Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jun 12, 2009 05:39 AM

Hound from Manhattan seeks Flushing Chinese Advice

Instead of a vacation trip this year, I am planning to do various New York things. These include some trips to the Flushing Chinese, area, often praised on the Manhattan board. With all the many postings, I would appreciate your opinions on the 1 or 2 dim sum places to definitely go to, the food court (mall?) and best places/dishes within it, 1 or 2 best restaurants. If there are things you think are particularly interesting to see other than just the atmosphere on the streets, I'd appreciate that, too.

Thank you very much!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would bring a few people with you or plan to make a few trips out there since you're not going to be able to fit it all in on one day.

    First things first, read the New York Times article on dining out in Flushing.

    However, if you follow that NYT article, ignore anything to do with the Shi Hong Mall. It has closed and reopened but with completely different vendors. And the main woman cook at Yipin has left. Also if you look up all of the Flushing entries on Serious Eats and Eating in Translation, but note that the Roosevelt Food Court has its future in question currently, and the Taiwanese Temple Snacks vendor has moved to another location.

    Plus, the problem with the dim sum and great sit down restaurants in Flushing is that you run the risk of filling up on dim sum and other food, and then can't try the mall and street food (d'oh).

    BTW, I would look into the LIRR as potentially a faster way to get into the west side of Manhattan on the weekends due to the CityTicket program. The 7 sucks sometimes!

    On to the food:
    - I love Perfect Team Corporation for dim sum (particularly the rice crepes and char siu sou).

    Other hounds like Ocean Jewels, Jade Asian, and Gala Manor. See the merits debated here:

    - Get some boiled dumplings at Best North Dumpling (135-08 Roosevelt Ave stall A4). The steamed pork and fennel dumplings are very nice.

    - Get some fried dumplings at the window of Zhu Ji Guo Tie (40-52 Main Street is the technical address, but the actual window is on 41st Avenue). NB: 41st Avenue and 41st Road are not the same! They are hot and a little oily, so satisfying.

    - Get a dozen meaty, juicy wontons with hot sauce, scallions, etc. on top from White Bear (135-02 Roosevelt Ave #5) for only $4.50. Don't be alarmed if the awning says something about a Travel Agency or Ice Cream! It's a dumpling and wonton hole in the wall. I like them but some hounds think the filling isn't up to par.

    - Get some soup dumplings at Nan Xiang. The lines are long but it's worth it. It would definitely be good to split these with other people.

    - Corner 28 (40-28 Main St) has roast duck buns in a soft, white bread for $1.50. The steamed rice crepes are not worth it in my opinion. A bit gummy and too hard to eat standing up. The buns are good, though. They say Peking duck on the sign but it's not true Peking duck, but I doubt many people care.

    - The food windows undernearth the LIRR station (AA Plaza, 40-40 Main St) have scallion pancakes, chicken legs, "big" bready buns, for $1-2 each. Some hounds like the "big buns." I can never resist getting a hot, fresh scallion pancake.

    - My friend James of The Eaten Path did a comparison of the many BBQ kebab vendors in the area and recommended XinJiang BBQ Master at 41st Ave. & Kissena Blvd. as the best.

    - The most famous "mall" written about on CH is the somewhat dingy, byzantine, poorly ventilated, but supercheap Golden Shopping mall (41-28 Main Street) that has multiple entrances and exits.

    The Xian Famous Foods stall (#36) has wonderful, filling cumin spiced lamb sandwiches for $2.50 and a cold noodle salad (liang pi) for $3.50. He has an extensive menu in photographic form on the walls. The proprietor speaks really good English, is extremely talkative, and can usually be found chattering away with staff and customers (and a bluetooth earpiece too). His shop will be featured in an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain's TV show. I love his lamb "burger" sandwiches.

    A big bowl of hand pulled noodle soup at Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles (#27) will run you $4-5 dependent upon if it's lamb, beef, etc. Look for the people making noodles -- you'll hear them before you see them.

    You can also grab some mouth tingling spicy dan dan noodles from Sichuan Heaven (#31) for about $4. They also have an extensive menu in photographic form on the walls, but their English is not quite so good. Out of the many stalls here, I think the Xian Famous Foods stall is the most unique and friendly to the Flushing newbies, but over all this mall can be intimidating.

    - The (Western-style and less intimidating) Flushing Mall has a Taiwanese food court in the basement that has Chinese sesame pancakes, soy milk, fried crullers, shaved ice, pearl milk tea, Taiwanese "gua bao," stinky tofu, hot pot, beef noodle soup and more from a variety of vendors, all in the range of $1-5. This is more like a Western food court with picnic style seating, a janitorial staff, plastic trays, but sometimes the signage is all in written Chinese. It's a little easier to ask for help here, though. I highly recommend the gua bao (from Temple Snacks, they're on the right side of the food court as you enter) and the shaved ice (from the juices/bubble tea vendor).

    - For Szechuan food, the merits of Sichuan Heaven in the Golden Mall vs. Little Pepper vs. Spicy & Tasty are hotly debated. If you go, I suggest coming on a separate trip, with a bunch of people, and an empty stomach. I would skip Szechuan Gourmet since they now have TWO Manhattan branches. Perhaps Little Pepper, because they are moving soon?

    - Go to Hong Kong Super Market (37-11 Main Street). Buy some groceries to bring back with you. The selection always seems mind-boggling to me, who is used to tiny Manhattan supermarkets.

    - Stop at the Sun Mary Bakery. Checkout their layer cakes (green tea, etc.), cookies, and freshly made pineapple tea cakes (it's like a Fig Newton but with pineapple).

    27 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I'd add something if I could think of anything kathryn left out.

      Oh, yeah... Fu Run on Prince by the schoolyard (a half block from S & T, on the other side of Roosevelt) is my 2nd favorite restaurant in Flushing.

      Otherwise... what she said.

      1. re: Steve R

        what you both said! that was exhilarating. can't wait to try what i haven't experienced.

        tho little pepper is tattooed on my heart forever. just saying.

      2. re: kathryn

        Don't forget Hunan House at 137-40 Northern Blvd, real Hunan dishes, nice service, wonderful. Extensively discussed on this board.

        1. re: kathryn

          In the Golden Mall that would be Chengdu Heaven, not Sichuan Heaven.

          1. re: kathryn

            Ok... so I gave some out of town folks a tour of the Golden Mall yesterday. We had the lamb (and the pork.. not bad) sandwich at Xian (#36), but we also got a pinkish cold noodle dish there that he didnt really explain. Anyone have an idea? Very broad, flat noodles (he has them in green too)... mung bean paste, taro in the rice mixture? Also...while sitting around the corner eating some other dishes at C.Heaven (#31), I noticed that the hallway ended in a very nice air conditioned table service restaurant. Is this new or attached to any of the known vendors? I'd never seen it before.

            BTW, for anyone who doesnt already know this.... we're addicted to Cafe du Monde coffee but hate paying the general going rate so we always pick it up in whatever Chinatown we happen to be in (they all have it in the groceries... Bklyn, Flushing, Manhattan, Honolulu...). At any rate, it's up to $4 but available at the Hong Kong Supermarket. Just sayin'... after all, that's half what Cafe du Monde charges for their own supply.

            1. re: Steve R

              Does anything in this photo look familiar? There are definite more "enclosed" vendors if you walk down the hallway with Chengdu Heaven to your left...


              1. re: kathryn

                "...more "enclosed" vendors if you walk down the hallway with Chengdu Heaven to your left".

                Exactly. But at the end of that hallway, there's an entrance to a large sit down place that goes to the left and right. Looked interesting.

                Btw... nice pictures.

                  1. re: Steve R

                    That's a dumpling place and maybe more - at the end of the basement hallway there on the left. Seating area then to your left and to the kitchen to the right as you face the place. Several ladies can be seeing in the window making different types of dumplings.

              2. re: kathryn

                Whoever you are, kathryn, I thank you.
                For the other people reading this, this is an incredible post. I went out to Flushing for the first time this afternoon with a printout of this post in hand (and a GPS/Google Maps equipped cellphone) and following this post is like being guided by the hand of god. The normally inscrutable Chinatown-type chaos resolves into order.
                Everything is freakin fantastic (oh, those boiled dumplings! that cumin-scented lamb!), everything is within 1-2 blocks of each other, everything is dirt cheap.

                I rolled it into a trip out to Citifield- I never realized it, but since its literally the next stop from Citi and all the places are w/in 2 blocks of the subway, you can go FEAST on street food even if you only leave 45m/1hr earlier than you usually would. And its so freakin' good!

                I salute you, sharer of good tips, and I shall gladly buy you a scallion pie in thanks if we should ever cross paths.

                1. re: dzop

                  Aw, thanks! I am a meticulous planner and have spent many an afternoon wandering around looking for nonexistant stalls on the wrong street, so I am glad I can share my knowledge with my hellow 'hounds! :)

                2. re: kathryn

                  Thank you Kathryn. Excuse my ignorance, but what do the numbers in the article correspond to? A map I presume, but where is it? Thanks.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Wow. why is this not stickied in the outer boroughs board.

                    Kathyrn, (the other active posters of this thread)--are there any updates to your exhaustive survey of chinese eats in Flushing? I notice the thread is about a year and half old, and knowing next to nothing about Flushing, it'd be great to get a heads up on movings/closings/new doors before I head out there next week.

                    Many thanks for all the info & the great DIY tour you posted!

                    1. re: gyozamonster

                      Best North dumpling moved and Little Pepper also moved:

                      Little Pepper
                      133-43 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                        1. re: gyozamonster

                          Havent re-read the entire thread to see if anyone referenced it, but I'm now pretty infatuated with Imperial Palace for non spicy Cantonese dishes.

                          Imperial Palace
                          136-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                          1. re: Steve R

                            Excellent. That's been recommended to me by several people (in addition to the info on the threads here). Definitely on the list along with kathryn's guide!

                            1. re: Steve R

                              here is a massive thread on imperial palace, it has most of my dish recs. it is my favorite chinese restaurant in NYC. although i'm starting think canton gourmet is up there with it as well. I need to do proper reviews of both of them.


                        2. re: gyozamonster

                          Perfect Team is Guang Zhou. Just a name change. Gala Manor is East Cuisine Manor--apparently not just a name change.

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            no i heard the food is quite bad now at the former gala manor

                            1. re: Lau

                              Well, based on my recent personal experience, I would not recommend Gala Manor or whatever is called nowadays. 廣州酒家 (aka, Perfect Team) is still at the top of my list.

                              1. re: diprey11

                                so ive been hearing

                                yah i think perfect team and jade asian are the tops in flushing right now

                                1. re: diprey11

                                  Are we talking about for dim sum purposes, or for all purpose eating? I think you're spot on for dim sum, but not so much when it comes to dinner.

                                  1. re: Greg

                                    Yep, dim sum only.
                                    I never had a dinner at Gala, the competition from both Canton Gourmet and Imperial Palace being too strong. Do you think it's worth trying?

                                    Imperial Palace
                                    136-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                    Canton Gourmet
                                    38-08 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                    1. re: diprey11

                                      No, I'd pass at Gala. Of the good dim sum joints, only Guangzhou (f/k/a Perfect Team Corp.) has a good dinner. Jade delivers a wildly mixed performance for dinner, so much so that I have to recommend avoiding them. I haven't been to the the restaurant now known as Asian Jewels for dinner, so I can't really speak to their performance. Lately, I've been going primarily to Canton Gourmet since their food is good and their salt baked pork chops are one of the only meals I can consistently get my three-year-old to eat. Plus, I like to polish off the jalapenos and shallots she leaves over.

                                      Canton Gourmet
                                      38-08 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                        3. Thank you! I was reading the long post with pleasure, and in the back of my mind figuring out how I could print it out, and who do I behol as the author but Kathryn -- I assume the same amazingly knowlegeable and helpful Kathryn of the Manhattan board. Double thank you!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: yebo

                            Ain't she a wonder?!! And SO generous!!

                          2. If you're interested in getting Taiwanese breakfast (only available in Flushing), you should definitely check out King 5 Noodle on Prince Street. It's right next to Spicy & Tasty. You should try to get there by 12 before their breakfast items run out. They have soybean milk, fried dough, sesame bun (not sure what to call it..shao bing), sticky rice rolls, etc. Very tasty!

                            1. I agree with teresa about the Taiwanese breakfast at King 5: it is so good, so filling, and so cheap. Their soybean milk is awesome.

                              Also, be sure to stop by the Apollo Bakery, a tiny shop with a green roof that's right around the corner from King 5 (I think it's on 39th Avenue, between Prince and Main St). Their breads and buns are wonderful...much better than the ones in the chain bakeries!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: pupusagirl

                                Thanks for the tips on King 5 - will have to try that next time. We usually go to Peoples People (41-27 Main Street, next to the library) for our Taiwanese breakfast fix. Anyone been to both and care to compare the two? I'm a sucker for the fired cruller and salty soy milk, and the turnip bun is always a favorite.

                                1. re: philw66

                                  Do they have dounao (tofu "brains"), fresh soft doufu with soy sauce and pickly things? Also braised beef in sesame buns? Salivate, salivate...

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    We might be threadjacking a bit here. That said, they have sliced briased beef in shao-bing with scallions and hoisin. Also scallion pancacke with egg, sticky rice rolls, pan fried chive "box". Don't recall seeing dou-nao on the menu.

                                    1. re: philw66

                                      Thanks, still qualifies as Flushing Chinese food advice, no?

                              2. Is Fu Run the former Waterfront International, and is the menu similar?

                                I'd say Imperial Palace is the best Hong Kong/Cantonese dinner place in the city by far. Very disappointed by Ocean Jewels dinner, haven't tried their dim sum.

                                Spicy & Tasty and Little Pepper each do different things well.


                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Peter Cherches

                                  Peter: yes, Fu Run is the former Waterfront International but the menu is somewhat differerent. A group of us went twice & really enjoyed some of the dishes not offered in other places. Of course, I cant recall the region that these folks are from but they're very friendly about helping with the ordering and almost everything was well prepared and interesting.

                                  1. re: Steve R

                                    When it was W.I. the owners were from Liaoning, near North Korea. Do they still do the amazing crispy lamb? (see photo)

                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                      Yes. In my experience, the crispy lamb is still a highlight. A strong second regarding Imperial Palace. Fu Ron is quite good as well. Haven't been to Yipin since the ownership change, but their thistle dumplings - to my taste - were the best in the neighborhood. I also dig the fennel/ pork dumplings at Best North.

                                      1. re: Polecat

                                        just to add--
                                        at the golden mall:
                                        xian stall--try to ask for a freshly made lamb sandwich--sometimes he has them made up and ready to go, wrapped in plastic and once or twice we have gotten one that is a little less than fresh. When fresh, tho, they are one of the most delicious things around. Also love the liang pi, tho it's greasy.
                                        to the right of the xian stall is a stall that does boiled dumplings with a great dumpling sauce--try a plate of them for $2. You'll be happy.
                                        IMHO, the best dan dan noodles are from the sichuan stall in the roosevelt mall. however, i haven't been in a while and i don't even know if that stall (or that mall) is still open.
                                        ah flushing! so many delicious things to eat!

                                        1. re: missmasala

                                          Roosevelt Mall has been closed for some months now - I too dug the Sichuan stall. I have to say, regarding the lamb burger at Xian Famous Foods, it can be erratic, even when fresh. The last one I had was cooked when I ordered it, and it was atrocious, a greasy mess. I couldn't even finish it - damned thing was practically sliding off my hands. I agree, it can be good, but downright hazardous when bad. His spicy noodle dishes are quite good. Thanks for the tip on the dumplings next to the Xian stall. Much like a free beer at happy hour, it's hard, and foolhardy, to pass up a dumpling tip.