Flushing Review: Feng Mao (丰茂), 41st Ave
Last week while walking down 41st Ave, I noticed that the old A Fan Ti space had been occupied by a new Yanbian restaurant, Feng Mao (丰茂), so I got a few people together on short notice and visited it last night.
The space is mostly occupied by party rooms in the back and newly-created private rooms along the entire left wall as you enter, with the rest being mostly four-seaters separated by high wooden dividers. I guess they like their privacy. The menu is similar to that of Rifu, across the street, although the translations are better, service is friendly, free lukewarm barley tea is provided from an urn at the desk, and they have Coors Light on tap, along with a selection of soju, nothing particularly interesting.
In the spirit of trying as much as possible, we ordered too much food for four people, with the final total being $24/person (including tip) for six dishes. Relatively cheap, but given the portions, a bit pricier for certain dishes than Rifu or other Northern Chinese options.
If judging by amount of food left on the serving plate, the favorite dish of the evening was the cumin beef. It was good, but since I've had similarly flavored versions in many other Northern Chinese restaurants, I was more interested in the (supposedly) spicy spare rib dish, which had a small kick to it, but more of a sweet flavor than anything. It was a bit annoying to eat because of the bone shards, somewhat like the Chengdu rabbit dish which you can get in the Golden Mall, among other places, but the flavor was appealing enough to overcome that.
Read my friend's blog post about last night's dinner if you want more detail (http://ericeatsout.blogspot.com/2011/09/feng-mao.html) and see my Flickr photos, which include the entire menu taken w/ my iPhone, since they don't have any takeout menus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/536/sets...
)The food was good, and I'd like to return and try a couple of the other dishes based on their storefront photographs, especially the lamb/fish dish, but I'd classify the meal more as satisfying than exciting.
A Fan Ti
13680 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355
136-77 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355
136-80 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11354
On balance, I'd say the kitchens are turning out similar quality food, but I give Rifu the edge on value given their prices and portion sizes. However, I've eaten at Rifu three or four times and only once at Feng Mao, so I'd probably want to eat more dishes and hit Rifu again before declaring a standout winner.