Review: Golden Palace in Flushing - Chinese Dongbei Cuisine
- scoopG Jul 31, 2009 02:32 AM
On Cherry Avenue between Kimberly’s Furniture Store (where everything is 15%-50% off) and the Mr. Machine Laundromat sits Golden Palace. Only the Chinese signage reveals its true pedigree: 遼寧飯店 - 正宗東北風味 (Liaoning Fandian – Zhengzong Dongbei Fengwei) or Liaoning Restaurant - Authentic Northeast Flavors.
In this year’s spring issue of “Gastronomica” (Vol. 9, No 2, pp 82-86,) Jacqueline M. Newman; Professor Emeritus at Queens College (CUNY) writes about Dongbei food – the cuisine of Northeast China. She states that Dongbei cuisine is marked by “hearty meals centered on meat and fresh and pickled vegetables...grains like wheat, millet and sorghum” and reflects influences from Manchuria, Mongolia, Korea, Russia and Japan. Dongbei cuisine is also known for strong flavors, lots of dumplings and a large variety of cold dishes. Raw fish might be served to start the meal. Garlic seems to be used but not too much ginger.
Inside, the décor is far from ornate. There are four four-tops and two six-tops. A lonely aquarium is near the window. Ten faux lanterns guard the ceiling. When not busy, the four-top nearest the kitchen is used by the 2-3 waitresses for food prep. Little, if any English is spoken here but not to worry; the extensive menu is in both Chinese and English. All of the customers are from Dongbei one of the waitresses tells me and they've been open for three years. Pitchers of cold draft beer are served to the gentlemen at the next table.
Their menu features items like Braised Ribs, Pork Belly in Brown Sauce, Smoked Chicken Bones, Seaweed Salad, Smoked Rabbit, Crispy Flounder with Chili Peppers, a dozen soups, five kinds of dumplings and much more.
We are immediately served two small cold appetizers of Bean Sprouts with Carrots and Hot Pepper as well as Slivered Pickled Potatoes, which are gobbled up. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the potatoes. Now on to the dishes:
Cornbread – (玉米餅 Yumi Bing)
Arriving at the same time as the staff were eating lunch, we saw a large pile of these at their table. No one was eating rice. Small specks of cornmeal can be seen throughout the bun/bread and they prove to be excellent for sopping up the juices from the dishes. This is not our cousin Cletus’s cornbread for sure!
Tiger Vegetables – (老虎菜 Lauhu Cai)
A huge mound of fresh cilantro stems, scallions and hot green chili peppers packing a good kick. Refreshing.
Scrambled Eggs with Chinese Toon – (香椿炒雞蛋 Xiangchun Chao Jidan)
A savory, simple dish of eggs, Chinese Toon and bits of garlic. For more on Chinese Toon see below. I swoon for Toon.
Eggplant with Brown Sauce – (燒 茄子 Shao Qiezi)
A palatable rendition served piping hot.
Preserved Eggs with Tofu – (皮蛋拌豆腐 Pidan Ban Doufu)
A very sapid treat where the salty creaminess of the eggs is balanced by the soft bland tofu, scallions and cilantro bits.
Three Fresh – (地三鮮 Di San Xiang)
Three Fresh can mean just about three of anything mixed together and stir fried. Here a common Dongbei dish is twice-cooked potatoes, eggplant and green bell peppers. Piquant and pleasing. This was written differently on their menu but our server knew exactly what we wanted and delivered.
The rice they serve is similar to what one would find in Korea: short grain and stickier. I’ve not eaten at the Dongbei place on Main Street so I can’t compare but I think Golden Palace is going to be around here for a spell. I can’t wait to return.
Golden Palace Restaurant
140-09 Cherry Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355
Tel: 718-886-4383 or 718-886-3113
Open everyday from noon to midnight.
For more on Chinese Toon (Toona Sinensis) - 香椿 = Xiangchún:
For a slideshow:
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
Hi buttertart, if you can round up a posse try both! They are within 100 yards of one another. Cherry Avenue is seven blocks south of 41st Street and Main Street. Toon and curry leaves look similar but the Latin descriptor is different. The Chinese Toon in this egg dish was less of leaf and more stem-like.
Another beautifully written review. I love it -- and the pictures are a really nice touch.
The yumi bing aren't all yumi are they? I'm guessing it's wheat and corn flours mixed together?
Interesting that tiger vegetables were cilantro, green chili peppers and scallions. We had something by the same name at halal restaurants in China that included tomatoes, which were supposed to resemble the stripes of a tiger, I guess.
Lots of dishes I've never seen or tried, here. (Tofu with thousand year eggs sound interesting and the textural contrast makes sense--but i wouldn't've thought to combine the two.) I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the read!
this place looks pretty interesting...i know absolutely nothing about dongbei food...northern chinese food is very interesting to me b/c its so different than what i grew up eating
i have seen that pi dan / tofu dish before in CA at this taiwanese restaurant i always eat at although its got nothern chinese bend to it...never tried it though
bigjeff - although it is called corn bread or mantou - it was not easy to taste the corn! Have not been to Waterfront or the other Dongbei place on Main Street. Hi Lau - hope you can hit it up and let us know what you think!
An interesting place. Had the Tiger veggies, tasty and great for the hot weather. Three fresh, good, fried (not breaded) veggies, The egg w/Toon (revoloto en Espana) was ok, not much flavor there. The bread wasn't too corny, sadly to say. The sign on the door is in Chinese and below it Korean. The faces of the workers and clients looked a bit more northern, not quite Korean. friendly but little English spoken. Worth another visit or two.
We finally went on Saturday. The food was very good (we had the carrot appetizer, the potato salad, the cumin lamb, the tiger vegetables, and the bean sauce fish). The fish was more on the lines of a red-cooked than a douban rendition (yes I know douban yu is a Sichuan preparation), and the fish themselves were not terrific. Forgot they had draft beer (which did look appealing, the gentlemen behind us killed 4 pitchers while we were there) and were (presumably because non-Chinese) served Budweiser when we asked for beer - aha dear old Bawei, last one I had was on the train between Shanghai and Suzhou. My husband noticed just before we left that they had Harbin beer in big bottles (double damn, one for next time). The waitress was a bit spacey, but the guy with glasses who seems to be in charge was very personable. The whole experience was the closest I've had to being in a typical PRC storefront restaurant in the US and A.
Stopped in again for a repast revisit! Finally met the owner, Mrs. Guan (關) who was sitting in the back eating with a couple of staff members when we spied one particular dish of interest on the table. Was it on the menu? No, but we’ll send a small portion of our dish over to your table. Oh, and they have a new in-house menu.
Cilantro Roots with Hot Pepper Sauce
(拌香菜根 – Ban Xiang Cai Gen)
Delicious root pieces of cilantro were mixed with hot peppers and sauce and a bit of vinegar. Thank you Mrs. Guan! I’ll never throw away cilantro roots again I swear.
Dried Shredded Tofu with Cilantro and Hot Sauce
（拌干豆腐絲－Ban Gan Doufu Si)
We didn’t order this but will next time!
Country Style Cucumbers
(涼拌黃瓜 -Liang Ban Huang Gua)
Not bad. Could definitely taste cilantro, salt, sesame oil and garlic.
Deep Fried Quail
(火爆鵪鶉 – Huo Bao An Chun)
This was a house special written on the wall, one of three. Crunchy pieces of quail with a scattering of hot red peppers.
Sour Cabbage Steamed Dumplings
(酸菜 水饺 －Suan Cai Shui Jiao)
A huge mound of deliciousness. These were gobbled up.
Stir Fried Lamb Kidney with Cumin
(孜然羊腰 － Ziran Yang Yao)
This was the surprise hit of the meal. Tender pieces of lamb kidney in cumin with vegies.
Spring Roll Combination
(春餅合菜 － Chun Bing He Cai)
This seems like the Dongbei version of Moo Shu Pork. In the menu it is actually spelled “Spring Rpcl.” This came with large delicious home-made pancakes, a type of hoisin sauce (less sweet) and scallions. We observed at least four orders of this being served up to the masses while we were chowing-down. And it seems this is a popular dish, trusty sidekick Anya tells me. There is an Amoy (Xiamen)-style popia - popia being a Fujian dialect word. They also are big, thin pancakes that you fill with a stir-fried mixture and some condiments:
Stir Fried Beef with Scallions
蔥爆牛肉-Cong Bao Niu Rou
Succulent slices of beef and scallions simply presented.
Sautéed Water Spinach
空心菜 – Kong Xin Cai
Very able rendition with garlic and just a bit of oil.
Pork and Chinese Cabbage Cake
豬肉餡餅 - Zhu Rou Xian Bing
Excellent. Who said the Chinese did not invent stuffed crust pizza?
Eight Treasure Cake
八寶餅 －Ba Bao Bing
Delivered free to us at the end of the meal by Mrs. Guan. Worthy of its name and is packaged and sold in stores in Flushing around the Lunar New Year we were told.
Brined Blue Water Crawling Shrimp
藍水蝦爬子 - Lan Shui Xia Pa Zi
Mrs. Guan treated us to a sample when we inquired about it. She painstakingly peeled it to reveal tiny pieces of nourishment that tasted like crab.
As Buttertart noted, they also serve Harbin beer – invented over a century ago by a Russian to sate fellow Russians laboring to build the trans-Siberian railway. (All power to the workers' beer?) The Harbin brewery is now owned by Anheuser-Busch.
awesome and informative reviews; which was the dish that they gave you, part of their house meal? and, cilantro roots are the special ingredient! I always buy cilantro with the roots if possible, both to preserve but also great when mashed up and blended into any kind of sauce that needs cilantro itself, really punches up the flavor, deep.
scoopG; I gotta give you mad props for your service to the CH community. today's Village Voice has Sietsema plunder this very thread, down to the wiki entry on toon and the corn bread discussion. what's up with his weird analysis again? he called ayada japanese-style just because there's raw shrimp on the menu (it's good) and now calls Golden Pacific teutonic just because they have mien-ge-da? peep everybody:
and here you can see clearly that the preview VV post was done at 10:26am [http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkint... ], after SE:NY's post at 9:00am [http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0... ] so there's another example.
anyway, props again; we'll get up!
There seems to be a general lack of originality on many fronts lately. It's much easier to troll through the chowhound threads than through unfamiliar neighborhoods like the OGs did. It doesn't matter to the publications/editors because we are not their primary audience. It's the 99% who've probably never even been on this site.
Our man lost quite a bit of credibility when he picked off phrases verbatim from my Mustang Thakali Kitchen writeup for his own review. That seems to be par for the course with other "professional" food critics in NYC as well (including bloggers). I guess the words on these boards are not subject to copyright fairness, nor do these writers have much regard for ethics and creative thought.
This is disgusting - I can't stand his reviews anyway (the blithe smugness and his pet vocabulary - "annealed" anyone? - drive me insane) and have always thought he had very little knowledge of or palate for Asian food or culture. (Remember his being surprised at mention of Mao in a Hunanese context? For crying out loud.)
I happened to walk by another Dongbei restaurant with Korean writings today whose chef is also from Liaoning, Shenyang. Their menu didn't look new, even though the guy said they'd move there recently. Their hours are also Noon to Midnight. I wonder if it's related to the Golden Palace you're talking about. ..
Anyhow, it's a small place with all booths with long tables outfitted with a grill. I saw the brown color charcoals all ready to go. Besides the regular menu they had a sheet of 28 items of choices for Shish Kebab...I guess to be done at your own table.
As a retired Chowhound, I didn't get to try anything, but I thought maybe the Flushing experts can shed some light if they've been, and try this place if it's not been tried...Thanks!
Yang Ji Chon
35-14 Farrington street, Flushing, NY 11354
Was glad to have finally hit this place today, albeit solo, which limited my options.
Ordered the Cuttlefish Salad from the appetizers and the Crispy Lamb w/ Hot Peppers as my main, and, naturally, got the lamb dish first. The lamb dish - admittedly not the most adventurous of choices - was prepared in much the same way as you might get at an Sichuan or even the crispy lamb at Fu Ron. It's not quite as spicy, no, but ever so succulent, juicy and drenched in red chili oil which forms a thick pool at the bottom of the plate. The gobs of dark brown lamb are flecked with plenty of crisp, crunchy peppers, and chunks of garlic and scallion. This dish has great texture, and it's the type of dish that, wherever I get it, I resolve to take some of it home but then can't stop eating it. In this case, willpower won out and I doggybagged about a quarter of it.
Getting the Cuttlefish Salad appetizer second actually worked out nicely, as this dish was a cool, sweet, refreshing counterpoint to the lamb. The sweetness was mild. I'm generally not a fan of sweet dishes, but this one worked for me, as the subtle local Cuttleflsh flavor still came through. It struck me as very freshly prepared, the cuttlefish rubbed in a mild hot sauce and served amidst shredded carrot and cabbage strands and a crunchy, stalk of light green vegetable. Again, the texture and flavor are working beautifully together.
Perusing the take-out menu sometime later, I noticed some different offerings and some items that are called by different English names. I look forward to returning and trying a great many dishes named above.
Got catch, Scoop.
Can't believe it's been six months since my last visit. I definitely have to start coming here more often. I'd recommend that others follow suit; the joint was near empty today - Friday, that is - at around 1:30. They deserve better. Anyhow, two more dishes:
Crispy squid with peppers - crispy, indeed. These guys were like a far better-than-average beer snack on steroids. On the salty side as well, but not overly so, with a hint of the advertised spice factor. Good flavor happening with the crispiness. The tiny little muthers sat in a bed of spices and what looked like fennel seeds, a mix that's equally good sprinkled over rice, and a shallow pool of chili oil. I didn't like this quite as much as the Crispy Lamb w/ Peppers dish I had in January - that's one of my two or three favorite dishes of the year - but I'd gladly get this again, with some of that beer the staff was downing from the tiny, makeshift spigot up front.
boiled sour cabbage dumplings - there's pork in there, too. even though it's not advertised, per se, there's moist and savory in there along with that sour cabbage. and these muthers are every bit as good as Scoop and others have said. the thick skins hold everything together nicely as well. Just a heads-up here to the single diners out there coming in for a quick lunch: a 6.99 order amounts to what looked like over twenty dumplings. dare i say, a heaping mound. i did okay, but both these and the crispy squid survived the trip home (by foot and subway in 90 degree heat) and tasted just fine later on.
Not enough people know it, or let on, or let on that they let on, but Golden Palace is shaping up to be a winner. I'm slowly making my way through their menu. At the rate i'm going, and, by my own rough calculations, I'll have tried everything by March of 2049.
Unless, of course, Golden Palace is an Ikea by then.
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
Golden Palace has become one of those places for me, where each visit yields more delights and surprises. Sunday's trip was for take-out; I brought home a feast:
- Crispy squid w/ Peppers: This was a must. My wife is still talking about the leftovers I brought home last time, so any return home without this dish in tow was to be attempted at my own peril. The preparation was different this time, though. Perhaps because the on-duty chef was different or maybe because they got my order confused with one down on the menu - "sauteed squid w/ peppers." Who knows? Instead of the deep-fried and golden-brown beer snacks we got last time, these were definitely sauteed yet still smothered in long red peppers and a variety of spices, so there were some similarities. But the squid were that much more fresh and chewy. I liked this version even more. Superb.
- Crispy, sauteed pork: Not so crispy, no. More on the moist side, these light brown fried nuggets were quite good and served with long green peppers, the seeds leaking out every which way. On the savory side, this dish was a very nice compliment to the far hotter and saltier squid. I'd order it again.
- Boiled dumplings with leek, egg, shrimp and pork: Golden Palace's dumplings are the thick-skinned variety. An $8.99 order gets you enough for a small army, piled on a plate. They start to stick together, which is part of the fun. Although the skins are a tad too thick, the innards are quite tasty. These were filled with pure flavor. I've also dug the sour cabbage and pork versions. We got this with the kid in mind. He was all smiles when we opened the container.
- Tofu and cabbage soup: Included for the sake of balance, this wonderful and simple soup nearly stole the show. The broth was simple but had a strong flavor, and the helpings of tofu and cabbage were plentiful. Plus, for $6.99, they give you a ton of soup. Two containers full - one big, one small.
Overall, an excellent meal. Not a dud in the group. At 38 bucks, total, it was a bargain as well. We were stuffed and had plenty of leftovers for the next day.
Golden Palace serves food with strong flavors, to be sure. They have a nice mix on the menu of spicy, hot and savory. Also, some sweet options as well (I just caught sight of the sticky taro dessert on the take-out menu). I'm also intrigued by the vegetable options as well - the "black fungus with yam" is calling my name. Having had some of the more safe dishes, I've merely scraped the surface, and am looking forward to trying the chicken gizzards, the pig kidneys and definitely something with loofah (maybe the dumplings).
Just an excellent little spot.
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
I haven't been to Fu Ron in a few years, Prunefeet, but, for my money, GP is one of the two or three best restaurants in all of Flushing right now. They emphasize strong flavors and are very good utilizing spices and herbs. Yet, to my taste, they never overdo it. I just went there again the other day and had a crispy chicken gizzard dish that was definitely on your earthy, salty and savory side - lots of fenned. Yet, they were still plenty juicy. The black fungus - from a dish on the menu called "black fungus with yam", the "yam" in this case being golden fried potatoes - were shiny, black, gelatinous and flecked with huge chunks of garlic and sitting in a shallow pool of oil. Wonderful, tasty dish - much better than your average vegetable dish. I would order it again in a heartbeat. The food here strikes me as unique as compared to Fu Ron, or any other restaurant I've been to in Flushing, and needs to be judged on its' own terms. Some will dig it - perhaps as much as me - some won't. I highly recommend you give it a go.
As someone noted in another thread, these guys renovated. Boy, did they ever renovate. They took on the neighboring storefront, so the joint is pretty much double in size, then added a back room with a large table for bigger groups. That's pretty much the only change. The staff is uniformly the same and, glad to say, the food is as good as ever.
Made a much belated return trip on this, an icy, slippery and freezing Tuesday evening, at around 8pm. Drove on over from work. The place was three quarters full, with the back room filling up for what looked like a private gathering.
The crispy lamb with peppers, which I haven't had since I first tried it just over a year ago, remains an amazing dish. One thing I've noticed about this place is that I never get the same dish prepared in exactly the same way. In the case of Golden Palace, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The first time I tried this dish, they used deep-red, flat crispy peppers, and the chunks of garlic were bigger, much bigger. Not so much here. But, if anything, the lamb was much more moist this time. I can't say enough about this dish - just superb.
I also ordered their cabbage and pork chop soup for take-out - that'll be for lunch tomorrow. If it's anywhere near as good as the tofu and cabbage soup, then I'll be a happy man.
These guys don't get as much love or attention as M&T around the corner, but they deserve to. Just a wonderful restaurant.
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
SN New Restaurant
44-09 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355
Damn - missed out on the New Year cakes. I guess they'll have them through at least Saturday or Sunday, no?
In any event, I am just now eating last night's take-out order, yet another wonderful item: Porkchop and Cabbage soup. Fall-off-the-bone porkchops, wonderful, full, home-style broth, good, full-flavor. This, being a soup, is one of your more safe take-out and eat-later dishes. Delicious stuff.
Stopped by for the first time since the expansion and renovation. They did a fine job. Lighter, brighter and much more spacious. The owner, Guān Jīng (关晶) was in commanding form. We ordered six items from their regular menu and four of their house specials. These dozen or so house specials are written in Chinese only and at every table.
The best dish, Money Tofu (金錢豆腐-Jīnqián Tòufu – one of the house specials) was so named because the tofu was cut like old thick Chinese coins. Pale yellow on the exterior and with a delicate interior, this dish was sensational. Duck Heads (醬鴨頭-Jiàng Yá Tóu) were well flavored with many small bones - probably best devoured bar side over ice cold brews. Stir-fried Pork with Garlic Shoots (蒜苗排骨肉 - Suànmiáo Páigǔròu) and Spicy Stir-fried Chicken Gizzards were the other house special dishes.
Off the regular menu, their signature Crispy Flounder with Chili Pepper was as astonishing as remembered; steamed and pan-fried dumplings went down well and the Cabbage and Tofu Soup rounded out a great meal.
Sorry: don't have a menu handy but I suggest you print out ScoopG's post and point to items in it. A good friend of mine does just that.
ScoopG: Here is an idea: how about you publish a small handbook of recommendations and an English-Chinese card? Based on what you have published here so far. Strictly online so they can be easily updatable? You will collect a small fee, maybe via PayPal or Square, unless customer's initials match RS, in which case the price is X10000. :-)
Folks, please reply if you are willing to support Scoop's research. I do.
Three of us decided last minute to have a Sunday lunch here today. I had little time to research and not much to add to the informative posts by ScoopG, above, except to say that I thought this place was terrific!
My two friends were timid about spicing, so I concentrated on the less spicy offerings, with one exception, and a stellar exception it was--Crispy Lamb with Chili Pepper. In my opinion, this dish stacked up well against the Little Pepper version. The heat was less fiery, though; actually a bit mild for my own taste. Strong flavor of cumin, which I like very much.
We were given two starters from the cold case in the rear of the restaurant: shredded potato and chunks of cabbage, both bathed in a mild red chili sauce.
Corn cakes..interesting more as an oddity. Bland but worth trying. I need to read up on the origin of these in the cooking of the region.
Pork and Chinese Cabbage Cake..Crisp fried on the outside; very generous portion of four large bing "sandwiches" cut into two halves each. ($4.99) I've not had many of these, so cannot say where they stacked up but they certainly were tasty.
Dried Tofu with Fresh Hot Pepper..This is a favorite dish of mine at Fu Run. The version here was in the same league. This one has slices of pork. A winner!
Eggplant with Hot Garlic Sauce...Braised in reddish sauce, rather than crispy. Very tasty. Excellent, in fact.
Spring Pancake Combination. Stir fried pork slivers, bean sprouts, two kinds of mushrooms, and some greens. Served with thin flour pancakes (these stick together so be sure to pry them apart first), hoisin, and sliced scallions. Mo Sho Pork-ish. Excellent.
I took home stacks of containers. Total bill for 3 persons: $49 before tip. No drinks.
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
Last night in the company of 4 friends, I paid my second visit to this excellent restaurant, which now ranks high on my list of Flushing favorites.
We began the meal with two dishes from the vegetable section of the menu:
*Sauteed Mushrooms, Day Lily & Fungi proved to be a heaping platter of mushrooms, dominated by a variety that I believe is known as "tree ears." This was a very good dish but not among my favorites of the evening.
***Dried Tofu with Fresh Hot Pepper was not only a favorite of everyone at the table, but it is a dish that alone would bring me to Golden Palace. Unlike Fu Run's version, this contains squares of velvety, tender pork. Essential!
We continued with the following dishes, accompanied by Heineken. (Harbin beer is no longer served, but pitchers of draft are available; many patrons I observed, however, arrived with their own stash of spirited beverages)
**Fried Dumplings stuffed with Leek, Shrimp, Pork and Egg. Although the restaurant is known for their dumplings, these were not a big hit with our group; some found the filling to be bland and next time I would choose, perhaps, the pork/sour Cabbage version. A very generous portion, though.
***Crispy Lamb with Chili Pepper. Tidbits of very tender lamb robustly spiced with cumin. One of the better renditions of this dish that I've sampled, although less spicy than the Fu Run and Little Pepper versions. Excellent.
***Sauteed Sliced Pork, Eggs and Fungus. Run, do not walk, to GP for this incredible delicious combination of cloud-fluffy egg yolks, mushrooms and luscious pork slices. Utterly wonderful and a hit with everyone at the table.
***Crispy Flounder with Chili Pepper. Another tremendous hit! Flash-fried whole flounder showered with cumin, red chili peppers, black pepper and lots of salt. Demolish one side, turn the fish over to reveal the underside, crosshatched with knife cuts to allow the candy-crisp fish to peel off in chunks. Fantastic!
***Sauteed Spinach with Garlic. Perfectly cooked, tender greens, hearty with garlic.
Although little English is spoken, the owner is warm and welcoming and we ended our meal with a mound of complimentary red-date-studded eight-treasure rice cake , along with the usual tray of oranges.
Empty at 6:30, the place was full by 7pm and remained so for the hours that we were inside. The bill, before tip and with beers, totalled $20 per person. Based on my own, albeit fairly limited experience, is appears that Golden Palace is firing on all cylinders.
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
I returned to Golden Palace last night and, in the company of 7 friends, enjoyed another stellar dinner, this time in one of the private rooms behind the main dining room. (I booked by phone the morning of the dinner)
We had several old favorites along with a handful of new dishes and although I am familiar only with a tiny portion of the restaurants riches that Flushing has to offer, I am guessing that this restaurant must be among the best in the neighborhood right now.
Accompanied by pitchers of draft beer ($9 each) these are the dishes we sampled; apologies for the spotty descriptions.
To prevent all of the dishes arriving at once, I chose to order the meal in two rounds; the following were the "appetizer" dishes although they do not all appear in that category on the menu:
GREEN BEAN SHEET JELLY. A platter of thickly cut mung bean noodles tossed with cilantro and shredded vegetables, this was good but we all agreed that it was not on the level of the same dish at Fu Run. The ratio here was heavier on the vegetables than the noodles and the dish lacked the heat of the wasabi oil served at Fu Run (although we should have requested this; perhaps it is an option here as well)
CUCUMBER, COUNTRY STYLE. Refreshing but nothing special, according to my fellow diners; I did not taste.
CLAMS WITH GINGER AND SCALLIONS. the version at Fu Run wins the competition here, too. These spotted brown-shelled morsels were small and fresh, but lacked much discernible ginger or scallion.
FRIED BEAN CURD HOME STYLE. A standout. Despite the dried red pepper pods and the orange color of the sauce, the dish was not fiery but, rather, offered just a slight heat. The texture of the tofu and the low simmering heat combined to make this a favorite of the evening for me.
STEAMED SOUR CABBAGE DUMPLING WITH PORK. Another hit; I was too busy talking to taste one, though.
And in the second round:
EGGPLANT WITH BROWN SAUCE may not sound too interesting but it was among the hits of the night. Diagonal slices of eggplant were cooked to a creamy consistency and tossed with a light brown sauce, green peppers, scallions, carrots, (and other vegetables?) to create a dish that was beautiful both to the eye and to the mouth!
I'd consider this a must.
CHINESE WATERCRESS WITH GARLIC. Fresh and beautifully cooked, with plenty of chopped garlic.
PORK FILET WITH SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE. A guilty pleasure. Surprisingly, this was on many other tables, although ours was the only one surrounded by non-Chinese diners.
CRISPY FLOUNDER WITH CHILI PEPPER. Described in posts before this one, this is among the best dishes I've had in Flushing. Liberal use of cumin. (Can someone explain the origin of cumin in the cooking of NE China?)
SAUTEED SLICED PORK EGGS AND FUNGUS. Also described in reverential tones in posts above. Another essential dish, notwithstanding the lack of commas in the description.
DRIED TOFU WITH FRESH HOT PEPPER. Yet another hit, also described above. runs neck and neck with the Fu Run version, although this one adds velvety slices of pork.
BABY CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM CASSEROLE. The waiter's eyes lit up when we ordered this and he noted that the mushrooms were a special variety from China. They were meaty and delicious. This was not a personal favorite although the flavor intensified as the liquid reduced in the casserole and became a tasty topping for the rice noodles at the bottom of the pot. I would like to try one of the pork casseroles next time..perhaps the Dried Bean Curd with Pork.
We were given 3 complimentary dishes--shredded cabbage and other vegetables (very tasty but we were fairly stuffed by then); wonderful chunks of SWEET POTATO WRAPPED IN SYRUP (the sugar hardens when you dip it in the accompanying bowl of cold water; and orange slices.
With ample beer, the total was $24.50 per person. That's what I call a great price-value ratio!
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355
They have added ten new dishes which have been translated. Photos attached of the Farmer's Stewed Cloud Casserole and the Homemade Sausage.
Steamed Pork Belly with Mustard Greens
雪菜扣肉 - Xuě Cài Kòu Ròu
Braised Red-cooked Lion’s Head Meatballs
紅燒獅子頭 - Hóng Sháo Shī Zi Tóu
Stewed Lamb Casserole
紅燜羊肉 - Hóng Mèn Yáng Ròu
Farmers Stewed Cloud Casserole
(with Pork Belly, Potatoes and Green Beans)
農家燉雲頭 - Nóng Jiā Dùn Yún Tóu
Home-style Stewed Casserole
家常燉籠利- Jiā Cháng Dùn Lóng Lì
Stewed Pork Bone Casserole
鍋仔脊骨菜 - Guō Zǎi Zǐ Jí Gǔ Dùn Cài
自制香腸 - Zì Zhì Xiāng Cháng
Pork Bones in Soybean Paste
醬脊骨 - Jiáng Jǐ Gǔ
Small Dry-Fried Meatballs
干炸小丸子 - Gān Zhá Xiǎo Wán Zi
Tofu with Dried Vegetables
干菜小豆腐 - Gān Cài Xiǎo Dòu Fu
Just a brief note to mention that four of us returned to Golden Palace last night. Our dinner was a reprise of old favorites, which were enthusiastically received by our out-of-town guests.
We did sample one "new" dish, from the list so kindly translated by Scoop, above: The Red-Cooked Lion's Head Meatballs, a step away from the kitchen's DongBei orientation, four large and utterly delicious balls of fluffy pork, with plenty of juicy fat, served atop a generous helping of some of the tiniest baby bok choi I have ever seen. This dish is now offcially on the rotation.
On a nearby table, I spotted a dish of Spicy Fried Squid Heads so great looking that I was tempted to snatch one off the plate! Behaved myself, but had the waiter write down the name in Chinese characters. (there is a dish with that English name on the laminated menu, but the waiter insisted that the dish I noticed was not the same) Cannot wait to return to try that, and the long list of excellent dishes being turned out by this kitchen.
When we neared the restaurant, it looked as if it might be closed, probably due to the tinted covering ont he windows. They seem to have lost some of their curb appeal, but do not deterred: scrumptious Dongbei food awaits within.
We had no trouble parking on Kissena, a few steps from the restaurant. Some English is spoken by the staff.
Ginny & I brought a friend there after going to the US Open on Labor Day weekend & we also noticed that "blackout" window treatment....strange. We had to wait almost 1/2 hour for a table, as they were very busy. We had a great meal but knew nothing of the meatballs. So, when are we all going back? By the way, I'm still not real fond of the cumin lamb there but the dry bean curd (tofu?) w/hot peppers and the sautéed pork w/eggs and fungus still make my short list of things to eat.
re: Steve R
Steve: We ordered the cumin lamb ribs on this visit. Good, but less fatty and therefore not as thrilling for me as the legendary Muslim chop turned out by Fu Run.
The dry bean curd sheets with "fresh hot pepper," aka green peppers, was as outstanding as usual. The whole flounder was also terrific, and dry fried string beans with crispy pork (and another crispy ingredient??) were very good as well.
Must also mention that there was a large sign in Chinese on the front door that I was unable to read and that I forgot to ask about.
Maybe referred to less than stellar DOH score, also posted on window, but that is only conjecture....in any case, we need to schedule a return visit very soon!!