The Top 4 Chinese Noodles in Flushing
Chinese New Year begins next Monday. Decorations depicting the Year of the Monkey have been festooning downtown Flushing’s Chinatown for weeks. In order to help you ring in the Chinese New Year, here are a few of my favorite noodle dishes from. FYI all of these places are a short walk from the Main Street stop on the 7 train.
The house special gui lin mi fen ($7.25) is quite special indeed. For one thing, it’s presented in two bowls. One contains spaghetti-like strands of rice noodles topped with beef shin, pickled green beans, green onion, roasted peanuts, cilantro. Two generous slices of deep-fried pork chop lay casually atop everything, a meaty afterthought.
The other bowl contains a milky broth. To eat zheng zong gui lin mi fen (authentic gui lin rice noodle) as it’s known in Chinese pour the broth over the noodles and give it all a good mix. The waves of flavor and texture—salty pickled veggies, crunchy roasted peanuts, meaty beef, crunchy pork, bright cilantro, and rich broth—are phenomenal. In place of the typical crushed red chilis that grace the table at every Chinese soup joint find a bright orange concoction that looks—and tastes—like it belongs in a West Indian eatery.
Gui Lin Mi Fen, 135-25 40th Road, Flushing, 718-939-2025
Liang Pi: Dish That Started an Empire
Despite the name, cold skin noodles, or liang pi, one of the signature dishes at mini-chain Xi’an Famous Foods contain no flesh whatsoever. The name’s a nod to the slippery cool ribbons of wheat starch that interspersed with porous blocks of gluten, cucumbers, sprouts, and cilantro. The spongy blocks of wheat gluten do a great job of soaking up a sauce that’s simultaneously sweet, spicy, garlicky, and nutty. One taste and it's easy to see how this dish made what was once just a humble hawker stand truly famous. Xi’an Famous Foods, No.36, Golden Shopping Mall, Flushing
Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup Is Good Medicine
This hawker stand tucked away in the back of Flushing’s Golden Shopping mall serves up steaming bowls of Zhengzhou yang or la mian, which the Henanese proprietors translate as “Nutritious lamb noodle soup.” In addition to tender lamb meat and medicinal herbs including goji berries and lotus blossom, the rich broth contains three kinds of noodles: long ragged ribbons of chewy wheat, slippery translucent glass noodles, and toothsome strands of tofu skin. Doctor the bowl up with black vinegar and chili paste to create your very own Henanese hot and sour soup. Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup (aka Su Xiang Yuan), Golden Shopping Mall, 41-28 Main St.
Henry's Beef Noodle Soup
Taiwanese beef noodle soup is a classic dish, comforting with chunks of tender meat and pickled greens. All too often though the broth lacks a depth of flavor. Not so at Leaf Bar & Lounge where Chef Henry’s version sings with aromatics and just enough heat. Leaf Bar and Lounge 133-42 39th Avenue, 10FL (Rooftop)