ham steamed in a sweet sauce and (when we had it at the Taoran Ting in Taipei many years ago at least) served with steamed white bread with which you make little sandwiches. Excellent foil to the spicy stuff.
Next time I want to try a dish with "white chili" which I've never heard of but our waiter described as rare and specially imported from Hunan, and to seek out one less spicy dish for contrast.
I can't recommend this place highly enough.
Buttertart AKA Hong La Jiao
Thanks to all for this great find! Stopped in yesterday and had the following:
Pickled Cabbage Hunan Style - cold, hot & crunchy (did not taste star anise though!)
Cucumbers with Scallion Sauce
Steamed Mashed Peppers with Tofu - PAL said it best above.
Shredded Duck with Fresh Ginger
Stir Fried Smoky Pork with Green Leeks
Sauteed Spinach with Ginger Sauce
Special Chow Fun, Hunan Style - just like PAL said.
Enjoyed them all. The smoked pork was very tasty. The deep smokey taste of the meat goes very well with the leek, which retains a bit of a crunch and that in turn offsets the soft, juicy pork quite well. The Shredded Duck with Fresh Ginger was excellent. I could have used more ginger but then again I could always use more ginger. Definitely will be back. Oh - the owners (Mr. Li and his sister) are from Hunan, not Taiwan as I stated earlier.
Finally I went last night.
After looking for Hunan Fish Head o this board and throughout the city for the pass 2 years I had it last night. Was really very good. A mix of red and green mashed peppers on top with the fish sitting in about an inch of reddish broth. Not nearly as spicy as I've had in China but it was hot enough for the girlfriend. My only complaint is that the cut up the fish head. I was told it's because the fish cooks more evenly, but I like it whole so I can methodically work my way up saving the best parts for last. I didn't see much of the face, and the jaw is the best part, perhaps it was cut in 2 and I didn't know I had it. Regardless the meat was delicious, and there was plenty of the fatty jiggly gil meat to go around. Super fresh, authentic and very very satisfying.
Also had the shell on shrimp which are listed in the casserole section which is strange because theyre served on a stick. This is my other fav Hunan dish and it was done very well. Good size shrimp came on sticks with a cumin / chili paste on top. Also not as hot as I'm used to but I'm sure next time I could ask them to ramp it up. Shrimp was cooked just right so that I could eat the shells, though I know not everyone likes that.
The only other dish was some fresh baby snow pea sprouts, prepared with garlic as in any other place, very fresh and tasty.
Might not sound like it but that's alot of food for 2 people, plus I had asked them to put some noodles in the fish head broth after, savor it!! Allen, who's in that commercial came over for a chat and mentioned I was the second Laowai to come in asking for fish head and that the first guy (someone here?) had mentioned chowhound.
We chatted a bit about china and I did my best to drop a few words in mandarin to feel like a cool kid. They've only been open 4 months, I'm ready to head back anytime hopefully with more people so we can check out the menu. I'd reall like to try some of the mushroom dishes, the lamb, and the sliced fish soup. So glad this place is here.
I'd like to share with everyone a photo set from my recent trip back to China. I go to Yancheng, a city in Jiangsu nowhere near Hunan so some of these dishes may be regional or at least regional adaptations. Nevertheless the reason to go is for the fish head.
Had the fish head at Hunan House and it was good, but would be SO much better if the just splayed and served it whole like this. It's much harder to eat the way the do it. Anyway hope you enjoy.
hmm i dont think ive ever had / seen that dish before even when i went to chengdu...looks delicious though
In fact I dont really remember seeing yellow fish anywhere in sichuan, so maybe it could be a take on a jiangsu dish? since jiangsu is close to shanghai and shanghainese food definitely uses yellowfish
I'll add the House Specials here from an earlier thread:
最新推出 (Zui Xin Tui Chu)
1.) 湘山老媽夫子肉 (Xiang Shan Lao Ma Fu Zi Rou) $14.95
“Hunan House Old Master Fuzi Meat Dish”
Steamed Pork with Rice Powder
2.) 油淋醬板鴨 (You Lin Jiang Ban Ya) $21.95
Lean Dry Duck with Soya Bean Paste
3.) 蘿蔔干白椒臘鴨 (Luo Bo Gan Bai Jiao La Ya) $17.95
White Pepper Smoked Duck with Dried Turnips
4.) 蘿蔔干白椒臘雞 (Luo Bo Gan Bai Jiao La Ji) $16.95
White Pepper Roasted Chicken with Turnips
5.) 空心根炒河蝦 (小魚干) (Kong Xin Gen Chao He Xia) $10.95
Water Spinach Roots with Baby Shrimp and
Fermented Black Beans
6.) 湘水雞 (Xiang Shui Ji) $12.95
Hunan House Hunan Style Roast Chicken
7.) 香味滷豬耳 (Xiang Wei Lu Zhu Er) $12.95
Fragrant Pig Ears in Aromatic Sauce
8.) 小炒螺片 (Xiao Chai Luo Pian) $14.95
Lightly Stir Fried Pieces of Conch with Vegetables
9.) 爆炒游水魚肚 (Bao Chao You Shui Yu Du ) $14.95
Flash Fried Fish Stomach
10.) 干炸土泥鰽 (Gan Zha Tu Ni Qiu) $12.95
Dry Fried Loach
11.) 家常小炒鴨舌 (Jia Chang Xiao Chao Ya Shi) $18.95
Lightly Stir Fried Homestyle Duck Tongue
12.) 冬筍牛肉絲 (Dong Sun Niu Rou Si) $14.95
Shredded Winter Bamboo Shoots with Beef
(Seasonal – only available in the spring)
13.) 小炒豬香皮 (Xiao Chao Zhu Xiang Pi) $9.95
Lightly Stir Fried Pig Skin
14.) 香辣蹄花 (Xiang La Ti Hua) $9.95
Spicy Fragrant Pig Trotters
15.) 洞庭火爆田雞 (Dong Ting Huo Bao Tian Ji) $19.95
Flash Fried Lake Dongting Frog
These additional five House Specials are listed on the wall:
A) 清淡大盤菜花 (Qing Dan Da Pan Hua Cai) $8.95
Large Plate of Lightly Stir Fried Cauliflower
B.) 瀏陽黑豆豉牛角椒 (Liuyang Heidouchi Niujiaojiao) $8.95
Liu Yang City Green Chili Peppers in Black Bean Sauce
C.) 衡州府滑豆腐 (Heng Zhou Fu Hua Dou Fu ) $8.95
Hengzhou City Silken Tofu – Men Style Stewing*
D.) 美極筍殼魚燜白豆腐 $28.95
(Mei Ji Sun Ke Yu Men Bai Dou Fu)
Beautiful Sand Goby Fish with Tofu – Men style stewing.
E.) 蒜苔炒臘肉 (Suan Tai Chao La Rou) $13.95
Stir Fried Smoked Pork with Garlic Sprouts
* Hengzhou is the ancient name for Hengyang. Men or 燜 style cooking is food that is quickly blanched in a small amount of oil. Stock is then added and the dish simmers until done.
Stopped in over the weekend and sampled five of their house specials. Here’s a quick rundown in order of preference:
Liu Yang City Green Chili Peppers in Black Bean Sauce
瀏陽黑豆豉牛角椒 (Liuyang Heidouchi Niujiaojiao)
These looked like Anaheim Green Chili Peppers. Absolutely divine! Together with the black beans and sauce they were quickly seared. Right out of the kitchen they were not that spicy but as the meal wore on their mild heat snuck up on me. The overall winner of the five dishes.
Large Plate of Lightly Stir Fried Cauliflower
清淡大盤菜花 (Qing Dan Da Pan Hua Cai)
Heaping portion of wonderfully light cauliflower, dried red chili peppers, scallions and crunchy pieces of bacon. Good balance to this dish.
Lean Dry Duck with Soya Bean Paste
油淋醬板鴨 (You Lin Jiang Ban Ya)
板鴨 Ban Ya nominally means pressed duck but here the duck is just plain fully roasted crisp (with all of the fat removed in the process.) On top of the plated duck is a mound of the soya bean paste, red chili peppers and scallions. Delicious!
Lightly Stir Fried Pieces of Conch with Vegetables
小炒螺片 (Xiao Chai Luo Pian)
Pieces of conch, celery, red bell and green bell peppers mixed with dry red chili peppers. I’d certainly order this again.
Fragrant Pig Ears in Aromatic Sauce
香味滷豬耳 (Xiang Wei Lu Zhu Er)
What more can I say than the pig ears were both glutinous and crunchy!
Here are five photos:
Hi ScoopG, we were there again on Sat afternoon and I was very amused to see that your translations are now being presented to customers not expected to be able to read Chinese (e.g. us, who are actually stealth baihaizi Chinese speakers) on a double-sided laminated 8x11 card.
The food was wonderful - we had the pickled veg, the sliced fish (a little wetter and not quite as sublime as the first time), the cauliflower (fantastic), the cumin lamb (mmmmm) and the "pressed" duck, excellent.
Bonus: The Great Wall supermarket across the street, one of my favorite stores in NY, was selling fresh lychees for $1.58/lb - thought they might not be prime, but they are wonderful. A few of them were conjoined and some had the little undeveloped lychee attached, so not 100% cosmetically appealing, but superb flavor, texture, and flesh the palest beautiful pink.
How lucky we are to live in NYC.
cool...we also liked the cold pickled cabbage and the watercress sauteed w/ a mild tofu sauce...i didn't think the smoked duck was very good though...
i also asked them if they had a deep-fried eel dish that i always used to order at the Hunan places in Shanghai (Guyi, Dishui Dong, etc): they said they could make it special: but what came out was stir-fried eel w/ chilis: this was very yummy too, even though i was really craving the deep-fried version...
while i think they serve beer and a little bit of wine, they let us BYOB a bottle of wine w/ no charge...
since we commuted from Manhattan, we actually made a full Flushing food day of it: started w/ a lamb sandwich from the Xian place in Golden Mall...then the feast at Hunan House...then picked up some cold dishes (bamboo, clams, etc) from Spicy and Tasty to take back to Manhattan...
So I went on sunday for dinner. Overall, i thought it was good, but i wasn't blown away although i do plan to go back to try other dishes. It was actually fairly dead for a sunday night, i'd say the restaurant was about 30-40% filled. It's actually a reasonably nice restaurant for flushing, which means its whatever in normal terms.
Here's what we got:
- spicy blue crab (hu nan xiang la xie): this was sort of disappointing, it was listed as one of their specials. It wasn't bad, but i guess it was sort of disappointing b/c i had such a good version at Taste of Shanghai and this paled in comparison. It was prepared somewhat similar, in a spicy (although surprisingly not that spicy) dry preparation. The crab itself was cooked well, you could basically eat the shell. But, it lacked a strong flavor in the sauce, in fact I thought the sauce was a bit boring. They were also kind of stingy with the crab, they didn't give you very much. I wouldn't order this again.
- braised pork mao style (hong shao rou): this was the star of the night. This was served in the traditional hong shao style (which means red cooked basically) which braised meat in a brown sauce made with wine, soy sauce, oil, stock and some spices. It's chopped up pork belly that is melt in your mouth soft, it was served with a leafy vegetable (not quite sure what it was) and had some chestnuts in it (these were really good). Overall, this is the best hong shao rou i've had in NY.
- sauteed watercress (kong xin cai): this was excellent as well, the preparation was very nice. Sauteed in garlic although I swear I thought it said it was in a spicy sauce. The vegetables were fresh, not overcooked or oversalted (oversalting is a huge problem in this dish). A very solid rendition
- tofu in scallion sauce (xiao cong dou fu): i thought this was going to be served cold (would have been much better) instead it was luke warm. It's basically soft tofu in a sauce made of i believe sesame oil and chopped scallions. it was decent, but i wouldve much preferred it to be cold.
- fish head: the sauce on this was very good a really nice hot and sour sauce with lots of chilis and scallions. The fish head was huge although its deceiving as it doesnt really have that much meat on it and they cut it in half (you only get one cheek!). The meat was very tender, which was nice. My only compliant was that some of the meat has that distinct sort of fishy taste that you get from some fresh water fish. Overall, pretty good, but i wasn't in love with it.
Some hits and misses and maybe my expectations were too high, but its worth going to and there were alot of things on the menu i still want to try
Give it another chance. Ask the owner to pick all the dishes for you. One of the best meals I had there was when I asked him to do so. I have had two or so lackluster meals there because I ordered poorly.
The fish head sounds different than from the times I've had it. To me, it's always been served hacked up into about 2 inch chunks, each with a a good amount of meat/cheek. Perhaps it's a sign of the changing chefs or another dish altogether.
I believe there's supposed to be a place in one of the food courts that makes Shaanxi jia mo, and maybe other dishes?
Anyway, I finally got to Hunan House with a group of 10, so we ordered a range of dishes, and I took photos of all. Most have already been mentioned on the several threads here or in Sietsema's review. My personal favorites included the Chairman Mao pork, the mashed peppers with tofu, the white chillies w/ preserved beef (a unique flavor/texture combination), cucumber w/ scallion sauce, Hunan sliced fish, and the lean "dry" duck. The mustard greens were wonderful too. The Fuzhi meat dish and the steamed spare ribs got mixed reviews from the table (I loved the sauce on the latter), and the fish head simply doesn't have enough meat. The quality and variety of the food is remarkable. While Little Pepper and Spicy & Tasty have their strengths and weaknesses, everything we ordered appealed to a portion of the table. As of now HH and Imperial Palace I'd call the two best Chinese restaurants in Flushing, and the great thing is that the 2 cuisines are completely different.
Happy to report this is still a wonderful restaurant. Was there for Sunday lunch with a group of 11 fellow Hunan food fanciers, and partook of the following:
Braised Pork, Mao’s Style (the bowl of this was almost empty when it got to me, I scarcely got a bite!)
Pumpkin Cakes - like the ones at the Dongbei places but crisper and less greasy, nice
Beef with Cumin Flavor - lighter cumin flavor than I've had in most such preparations, but delicious nonetheless
Hunan noodles (not sure of menu description but they were the thickish wheat noodles, stirfried with beef and preserved doufu)
Pao cai = Pickled Cabbage Hunan Style (I just can't get enough of this. It must be the most delicious thing there is to eat with the fewest calories in the entire world. Didn't notice the subtler spice flavors I noticed the first time there but still. yum.)
Spicy husband-wife lung slices (but seemed to be braised shin, not lung or tongue) = Ox Tongue and Tripe with Spicy Peppery Sauce (this was great, I even liked the tripe which I am not all that keen on normally)
Lazi ji = Chicken with Hot Red Pepper (nice version of this, dry, crisp)
Duck with white chilis = White Pepper Smoked Duck with Dried Turnips (delicious - the white chilis are quite unusual. Same size and shape as usual red dried chilis but you can eat them, they're not terribly spicy.)
Note with the above 2 dishes we asked for fowl on the bone - at least the parts I came up with were bonier than they were fleshy. Would wimp out next time and ask for boneless.
Potatoes w hot pepper = Shredded Potato with Vinegar Sauce (barely-cooked long pottao shreds with a tart sauce and hot green chilis. The best of its kind I've had. Satisfies those "why can't I eat the raw potato, mommy" cravings of yore.)
Taro soup with greens (I found this blah but it was a soothing counterpoint to the spicy stuff.)
Fish w duo jiao = Braised Fish with Pickled Chili Sauce (I adore this dish. We had a whole fish so there would be more meat to share around, but bad me snuck one side of the forehead meat, the best part.)
Eel w cucumbers - the small thin Chinese cucmbers cut in strips and cooked with strips of eel in a brownish sauce. One of the less successful dishes in my opinion, the eel was a bit rubbery. Cusumbers and sauce were tasty though.)
Steamed eggplants w salted duck egg - utterly delicious. The salted duck egg yokl was cut in small dice and steamed on top of whole Chinese eggplants along with some chopped red pepper. The very personification of umami.
Stir Fried Cauliflower (with bacon!) - what's not to like? Spicy, salty, tasty. Cauliflower barely tender, just the way I like it.
Sauteed Hollow Steam Vegetable (kong xin cai) with Spicy Sauce - you can have this with the leaves or the stems, we had the stems, which were cut in 1/4 in pieces. Another great veg dish.
All of this came to $23.00 per person. $23.00 per person!!! With a good tip. It pays to go with a gang.
After this blowout, we went shopping at the Great Wall across the street, felt a little hungry (there had been 12 of us at table, after all!) and went back for more pickled veg, the tea-smoked duck (brilliant rendition, deeply smoky and crisp) and the Slippery Tofu (2" squares 1/2 in thick of fresh doufu in a thin bright-red chili sauce with scallions). Delicious and provided leftovers for weekday lunches.
if you love spicy Chinese food (hell, if you love food period) and are within striking distance of this place, you owe it to yourself to get to the Hunan House on Northern Blvd.
137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354
Seven people had an excellent dinner here last night. The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived at 6:30 and when we left two hours later, only a few tables were filled. I hope this is not an indication that they are struggling.
These are the dishes we ordered, and all of them, except for the sliced fish, were worth ordering again, in my opinion:
Spicy bamboo shoots (not on menu)--terrific; good amount of heat
Ox Tongue and Tripe--also excellent
Bean Curd and Celery (cold version of a dish listed under vegetables; special
request). Probably my favorite dish of the night; great spicy/smokey flavor. Loved it!
Pickled cabbage, Hunan Style--vinegary; good (This dish used to be complimentary here; the only comp last night were a few boiled peanuts)
Scallion Pancakes, for the spice averse--very good; not at all greasy
White Chili with Preserved Beef--excellent as always; chewy texture; signature dish here. Questions were raised regarding the use of dried meat in Hunan cuisine.
Braised Pork Mao's Style--also essential; wonderful; bay leaves and star anise among the flavorings
Lamb with Cumin--also excellent if not quite at the level of the Little Pepper version.
Napa Cabbage with Fermented Soy Beans--very good, but we actually had ordered Shanghai bok choy, which this place does exceptionally well. I think they excell with vegetables, if my visits are any indication
Eggplant Pork Casserole--another of my favorites--buttery texture; some heat. I loved this dish.
Eggplant with Duck Eggs--long, slender Asian eggplant sliced open and topped with an interesting blend that included what we thought were preserved eggs. More oily than the other dishes but very good. No heat.
Liu Yang City Peppers--roasted green chili peppers in mildly hot sauce. Very good but not unusual. Not much char. By this time we were stuffed! There was actually much of this dish left over so I would not place it with the favorites of our table.
Spicy Sliced fish, Hunan Style. Flounder--lightly fried and sauced with a red oil base.
I found this disappointing. For the record, the restaurant will go across the street to the supermarket and select a fresh fish from the tanks upon request. They will give the prices in advance. This might be a good option, but the first fish mentioned when discussing the possibility was tilapia and we did not want this. The table next to us was devouring hard-shell crabs--keep this in mind for next time.
Shredded Pork with Dry Bean Curd--Ordered late in the meal for the lone, spice-shunning diner who appeared to be hungry after the feast. Very good; worth ordering. Not greasy as are some renditions at nearby restaurants. (Little Pepper, this means you!)
With about 2 beers per person, our bill for 7 diners totalled $189 after tax but before tip. I recommend checking the bill because we were charged for one dish we did not order (DId anyone see a plate of boneless duck feet?)
We will return!
TIP: At the next table, enthusiastic diners were tucking into a platter of Suan Tai Chao La Rou--Smokey Pork with Garlic Sprouts. These were actually garlic scapes and the dish might be worth a special trip while the scapes are in season.
137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354
Nice write up erica. I dont have much to add except that the purple eggplant dish w/duck eggs (dried) also had very ground up pieces of meat (duck? pork?). Added more texture than flavor (obviously, since I cant even tell what it was). This, the other eggplant dish, the preserved beef (almost jerky) and the pork belly w/anise were all excellent and not found (at least to my knowledge) at other places. Most of the other dishes can be found elsewhere (Fu Run or one of the many good Szechuan places in Flushing, Manhattan & Bklyn) but the versions here were nicely done, even when they werent better than some of my favorite other places (the cumin dish, for example). I'm very happy to have finally gotten to Hunan House and will easily return. And, "no", we didnt have duck feet.
re: Steve R
I was in Flushing on Saturday and as I walked by this place I remembered a number of people rave about it and decided to try it on the spur. Unfortunately, I was alone which always limits your options -- can't sample all that much. I did like the place very much -- clean, nice atmosphere -- and the menu was great. My only complaint was the service; I think I just hit a clunker of a waiter. Though there were only about 4 other customers and three servers, it took FOREVER to get a menu from him, and another eternity to get his attention to take my order. I then asked for the Chairman Mao Braised Pork and he insisted they didn't serve it. I pointed to it on the menu and he shrugged his shoulders and took my order. The food took a long time to arrive, but it was quite good, I must say. It then took about 20 minutes to get the bill and pay it, even though there were almost no other customers at this point. Though the pork was great, it took a lot of work to get it.
Did I just have an unusual experience, or is the service usually this spotty there?
sometimes I've had spotty service there, not rude, but mildly airheaded. I'm not shy and I just get up and get the waiter.
As for the food, ordered take out today, la zi chicken and lotus pork with pumpkin cakes, all delicious.
I certainly hope the emptiness of the place is not a trend because the chef at Hunan House is too good to have his restaurant fail. Far inferior restaurants are doing good business.
It took me too damned long to get to Hunan House, but the wait was worth it. I had a wonderful lunch there yesterday, and am already chomping at the bit to go back for various other menu items. Here's what I had:
- App: Cold Tofu (Hunan Style) - Firm thin slices of bean curd sprinkled with chopped red peppers. Very refreshing with a subtle heat. Went nicely with my main....
- Main: Minced pork w/ sour string beans. One of the best dishes I've had anywhere, all year. First off, this wasn't what I was expecting. The string beans themselves were chopped into niblets and served amidst a pile of minced pork, garlic, and at least two chopped peppers, all in a small pool of chili oil. Chopsticks are fine for small bites, but I took to using a spoon and combining heaping mouthfuls with rice. The sourness of the string beans combined with the spice to make for an explosion of bold flavors. That, plus this dish scores texturally as well - there's a lot happening with every mouthful. I would order this again in a second, but am looking to try the Hunan sliced fish, the fish head, the camphor smoked duck, a lamb dish and so on....
The joint was empty when I walked in - 11:45 am on a sweltering Sunday late morning - but was fast filling up by about 12:10 or so. The service was fine and it's a nicer joint - decor-wise - than I'm used to.
Thanks to all who recommended. I'll be back.
I have been going here since it first opened.. And i know Chowhound is famous for the downhill reports..And I am not saying that because, this might have been my one less than stellar meal since i have been going.. But, they have new menus printed up.. And have added some of the Specials written in Chinese to the english menu.. however, they have also removed a few items.. The cold cucumber and scallion comes to mind.. The crab dish we normally order was completely different..
Anyway, that being said.. The meal we had last week was pretty average for what we were use to..
I have posted about the very good meals I have had, i only find it natural to post a bad meal then too..
Stopped by here recently and discovered a great new dish: Beef and Pickled Cabbage ($14.95). It is one of 17 new dishes on the menu. Other rookies are Cumin Flavored Beef on Toothpicks, Spicy Lamb Chop, Steamed Eggs with Pork and Squid with Sour Peppers. All are translated into English.
The Beef with Pickled Cabbage was excellent; sliced beef with sour red and green chili peppers, garlic, pickled cabbage and ginger.
The owner, Alan Li is still about the place as is veteran waiter Mr. Peng. They did confirm that their former chef was let go in June and is now at Hunan Kitchen of Grand Szechuan.
We had my kind of Mothers' Day celebration yesterday (lunch at the Hunan followed by shopping in the big Great Wall store across the road).
The food was brilliant. I love this restaurant. We had:
- Hunan pickled cabbage - lightly pickled and still very crisp, garnished with sliced pickled chilis. Just right (and a good appetite-piquer when we started to lag later in the meal).
- Smoked pork with dried green beans - excellent very smoky pork belly with leeks, sliced ginger, and the dried beans - which were cut in short sections, shriveled and fun to eat (interesting texture and a very nutty taste).
- Slippery tofu in a thin bright red chili sauce that tasted like puréed salted chilis, garnished with sliced green onion and sliced ginger. I love doufu and this hit that nerve.
- Sliced lotus root, nice and bitey-crisp, with bits of red and green peppers for color and sliced pickled chilis. Anything lotus is my kind of thing and this was no exception.
- Hunan sautéed chicken - what seems to be most of a crispy-skin chicken that had been simmered in a broth with star anise prior to being fried, cut up on the bone, and tossed with ginger, garlic, and sliced dried hot peppers. Delicious, all kinds of flavors going on.
- Whole fish with sour chilis - the piece de resistance, a 2 lb or so tilapia steamed with soy, green onion, and pickled green chilis - whole, served on its belly, with the flesh cleaved from the central bones for ease of eating. An utterly brilliant dish and one I can't see not ordering every time we go. More delicious (and more unusual) than the duo jiao yu. And yes for you fish head fanciers, they prepare heads the same way. I like the whole fish and the head parts to it.
Superb, all of it. The only "problem" with this place is that it's not closer.
Photos are in order of mention (we were at a window table, so the light was good and even these BlackBerry photos aren't bad).
Hunan House is still going strong. Stopped in and enjoyed another lofty meal. August standouts included Brine Rice Noodles, Braised Fish Head with Pickled Chilies, Smoked Duck Hunan Style and Smoked Bamboo with Chili.
Two new dishes were delivered: Tofu with Preserved Egg and Kiss of Hot Peppers. Kiss of Hot Peppers consisted of sliced pork tongue with red and green peppers. The tofu dish was excellent while the pork tongue was slightly chewy.
Braised Pork, Mao’s Style though while delicious, was not braised in the usual red-cooked manner. Sautéed Green Peppers (Tiger Peppers actually) were cut, last time I had them here they were cooked whole. I might prefer them whole. Oh well. They were finished off.
The rear area upstairs in the back (with 4-5 tables) is ideal for a more private setting.
137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354