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Oct 24, 2011 04:16 PM

Flushing Report: Yan Bian True Taste Restaurant, 35-38 Union St

A couple of months ago I spotted a place on Union St, just north of Northern Blvd, called Yan Bian True Taste Restaurant, but when I went to investigate, it seemed to be an empty space. Today I went by on the way to H Mart on Union and saw that the bottom half of the window was covered with large-sized food photos w/ prices, so I went in to investigate.
Restaurant front:
With menu close-up:

The place is run by a Yanbian man named Peter who came to NYC by way of Philadelphia and was completely unaware of the Yanbian stronghold on 41st Ave. He said he's been open for two months and that business is very slow. He explained that many of the people who come in are Korean, since it's in a largely Korean neighborhood, but Peter himself doesn't speak Korean.

While I was there eating a late afternoon lunch of Sea-hare with Fresh Hot Peppers (, a woman came in asking if she could still get the lunch menu, but that she didn't eat beef or pork and wanted the mapo tofu w/ chicken. He said he couldn't do that, and she asked then for a couple of different American Chinese standards. Peter held firm and said that he was providing true Northern Chinese taste and that he didn't serve any beef with broccoli or things of that nature, so the woman left.

As I was alone, I was only able to try the one dish, which was competently prepared, but I hope people will flock over there and try it out and give the poor guy some business.

H Mart
29-02 Union St, Queens, NY 11354

Yan Bian True Taste
35-38 Union St, Queens, NY 11354

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  1. Thanks Peter for this review. This must be the sixth or seventh Korean-Chinese/Chinese-Korean place now!

    1. That's a very casual mention of sea hare...

      ...which I don't recall seeing on any other New York menu, at least under its English name. Is it an outlier, or does Yan Bian True Taste serve other such?

      Yan Bian True Taste
      35-38 Union St, Queens, NY 11354

      5 Replies
      1. re: DaveCook

        There's no other sea-hare on the menu. Is that what you're asking?
        Rifu has a similar dish on their menu, but they call it Aplysia - same Chinese characters as on the YBTT menu though.
        Rifu menu listing:
        Actual dish at Rifu:

        Feng Mao also has a similar dish but translates it as mini-squid. The Chinese is a little different but the Korean is the same as on Rifu's menu:

        Ri Fu
        136-77 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355

        1. re: Peter Cuce

          Excuse my ignorance, but is the taste/texture similar to squid?

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            What is the taste and texture like of a sea hare?

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              Thanks. Sometimes I write too telegraphically; I meant to ask whether the restaurant served other seldom-seen dishes of any sort. Now that I've snagged a takeout menu (but no food; a fourth lunchtime venue would have been over the top), I don't see much beyond the pale, other than blood vessel with chili pepper, as well as the first listing in the pork category, snow balls.

            1. re: Lau

              Satisfying, not amazing, but there was some oily sauce on the bottom that was quite tasty. Can't judge much from one dish of sea hares.

              1. re: Peter Cuce

                "Can't judge much from one dish of sea hares."
                I don't know how or when but at some moment before I die I'm going to work that one in. Thank You

            2. Unfortunately Peter didn't attract enough business, it seems. This location is now the home of Chung-Ah Restaurant, whose owner is from the Northeast, but not Yanbian.

              Dave Cook

              35-38 Union St, Queens, NY 11354

              2 Replies
              1. re: DaveCook

                How exotic. Chung-Ah? Someone has to go there and give us a report asap

                1. re: DaveCook

                  That was fast! This restaurant looks more Korean, judging from the sign, so it'll probably do better in that neighborhood.