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.