Flushing Review: Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Is Flushing ready to have a second Hunan restaurant? About two weeks ago Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan opened. My waiter told me the same folks who operate the Grand Sichuan chain own it. (“Must have sprung up overnight.”) They have plans in due season to serve breakfast (from 7:00 a.m.) with plenty of buns, Chinese-style pancakes and dumplings, as well as Night Snacks (10:00 pm to 2:00 am.)
In addition to the characteristic Cold Platters, Appetizers, Soups and Vegetable sections, the menu also has headings like Hunan Country Style Dishes, Hunan Old Style Dishes, Famous Hunan Dishes, Hunan Steamed Dishes, Casserole and Clay Pot and “Healthy.” On weekdays they have 20 lunchtime “over rice” specials with soup for $4.75. Here’s what was disposed of on my first flyover:
Pickled Cabbage, Hunan style – light and crunchy with a savory, mild kick.
Hunan Eggplant – although listed as spicy, this wasn’t. The eggplant was mashed, which I wasn’t expecting. Definite taste of sesame oil. More of texture dish to contrast with the other edibles to follow.
Dan Dan Noodles – I know, I know. Why order this at a Hunan joint? You already know the provenance of HK of GS and I'm always trolling for a tasty DDM. I was let down by the overcooked noodles and dearth of minced pork to so many lonesome noodles.
Chicken with Hot Red Pepper – Choice bits of garlic, scallions and ginger amid the mountain of dried chili peppers. My only quibble was that the chicken chunks (on the bone) could have been a little larger. (Hunan House offers this dish boneless for the bone-impaired.)
Braised Pork, Mao’s Style – This was the best dish by far. Well braised with juicy chunks of pork belly in a goodly gravy.
White Pepper Smoked Beef – My second favorite. Ever so many dried white peppers and the smoked-dry beef made this very flavorsome.
Hunan Fried Rice – not something I usually ever get but dining companions wheedled me. Interesting interpretation with bits of egg, bacon, fat and pickled vegetables and just a dab too much oil.
There is certainly enough “elegant sufficiency” at HK of GS to bring me back again. That I’ve tasted first Hunan House love in Flushing makes me prepossessed. But oh those coquettish glances from Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan!
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
42-47 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
42-47 Main St, Queens, NY 11355
A Sunday visit to HK of GS showed that they are still producing great meals. A couple of old favorites were ordered along with some new dishes. Highlights included Ox Tongue and Tripe in a Spicy Pepper Sauce, a Minced Pork and Sour String Bean Noodle Soup, a delicate Tofu and Crabmeat dish and a wholesome BBQ Duck Casserole.
Boy, this place went uphill in a hurry.
When I first visited last May, I thought it was inferior to Hunan House – the type of place to wait out a bad haircut or lay low while Irving H. Picard is going through your filings. I find it hard to believe it is the same chef but HK of GS is hopping now. The only miss (again) was their Dan Dan Noodles - lots of noodles in a sauce with very little meat. Other dishes tried:
Steamed Pork with Oatmeal Vegetable
Hands-down winner. Melt-in-your-mouth slices of pork belly with with pickled mustard in a deep, rich broth. Not sure why they are using this “Oatmeal Vegetable” term. The Chinese characters are 梅菜 Mei2 Cai – which means pickled mustard. This dish originated among the Hakka in Huizhou, China (some 60 miles east of Guangzhou) and has spread throughout China.
Lamb with Spicy Salt – four tasty chops on the bone, quickly devoured.
Sautéed Pea Shoots – small portion but satisfying.
Braised Smoked Bamboo – hot and earthy and a hint of sourness to boot.
Smoked Duck – nice and smoky.
BBQ Fish Hunan Style – lots of good stuff here. Celery, peanuts, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and cumin. Huge amount of delciousness.
Chinese Yam, Red Bean and Backbone Soup – wonderful broth and texture from the radish.
Here's more on this Mei Cai - preserved mustard, which can be purchased in Flushing:
Sifton's review is one of his best as far as style is concerned.
"These both taste of life beneath a warm blanket as, outside, sleet falls."
"(A bowl of stir-fried spicy smoked pigs’ ears comes from the same playbook, but the texture is about what you’d get running a football through a paper shredder. It is not for freshmen.)"
I haven't eaten at the restaurant yet but boy do I know what he means in both excerpts.
OMG they serve real fish head?! Search fish head on outerboroughs and you'll find me begging for a place to get the real deal. I had it at Hunan House but it wasn't what I was looking for. This sounds like the one.
Real Hunan Fish Head is my favorite food on earth and I've never found a good one here.
I am so there.
Hunan House Restaurant
29-30 Union St, Queens, NY 11354
Always just a few steps behind... If I don't get credit for being the first to report..... Allow me to be the first to report a DOWNHILL ALERT!!!!... Just kidding... Last night was my first time dining there and for the little we ordered it was terrific..
Cucumber and scallion sauce..
Conch in chili oil..
And the BBQ Fish.. Which was a tilapia rubbed in cumin.. Then braised in a chili sauce with potaotes, string beans and peanuts. Topped with a handful of cilantro..
Served in a braising pan and sitting up on a gas burner placed in the middle of the table..
Wonderful dish.. I would take this over cumin lamb any day...
Will be back shortly..
I noticed the lady behind the front desk as the woman who use to run the Grand Sichuan in Chelsea..