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Mar 13, 2013 05:33 AM

New in Flushing: Old Chengdu on Prince Street

Maybe it is true after all – that one great Sichuan restaurant can really change the world. Especially a mysterious new crimson Queens entry with no exterior English language signage. Once through the doors though the friendly female staff warmly welcomes you.

Within the past month, Prince Noodle House has converted from a Shanghainese restaurant into a serious Sichuan suitor: Old Chengdu 老成都 lǎo chéng dū . As Joe DiStefano reports, it marks the return to prominence of Chengdu native, Big Sister Zhu (朱大姐 - zhū dà jiě). She will gladly leave her basement kitchen to answer any questions you have. The owner is the same – he just lured Big Sister Zhu over and let her totally redo the menu. He also kept the English name Prince Noodle House on their menus, which are in both English and Chinese.

And what an exciting menu it is. There are four different Doubled Cooked Pork dishes, with your choice of Green Pepper, Garlic Shoots, Cabbage or Jelly. Jelly (or 粉皮 fěn pí) here refers to Green Bean Sheet Jelly. (The Chinese take the starch from sweet potatoes, potatoes, mung beans, broad beans and more to make a dry flaky-type noodle which is reconstituted in water). Also on the menu: 1000 year old eggs, eel, duck head, duck tongue, frog, kidney, lobster, pork ear, pork blood, rabbit, rice cakes, sea cucumber, two goose intestine dishes and one hot looking “Hot Chili Chili Blue Crabs.”

I quickly sampled two Sichuan stalwarts: Dan Dan Noodles and Gong Bao Chicken. Both dishes answered the ma la call. These Dan Dan Noodles are the first I’ve had in a long while that weren’t swimming in hot chili oil. In the middle of my large $5 bowl a fragrant cardamom pod was found. The only misstep was some overcooked noodles but that will be easily corrected next time. The Gong Bao Chicken was light, stir-fried with garlic, ginger and hollowed out dried chilies. You could see and taste the Sichuan peppercorns. I can’t wait to return.

Joe DiStefano’s Report:

Their special Lunch Menu consists of 30 dishes priced at $6.50 and consists of an amuse-bouche, entrée, soup and white rice. Some of these specials include Sautéed Kidney, a Braised Pork Chop, Shrimp and Pickled Turnips in a Spicy Sauce and Sautéed Tomatoes and Eggs.

Prince Noodle House (老成都 lǎo chéng dū).
37-17A Prince Street (between 38th and 39th).
Flushing, NY 11354
Tel: 718-886-5595
Fax: 718-886-5596

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  1. This is a revelation. Thanks Scoop and Joe D

    5 Replies
    1. re: AubWah

      is there an english menu anywhere? did you try any shrimp dishes? thanks

        1. re: janie

          janie, I don't see any shrimp dishes on their menu...

          1. re: scoopG

            really? wow, that's strange..was hoping for a replacememnt for spicy and tasty and their "problems"

            1. re: janie

              What, pray, are S & T 's problems?
              i loved the old Prince ST. Noodles. not for the noodles so much as for the wonderful family meals and warm welcome. Their san bei ji and BTW pepper salt shrimp were especially good.

      1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

        Did you know that 朱姐 is a brand name now? :-))) We love, love, love her food. And then again, her noodles anyway.

        Fasting for a day or two before we get to her new restaurant. Prince Noodles was so ripe for the replacement.

        1. Solo lunch today. Double Cooked Pork was excellent, one of the best versions I've tried. Wonderful depth, balance of porkiness and flavor. String beans were another winner, lots of minced meat in there. Glad to see Sis Zhou in this nice restaurant setting. I'll be back soon.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Polecat

            is there a menu online anywhere?

            1. re: janie

              No, they just opened. Not even a take- out menu yet. Prince Noodle's paper menu is still in the vestibule.

              1. re: janie

                >is there a menu online anywhere?

                There is now (heh), at least the takeout version below. We also enjoyed the double cooked pork (with peppers) and potato with green pepper, made here with garlic and dried red chiles. There's a cold case toward the front, a la Spicy & Tasty. Nice, lightly spicy dish of cubed smoked bean curd with crunchy bits of carrot.

                BTW Lao Chengdu/Prince Noodle House now takes plastic, not a given around here.

            2. Yet again, you are in the vanguard! Many thanks for this report, and the pics.

              Sounds like a worthy addition to the Flushing pantheon.

              1. Janie, in looking at their take-out menu there is one shrimp dish: Shrimp and Garlic Hot Red Pepper Sauce.

                There is not all that much overlap with the menus of Little Pepper, Spicy and Tasty or Szechuan Gourmet. Lao Chengdu has a more limited menu and has no Lamb dishes for example.

                On their menu, their tagline is:

                經典川菜, 家常小吃 - jīng diǎn chuān cài, jiā cháng xiǎo chī

                Classical Sichuan cuisine, home-style snacks.

                3 Replies
                1. re: scoopG

                  thank you so much, will check it out when i'm in the area and try some shrimp dishes--and vegetable the noodles in hot chili like the version that spicy and tasty makes? Do they make sesame noodles also?

                  1. re: janie

                    There are a bunch of prawn dishes on the in house menu at least.

                    1. re: janie

                      Janie, I do not see Sesame Noodles on their take-out menu.