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Nov 13, 2009 08:59 PM

Flushing Mall vs Golden Mall?

I've been to the Golden many times and eaten at Chengdu, Xian, etc and love it. I've never been to the Flushing Mall--Any compelling reason to eat there as opposed to my usual Golden moment?

Golden Shopping Mall
41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

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    1. Had the gua (guo?) bao at temple snacks in the flushing mall the other day.... that monster may be worth a trip to flushing alone.

      15 Replies
      1. re: ChiefHDB

        i agree, temple snacks is the only place you can get a good gua bao in NYC

        the dan bing (egg pancake) at the taiwanese breakfast place (yong he) in the middle is worth getting....its a pretty reasonable rendition

        1. re: Lau

          Lau, is the dan bing in any way like jiang1 ("fried") or da4 (big) bing3? I'm looking for the common street food with a very thin batter-made crepe, often topped with an egg swirled onto the crepe while cooking, a brownish jian4 (sauce) and you2 tiao2, sometimes a few vegetables. I've been jonesing after the stuff in a major way.

          (As always, please forgive any crappy Romanization. I really am terrible at it!!)

          1. re: cimui

            typically dan-bing is just the crepe/tortilla/pancake fried in a pan with a layer of egg, then rolled up, cut up and served with soy sauce. that crazier one I've still yet to see but the closest is in Flushing used to be at the J&L mall, from the place next to (or part of, I could never tell) the muslim breads and dofunao which has relocated a block down main street closer to roosevelt; i think this place is called Oriental Express Mall or something: more leads on that vendor here:


            I'm pretty sure I've seen some fools sit down to a huge plate of youtiao wrapped in egg and more bread, then dunking into dofunao.

            1. re: bigjeff

              This place?

              Sheng Jian Muslim Little Kitchen
              Oriental Express Food Lucky L & LWC
              41-40 Main St
              Queens, NY


              1. re: kathryn

                i believe this is what cimui is talking about

                they put some fried cracker thing in it in this video, but you can also put a you tiao in it

                1. re: Lau

                  Hilarious video. Hilarious.

              2. re: bigjeff

                The youtiao (and crackers) are an optional ingredient and only added with a very moderate hand. It's for that textural contrast and really does add a lovely crunch. (Sorta like my favorite childhood sandwich of potato chips or Cheezits on white bread... except way better. ;) Still think dan bing and jiang bing sound very similar, though I guess the only way to tell is to try dan bing, eh? I'll add that to the many, many reasons I need to get out to Flushing, soon.

                1. re: cimui

                  for a dan bing think more egg as opposed to crepe and for a jian bing, think more crepe as opposed to egg. also there isn't any plum sauce or chilli sauce on a dan bing

              3. re: cimui

                no you're talking about the northern chinese dish which is very hard to find in the US even in LA i've only heard about a few places serving it (and its not supposed to be that good)

                this is the kind you get at taiwanese breakfast places (found via google):

                its awesome, but very different from what you're looking for. i just had the best taiwanese breakfast ever although i was in taipei, so its hard to compete with that

                1. re: Lau

                  I saw the picture... this is hard to get in LA? I am suspicious. This was so easy I wouldn't doubt if somebody can find it in Dallas. OK, I will need find some proof. Also, I really think that Flushing mall has it already.

                  1. re: Lau

                    Don't you think dan bing and jiang bing actually look and sound very similar? Jiang bing just has a few more optional ingredients, it sounds like, and rather than being served with soy sauce, it's served with a thicker brown sauce (not plum sauce as the video claimed). Interesting that jiang bing is this hard to find given that it's so ubiquitous all over China.

                    >>its awesome, but very different from what you're looking for. i just had the best taiwanese breakfast ever although i was in taipei, so its hard to compete with that

                    Alright, don't rub it in, buddy. ;) Did it include chou dofu?

                    1. re: cimui

                      If we get down to the very specific, based on the picture Lau provided, that is a Dan bing "style" popular in taiwan. i.e. it was curled up to a roll. But it's not uncommon to see it done in "other ways" (presentation wise). Many are served with sweet chili sauce. Again, however it's presented I doubt it should be that hard to find. House of Tun Ho in Flushing mall should have it?? A&J in California even?

                      1. re: tt1688

                        trust me they are different...i think you guys need to try each one and you'll understand what i'm saying

                        with respect to things being "easy", yes there are alot of things that are reasonably easy to make and readily available in asia that are almost impossible to find in the US, i dont think that has much to do with it...i just came back and you'd be surprised how much stuff you cant get here that you can get there with ease that is really easy to make

                        1. re: Lau

                          jeez guys, can't compare food in asia wit food available here! it is apples and watermelon! wat is 'easy' to make in asia also means CHEAP. Nothing is actually cheap in US in comparison (sliding value of USD not withstanding!) Dan Bing and Jian Bing is all about the batter formulation, the amount of used - batter and oil, and also the cooking technique. the 2 are different, as lau keeps telling you.
                          both dan bing and jian bing have significant regional (provincial and even township) differences in terms of thickness, sauces, fillings. Neither are considered 'sophisticated' foods and there are significant differences btwn Taiwan and Mainland - breakfast that great-grandma used to make at home (like the American weekend pancake breakfast) vs. basic street breakfast of the village offered from 5 or 6 am until 8 or 9 am.
                          it is backbreaking work to be a street vendor - i'm sure none of them have immigrated to US, so it is not "authentic". Similarly, in TW, none of the breakfast stalls actually have young people doing any of the cooking - it is all older 'aunts' n 'uncles'. it will only be a generation or two more, before there are no decent bing to be had at all!
                          Just go eat what is available - if you like it, great. if you don't, then tinker with it at home to get what you want! I've had

                          1. re: makanhounds

                            makan, have you had anything you like in nyc?

            2. Flushing Mall has Taiwanese representation with Temple Snacks and the place in the middle. There was another place selling many types of buns toward the middle also. The Korean dumpling stall upstairs is very good also. There is also the stall with the Taiwanese shaved ice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves

                the shaved ice place is no good, they ice is so big, its like ice cubes

              2. good dumplings upstairs (korean-chinese hybrid); otherwise, nothing of real distinction downstairs, but its always fun to eat there, given the choices.

                1. Just wanted to report that I think the Xian stall at Flushing Mall is superior to the one at Golden Mall. The food is a lot fresher and made to order (at least when I was there). You may have to wait a little longer, but it's worth it. It was the first time I had a "burger" where the crust of the bread was crispy on the outside.

                  And it seems that there will be a branch opening up in Manhattan's Chinatown!

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    It seems that their web site confirms it! Warm handmade noodles, liang pi, and lamb burgers, oh my.


                    Manhattan, NY - Chinatown
                    (Opening Soon!
                    )88 East Broadway #106

                    1. re: kathryn

                      oh no way...thats fricking awesome

                      1. re: kathryn

                        best basement vendor website ever; all he needs is a twitter account and he's solid ;)

                        1. re: bigjeff

                          I love this guy and I will definitely drop by the new E.Bdway place. I was touring a couple of Baltimore CHs thru the basement stalls in Golden Mall and, when we reached his stall, he walked right in front of us & said "Bourdain likes" several times, pointing to the Bourdain picture and write ups he had hanging up all over the stall. Lucky his food is so good. :-)

                        2. re: kathryn

                          Yeah, it would definitely be cool to find all those yummy things closer to home! And it will probably make it easier for some Brooklyn and SI hounds to try the stuff.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            I just hope the quality doesn't decline as he spreads himself thinner with 3, or more, locations. Miss Needle says above that the original location isn't as good as the newer one in the Flushing Mall. I haven't noticed a decline in the original where I've always gotten everything freshly made to order, but that's not the point. It has happened before so I'd be just as happy if they stayed put. Besides, Chinatown is a long schlep for some of us.

                            1. re: el jefe

                              I'm also hoping the quality stays good. Actually, I think the second location is better than the original location, even when the original location was the only location. The owner was working at Golden Mall on the day I was at Flushing Mall so I don't think it has anything to do with that. I'm wondering if it's more of a logistics issue. There's a lot more room at Flushing Mall for people to wait around. So perhaps they're really making things to order unlike Golden Mall where the waiting room is minimal where they need to do a few things ahead of time. I waited an awfully long time for my food (at least 15 minutes when I was the first in line). They didn't even start pulling the noodles until I placed my order. There's also a lot more kitchen space at Flushing Mall. At Golden Mall, I notice that they sometimes make their burgers ahead of time and place it in a plastic bag. I once got a pretty bad burger where it was cold and flavorless. At Flushing Mall, they've got this huge covered griddle contraption where all of the burgers are placed -- no burgers lying around at room temperature.

                              Note that this is just from one experience at Flushing Mall so everything I'm saying is a huge assumption. If the Flushing Mall location becomes mobbed, maybe they'll start pre-making their food. And if the customers start getting demanding about how they want their food faster, I can see them changing the way they operate. Personally, I prefer to wait to get my food that is fresher.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Maybe not for the "foodies" here but restaurateurs and "average" eaters would definitely consider flushing mall a step up from the Golden Mall location. I am Chinese and lived in Queens for three years while I literally went to Flushing for food every day. The times I visited Flushing Mall v.s. Golden Mall was about 25 to 1. They have obviously shifted their focus on the new location too. I remembered that the "No Reservation" episode was shot at the original stall but it's the new location in Flushing Mall keeps playing the video at the stall front. Better yet, the Gua Bao so many people praised here is located right next to the Xian stall in Flushing mall.
                                Finally, to the original poster - there needs to be a "compelling" reason to walk a couple of blocks? :-) For curiosity alone you should just give the place a try.

                                1. re: tt1688

                                  I also prefer Flushing Mall to Golden Mall. The food at the two locations are about equal on overall, but Flushing Mall is cleaner, more open, easier to find seats, easier to dispose gargage, and gives you something else to do before/after you're done eating.

                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                    Personally I think Golden Mall is more authentic and the noodles places is pretty good - they make knife cut noodles too. My parents love it, and really dont like the noodles place in Flushing mall. The dumpling place upstairs is also very good - very homestyle and really friendly owners.

                                    Flushing Mall is cleaner and has more variety but in general I have not tried anything that impressed me. There's a lot though so maybe I have just been ordering wrong. The only Taiwanese stuff I remember getting was the pork chop rice and the stinky tofu - just ok. (except Xi'an Famous foods, which I like but is not always consistent at either location.)

                                    1. re: silverlainy

                                      Oh, that Taiwanese pork chop at Flushing Mall was pretty bad. I still keep seeing a lot of people order it though. But their pork and bamboo shoots and gua bao are awesome!

                                      btw, is it just me or has the gua bao at Temple Snacks gotten smaller there?

                                      1. re: silverlainy

                                        Well everything at both malls is authentic--you can well imagine that you're not in the United States when dining and looking at your surroundings at either. But I think I know what you're saying when Golden Mall is more authentic--Golden Mall has more types of food that you're not likely to see anywhere else in New York or the U.S. Plus it's certainly more rustic.

                                  2. re: Miss Needle

                                    I went to the 88 East Broadway Xian location and the son was running it. Everything I had was as good as the Golden Mall location--Had cumin lamb noodle soup, liang pi and tiger veg. There's no place to sit though...

                                  3. re: el jefe

                                    There is another indication that the operation is being spread too thin. The Golden Mall stall has a new cash register. A sign indicates that your purchase is free if you don't receive a receipt. The boss wasn't present and suspects that unsupervised staff may not ring up orders and pocket the cash. Customers must consider that the staff may not be totally committed to product quality either.

                              2. re: Miss Needle

                                I just went to the one in Golden Mall, because I was itching to eat lamb. I was reluctant to go there because I remember it being dirty the last time I was there. It was too cold so I went down there. I noticed this time it was much cleaner and I even sat down to woof down my lamb burger.