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Mar 27, 2011 05:14 AM

He Nan Flavor Now Open in Chinatown

Mr. Wang Qiang (王強) has now opened He Nan Flavor at 68B Forsyth Street, across the street from the Sara Roosevelt Park. This site was once home to one of the former “Best Fuzhou” Restaurants and a Fujianese fast food spot. The He Nan menu (in English) is the same as his Flushing outpost except here they do serve rice.

The interior (with 20-22 covers) is an improvement on the previous tenants in the rectangular shaped room. He Nan Flavor serves up about 20 famous Henan snacks, appetizers and dishes that might be found in the night markets of Henan’s capital Zhengzhou, Mr. Wang’s hometown.

On the north-facing wall is a large full color menu board. Some of the items listed have different English language usage than what is in their printed menu. For example, all of the noodles are hand-made, but on the menu board they are listed as Lo Mein dishes.

I sampled the Pancake with Pork ($2.00) and a small bowl of Black Bean Sauce Lo Mein. Here a small slab of minced pork and cilantro is spread on the interior of a sliced pancake and then placed in a Panini press, giving the exterior a crunchy texture.

Black Bean Sauce Lo Mein ($4.00) is the Henan version of Zha Jiang Mian(炸酱面). Wide wheat noodles are topped with the ground pork and soya bean paste mixture, shredded cucumbers, baby bok choy and cilantro. Served with a bowl of broth.

There are about a dozen handmade noodle dishes on the menu, Big Pan Chicken (named Spicy Big Tray of Chicken here) and a couple of Lamb Dishes. They also offer "soup dumplings" (eight for $7.00) but if they are like the Flushing ones, they are not the Shanghainese style XLB.

He Nan Flavor is distributing small cards (in Chinese) to all patrons that offer a 10% discount on future dine-in orders over $10 and $15 take-out orders. The offer is valid for one month and they write the date of your visit on the card.


For more on Henan and the flagship restaurant:

He Nan Flavor
68B Forsyth Street (between Hester and Grand)
New York, NY 10002

Tel: 212-625-8299

Open everyday from 10 am to 11 pm.

He Nan Flavor
68 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. I'll be interested to see if they distribute the cards equally to Caucasian patrons.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fida

      He Nan Flavor is distributing small cards (in Chinese) to all patrons .....

    2. Appreciate the report and descriptions! How did you like the dishes you tried? And how do they compare to the food at Henan Feng Wei in Flushing? ...

      3 Replies
      1. re: squid kun

        I had two items I had not tried in their Flushing spot but I think they were both good.

        1. re: scoopG

 does this place rate compared to Hong Kong Station on Bayard for a bowl of noodle soup? Is there a notable difference in the the broth?

          Hong Kong Station
          45 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: fourunder

            While the small bowl of broth with my noodle dish was fine, I can't really compare it yet to other spots, fourunder. Will have to try one their noodle soup dishes. But as Chief HDB says I think it is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood with some unique treats not found elsewhere.

      2. Thanks for the report. Curious how this plays in Chinatown with its different demographics.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          I don't want to say I rushed over here based on Scoop's report, but I was conveniently in the area for dinner and the cold weather made a big tray of chicken seem pretty attractive. The menu is actually smaller than Henan Fangwei-- none of the cold dishes according to the waitress and I didn't see any of the meatball dishes and casseroles I tried at the Flushing branch. Too bad-- but our awesome meal made up for any disappointment.

          We got the big tray of chicken and half way though added the handmade noodles. These soaked up the spicy, cuminy oil really well. I really like the potatoes hidden in the oil, which inhale the sauce even better than the noodles.

          Dug the lamb lo mein, which had more of the handmade noodles, glass noodles, wood ears, goji berries and lamb pieces in a mild lamb broth (I say mild, but I actually really liked it ). The waitress said this was their specialty, but I much prefer the chicken. Would like to try the sour vegetable doubling soup and the lamb innards one.

          Also got a pancake with pork. We really liked this, and only $2. Gives the similar version at Xi'an a run for it's money.

          Thanks again for the report Scoop. Great, unique addition to Chinatown (they claim to be the "First Henan Restaurant in Eastern America") and I can't wait to go back.

          1. re: ChiefHDB

            You're right! There are a few items missing from the Flushing store. There are differences I think in the stuffed pancakes. At He Nan there is no cumin and the pork is more like a spread. The pancake is larger but there is less meat and then there is the crunchy exterior provided by the Panini press.

          2. re: Chandavkl

            That entire street is pretty much Fujianese and many were curiously milling about, taking a look but not entering.

            1. re: scoopG

              Interesting about the stuffed pancakes, we didn't try them at the Flushing branch. Also, another notable difference is that there's no beer yet.

              For a Sunday night between 9-10pm, they were actually fairly full, with people coming in and out for eat in and takeout. The lady running the show is actually Fujianese, and you're right that's seemingly their territory.

              I wonder how Chinese people make their dining decisions... does someone in that area see a Henan place and think "hey, I haven't had Henan food in awhile, I'd like to check that out" or do you think they mostly stick to eating from their region?

              1. re: ChiefHDB

                In general I think most Cantonese prefer Cantonese cuisine, Sichuanese prefer Sichuan dishes and Fujianese prefer Fujian food etc...Fujian cuisine for one is marked by a vast selection of soups and the use of Red Wine Lees.

                1. re: scoopG

                  Yes, if my family is any indication, it's very parochial in that regard--except for me.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    Thanks guys. I've heard similar from other people. I guess there must be a demand in the Henan community then.

                    1. re: ChiefHDB

                      I don't completely agree. At least among my family and the people I know, of course there's a strong preference (in our case, for Taiwanese) but yes, there is definitely a lot of "hey, I haven't had _blank_ regional food in a while, let's go get some..." or even "hey, I've never tried food from _blank_ region or _blank_ minority group" (although that "never" is a rare occurrence).

                      This is pretty much going through my head the first time I saw Xi'an Foods.

                      Anyway, I'm excited to try a new place!

          3. Is it table service or like nearby Xian?

            1 Reply
            1. nice review i walked by it the other day and checked out the menu, i'll def go there soon