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Fei Long Food Court, Sunset Park

DaveCook Jan 2, 2012 06:44 AM

This new eleven-stall food court opened two weeks ago on the premises of the Fei Long Market, 6301 Eighth Ave.. The market itself moved to the back of the building.

Shanghai Family Dumpling, whose short menu focuses on xiao long bao, had the longest queue when I stopped in for lunch. It's the first stall on the left as you enter; the others, proceeding clockwise, are New York Ribeye Steak, Shall We Eat (congee, cheung fun, BBQ meats over rice), Chili Time, Emperor's Hot Pot, Saigon Express, South Asian Delight, Maine Lobster House, Grand Noodle House (hand-pulled, with the usual fixings), Sakura Teriyaki Express, and Pan Pan (frozen yogurt). As of my visit, the Ribeye, Chili Time, and South Asian stalls had yet to launch.

Dave Cook
www.EatingInTranslation.com

-----
Fei Long Market
6301 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

  1. DaveCook Jan 28, 2012 05:29 PM

    Revisited yesterday. Ate middling hand-pulled noodles with fish balls from Grand Noodle House. The Ribeye and South Asian stalls still seem far from opening, and the Saigon stall, whose business was very slow on the day of my initial visit, seems already to have called it quits. The stall previously identified as Chili Time is almost ready to go, though only in retrospect have I realized that the signage had changed. I didn't take a photo, but I'm pretty sure that the new name is Laoma Ma La Tang, with a logo like that of the vendor at the New World Mall, in Flushing.

    The crew at Shanghai Family Dumpling were intently picking crab meat for xiao long bao. Lena, the owner of the nearby No. 1 Ice Cream, later told me (over a scoop of avocado) that this stall was opened by the owners of Shanghai Traditional Dumpling, a small business set into the frontage of Fei Long. At that older business, pan-fried is the order of the day.

    I noted at least two other newish businesses that let space from Fei Long: Chili Chilly, which despite the name serves only savory food, and Top Taste, a family-run operation that claims to serve "the only authentic Guilinese cuisine" in New York. I noshed on rice noodles with beef, crispy pork (labeled "chicharron," owing to a Spanish-conversant menu maker), toasted soy beans, and preserved green beans, but I've never been to Guilin and don't know what's what. Perhaps other Chowhounds can look into Top Taste.

    Dave Cook
    www.EatingInTranslation.com

    -----
    Fei Long Market
    6301 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

    35 Replies
    1. re: DaveCook
      Peter Cuce Jan 28, 2012 06:35 PM

      Thanks for the report. Glad to hear that Lena is still making a go of it. Have you tried her durian ice cream yet?

      1. re: Peter Cuce
        DaveCook Jan 28, 2012 07:04 PM

        Yes, on my previous visit to the neighborhood, early this month. It's more floral than pungent; I like it very much.

        Dave Cook
        www.EatingInTranslation.com

      2. re: DaveCook
        r
        rschwim Jan 28, 2012 07:42 PM

        Is there an English menu for Top Taste? How did you like what you had?

        1. re: rschwim
          DaveCook Jan 28, 2012 09:27 PM

          I liked it fine. Top Taste is worth trying if you're out that way, but I wouldn't make a special trip until someone who knows Guilin chow says otherwise. The menu is below.

           
           
          1. re: DaveCook
            a
            AubWah Jan 29, 2012 01:52 PM

            Wow. I haven't been yet, but Top Taste is the Real Deal. I can tell from the pictures of their food. I've sampled famous Guilin rice noodle dishes in California's San Gabriel Valley. I can't wait to get out here. If only a place like this could be in Manhattan. Check out the pictures on their facebook as well. These guys aren't clowning around

            1. re: DaveCook
              a
              AubWah Feb 4, 2012 01:49 PM

              Dave, thanks for making me aware of Top Taste. You are a living legend

              1. re: DaveCook
                b
                Barry Strugatz Feb 11, 2012 12:50 PM

                I tried the Guilin rice noodle dish. Very good with slices of roast pig and some kind of tasty braised beef. It's listed on a poster as dish #1 when you order. The rice noodle dishes are listed as soups, but it just means that they serve a cup of broth on the side.

                1. re: Barry Strugatz
                  r
                  rschwim Feb 11, 2012 02:35 PM

                  Barry, was it spicy? When I was there the young guy working the counter told me in Guilin they normally have that dish spicy but despiced it because (he said) most Chinese around Sunset Park aren't into hot spicing... I asked him to make it for me the way he would normally have it... Very nice

                  1. re: rschwim
                    a
                    AubWah Feb 11, 2012 02:43 PM

                    Its not spicy

                    1. re: rschwim
                      b
                      Barry Strugatz Feb 11, 2012 02:49 PM

                      Not spicy but good. I'll try asking for it spicy next time. Also want to try the other rice noodle dishes, they have 2 different sausage versions.

                      1. re: Barry Strugatz
                        a
                        AubWah Feb 11, 2012 02:56 PM

                        The chefs at Top Taste are Legends and deserve to be regarded with due reverence

              2. re: DaveCook
                Ike Feb 6, 2012 01:26 PM

                Ah, so the place out front is called Shanghai Traditional Dumpling! I failed to make a note of the name, and our source did not know it either. Thanks Dave.

                I love those Shanghai dumplings. The texture is really nice and unique. I like things that are crispy on the bottom. The wontons are really good too.

                1. re: DaveCook
                  b
                  Barry Strugatz Feb 7, 2012 08:01 AM

                  Tried the crab/pork soup dumplings. Not great but okay. Kind of bland. Want to try the plain pork. Nice people.

                  1. re: DaveCook
                    famdoc Feb 17, 2012 09:21 PM

                    Hand-pulled noodle stand put on quite a show. We thought noodles with sauteed veggies were just fine. My good friend shot this video of young man producing the noodles:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQqWtf...

                    1. re: famdoc
                      missmasala Feb 24, 2012 07:10 AM

                      Finally made it out here. I think this is a great new addition to Sunset Park, particularly because of the Ma La Tang stall. I'm thrilled to no longer have to go to Flushing to get this. My vegetarian stir-fry was very good and the medium spicy (I toned it down in deference to my dining companions) still packed a punch. It wasn't quite as good as the one I had at the New World Mall, but the fact that it's so much closer to me makes it a winner.
                      Got handpulled noodles with beef and some dumplings from Grand Noodle House, which were fine, and some soup dumplings and buns from Shanghai Family Dumpling, which were fine but not stellar. Same with the meats over rice from Shall We Eat (which definitely wins best name award, though). Lobster was very so-so and not worth it. Steak and South Asian stalls still not open, and Vietnamese stall not open either.
                      It's definitely the ma la tang place that will keep me coming back.
                      Also, the whole "mall" is worth a whirl--great prices on haircuts and manicures. And if you have kids (girls) the store with the wall of japanese erasers will be a huge hit.

                      edited to add: couldn't find top taste when I was there. Is the entrance to that outside in the front? We came in from the back.

                      Also, the stall called "Emperor's Hot Pot" which is next to the ma la tang/hotpot stall, seems to be a steamtable/over rice place. Do they also do hotpot?

                      1. re: missmasala
                        famdoc Feb 24, 2012 08:42 AM

                        We recently had our second visit and also were impressed with the Ma La Tang stall.
                        Although the women working behind the counter didn't speak English, I had no problem asking another customer to translate for me (she commented that she thought only Asian people enjoyed their food spicy). The veggie stir fry was excellent. The dumpling guy was out of veggie dumplings, but glad to see that choice is available. The seating area is much cleaner and better lit than at the Flushing locations.

                        1. re: missmasala
                          DaveCook Feb 24, 2012 10:15 AM

                          Yes, the entrance to Top Taste is on Eighth Ave. itself.

                          Dave Cook
                          www.EatingInTranslation.com

                          1. re: DaveCook
                            a
                            AubWah Feb 25, 2012 09:42 AM

                            Top Taste serves the nectar of the Gods

                          2. re: missmasala
                            Miss Needle Feb 27, 2012 06:34 AM

                            I'm also grateful for the ma la tang stall. True, the sauce is not as good as the one in Flushing (less Sichuan peppercorn and more sweet), but I like that they have a wider selection of items that I'm interested in. Pay attention when the lady puts the meats and veggies in the pot -- they have a tendency to be really heavy-handed. They must have been trying to get rid of the thinly sliced beef because about 50% of my dish was comprised of that. You can always take the leftovers home, but I prefer eating that type of food freshly made.

                            I think the Emperor's Hot Pot stall used to also be a ma la tang place in the beginning. I saw that stall with a ton of workers with no customers. Either the place has changed hands or the owner decided to go with another format. Whatever it is, it seems to be busy now.

                            The xiao long bao place can also be hit and miss. The first time I've had it was much better. The second time, there was no soup in the pork ones as they've been sitting around for some time. The crab ones have been sufficiently crabby -- even found a few pieces of shell in a couple of them. I'm really wishing they would start using disposable soup spoons. It's really hard to eat it using the regular spoons without losing some of that soup -- well, with the pork one it didn't matter because there was no soup.

                            -----
                            Fei Long Market
                            6301 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                            1. re: Miss Needle
                              Peter Cuce Feb 27, 2012 07:44 PM

                              Not trying to pick nits, just curious as to which ma la tang stall you're referring to in Flushing, since there are so many these days. Looking forward to getting out to try the one in BK. Ma la tang's such a good cold weather dish - not that we've had much of that this winter :)

                              1. re: Peter Cuce
                                Miss Needle Feb 28, 2012 05:06 AM

                                Yeah, lucky for us that winter's been pretty mild. But I'll eat that dish winter or summer!

                                The ma la tang's the one that you've actually talked about in the New World Mall thread. Loved the sauce there but was wishing for a slightly larger selection of meats.

                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                  Peter Cuce Feb 28, 2012 05:23 AM

                                  Do you mean ma la xiang guo?

                                  1. re: Peter Cuce
                                    Miss Needle Feb 28, 2012 05:26 AM

                                    I'm so bad with names but it was the one in the corner with the metal bowls.

                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                      Peter Cuce Feb 28, 2012 06:33 AM

                                      Yeah that's Tian Fu. They serve ma la xiang guo, which is something like a dry hot pot. Ma la tang is more of a soup, somewhat like an individualized hot pot, but usually with predetermined ingredients and a menu of various additions.

                                      1. re: Peter Cuce
                                        Miss Needle Feb 28, 2012 09:47 AM

                                        Thanks for the proper name. I was being lazy -- Lao Ma Ma La Tang (I think -- as I said I'm horrible with names) is the name of the stall in Fei Long that sells the ma la xiang guo. I went to Tian Fu with a vegetarian in the mood for numbing Sichuan peppercorn flavor -- the ma la xiang guo hit the spot!

                                        1. re: Miss Needle
                                          Peter Cuce Feb 28, 2012 11:53 AM

                                          I'm pretty sure that Lao Ma Ma La Tang also exists in the New World Mall and the Golden Mall. They specialize in Ma La Tang, but somewhere along the line, possibly after Tian Fu opened, they began offering Ma La Xiang Guo as well, but only in the New World Mall. The Golden Mall branch serves traditional hot pot as well as ma la tang. In the NWM, they serve their ma la xiang guo in a large wooden bowl. I prefer Tian Fu, but to have it available in Brooklyn is great.

                                          1. re: Peter Cuce
                                            missmasala Feb 28, 2012 01:25 PM

                                            They serve it in a large wooden bowl in the Fei Long mall as well. Honestly, not having to go to Flushing for this dish any more makes me very happy. Agree with Miss Needle's observation that the sauce is better at Tian Fu in Flushing, but perhaps not so much better that I would drive an extra 30-45 minutes each way for it.

                                            1. re: missmasala
                                              BMartin Mar 16, 2012 06:19 PM

                                              Went to the food court today--had congee from Shall We Eat and dumplings from Shanghai Family Dumpling, both quite good. The congee was thinner than most but excellent. Eating there is like eating in an outdoor cafe since there are always people coming and going. Three of the stalls were empty but the place looks clean and busy. I was very intrigued by the hot pot but didn't have one.

                                              1. re: BMartin
                                                famdoc Mar 17, 2012 02:57 PM

                                                Lunch at the Fei Long Food Court today. Shangai Dumplings, Hot Pot, Hand Pulled Noodles and Lobster. Unlike previous reviewers, I found the lobster, prepared with a salt and pepper sauce, to be generous and tasty. As always, watching your noodles pulled and prepared a blast. Food court packed with families, including a family sharing our table who were traveling to Bklyn from PA. It is easy to ask virtually anyone to assist with translation at stalls staffed by non-English speakers.

                                                1. re: famdoc
                                                  f
                                                  foodsgood Mar 31, 2012 07:29 PM

                                                  Just checked out Fei Long, specifically for Top Taste. I can't attest to the authenticity since it was my first time trying Guilinese dishes, but I really liked it. I eat a lot of Sichuan, and was interested by the similarity of some flavors, as well as the differences.

                                                  On top of that, the family who owns the restaurant was incredibly hospitable and passionate about introducing their cuisine to new eaters. We talked about it for a while, and they seem like good people.

                                                  I'm attaching a photo (unfortunately kind of a crappy cell phone shot--my fault). This is the Guilin rice noodle with crispy pork and beef, and dosed with spice, as they would normally do. They confirmed that they tone it down for their clientele, and that they add a little broth/sauce to the noodles for the same reason, when traditionally it would be a little drier.

                                                  Well worth the trip, and worth a second visit to try some of the other dishes.

                                                   
                                                  1. re: foodsgood
                                                    r
                                                    rschwim Mar 31, 2012 10:09 PM

                                                    I've had the #1 (Guilin rice noodle) several times and really enjoy it... I was there the other day and asked the guy behind the counter what I should try next time and he recommended #18, the Pickled Bamboo Shoots with Fish Fillet... Anybody tried that yet?

                                                    1. re: rschwim
                                                      j
                                                      jimmyjo1 May 15, 2012 08:06 PM

                                                      #1 soup has become a twice-weekly favorite, I'm ashamed to say, eaten in the parking lot behind the market. Doused with vinegar and chili sauce, there's nothing finer. Yesterday I ate the intestine (twice cooked, fried after ordering) and it too was sublime. Super fatty inside, crispy outside and barely seasoned, the ends went perfectly with and then into the soup. On another note, the fish + bamboo mentioned above was a nasty mess of flat fried dough medallions (the fish was nearly undetectable) covered in sugar and vinegar sauce, much like any sweet -and-sour. The bamboo offered partial relief with a pickle tang. Also, the beef stew was like a weak knockoff of the now-legendary #1 soup, only with big hunks of fat and gristle. #1 with a side of intestine is my choice so far -- see you there Fri!

                                                      1. re: jimmyjo1
                                                        Miss Needle May 19, 2012 02:08 PM

                                                        I agree that the fish with bamboo shoots isn't that great. But I didn't think it was very sweet -- more sour than anything else. But it looks like sweet and sour sauce. As they also have sweet and sour fish on the menu, I figured that they used this sauce as a base and add a bunch of sugar to it.

                                                        1. re: Miss Needle
                                                          j
                                                          jimmyjo1 May 19, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                          Your review of the dish is right on target, Miss Needle -- much more concise than my own.

                                                      2. re: rschwim
                                                        Miss Needle May 16, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                        I did try the fish with pickled bamboo shoots. Not really my thing. The fish was dusted in cornstarch and fried, but the cornstarch laden sauce rendered the fish chewy and not crispy at all. The flavor of the sauce was fine -- bit sour and slightly spicy, but the texture reminded me of the overglopped sauces at many Chinese-American restaurants.

                        2. a
                          AubWah Jan 2, 2012 10:44 AM

                          Dave you are a legend, a giant amongst men. "Shall We Eat" sounds interesting, as does Shanghai Family Dumpling. The rest of the stuff sounds like typical asian food court fare to satisfy the under 14, spiky hair crowd.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: AubWah
                            DaveCook Jan 2, 2012 03:36 PM

                            You may not be far off. But $3.75 is a deal for six nice pork xiao long bao (crab-and-pork are $6.75). So is $9.95 for a lobster stir-fry, though next time I'll remember that the salt-and-pepper style was very salty and pretty peppery, too. I've blogged both of these, briefly. I'm pinning some hope on South Asian Delight, which, like the other yet-to-open stalls, has signage in Chinese as well as English.

                            Dessert attractions, though not under the same roof as at the New World Mall, include No. 1 Ice Cream and Kulu Desserts, each a very short walk away.

                            Dave Cook
                            www.EatingInTranslation.com

                            -----
                            Fei Long Market
                            6301 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                            No. 1 Ice Cream
                            6410 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                            Kulu Desserts
                            806 62nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                            1. re: DaveCook
                              a
                              AubWah Jan 2, 2012 08:06 PM

                              $3.75 is certainly a deal, if the quality of xlb is comparable to a place like shanghai cafe on mott

                              I will try the lobster too

                              1. re: DaveCook
                                Peter Cuce Jan 3, 2012 09:01 PM

                                Kulu Desserts is one weird place. Have you had anything great there?

                                1. re: Peter Cuce
                                  DaveCook Jan 4, 2012 06:52 AM

                                  Only the sawdust pudding -- which has the flavor but not the texture of tiramisu -- not any of the more traditional Asian desserts.

                                  Dave Cook
                                  www.EatingInTranslation.com

                            2. Rmis32 Jan 2, 2012 08:39 AM

                              Thanks for the heads up. Can we expect reviews to follow?

                              1. Peter Cuce Jan 2, 2012 08:20 AM

                                I wondered when that would open. Does anything look particularly good?

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