The Trenchermen

We eat other people’s food.

Chinese Food – March 2009 (Flushing, NY)

with 3 comments

dandanInspired by a New York Times article with a fantastic interactive map, we jumped on the 7 train one Sunday in March and trekked out to Flushing to explore the wonders and revisit the glories of regional Chinese cuisine.  Over the course of the morning and afternoon, interrupted by only one stop at a bar for a beer, we ate at 5 different restaurants. We finished the day with some Sichuan-style dan dan noodles (pictured to the left), which have that unforgettable, numbing spice called something like “ma-la,” that leaves a delicious metallic tingling sensation on your lips.

A few of us have visited China and we have all been stunned by the quality and diversity of the food there, which is dramatically different in each region of the country.  This trip was a pleasant reminder of that diversity.  


We started the day by putting our names on the list at the very popular and very small Nan Shian Dumpling House. While we were waiting, we went next door to the Happy Beef Noodle House and shared some delicious beef noodle and beef tendon noodle soups.


In the Happy Beef Noodle House, we were assaulted by the urine-like smell of some nasty pickled cabbage in a bowl at each table.  But, once we tasted the greens, the smell became less offensive and we polished off the noodles.


Next door, back at the Nan Shian Dumpling House, we dove into the best food of the day, which included soup dumplings (which were, in the words of R.W. Apple, absolutely “seraphic”), scallion pancakes, and an excess of tofu milk, into which we dipped fried breadsticks that were eerily similar to churros, but without the cinnamon and sugar.




After that, we picked up some Xingjian-style spicy skewered lamb and chicken from a street vendor (not pictured), then went for a beer (pictured).


To finish the day – as we were already quite full – we ducked into the Golden mall for some more dumplings, strange, bready noodles, an intensely-cumin-spiced lamb burger (from Xi’an), and the above-mentioned dan dan noodles.





Written by trencherman

May 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] no kind of beer connoisseur — I enjoy an occasional Budweiser – but I thought St. Peter’s beers called for their own entry in the Trenchermen annals. […]

  2. As I sit here with a belly full of Nan Shian, I thought it fit to reply this great post. And, it confirms to me exactly why journal is so great.

    The stop in Flushing tonight was my reward for driving us back from Waltham MA this weekend. Some bumps on the way to dinner…

    First, we discovered the dan dan noodle place is NO MORE (apparently the ladies packed it in). From there it was smooth apart from a confusing exchange over ordering “steamed pork buns” — a translation issues I guess. Then another as I was laughed at by the staff of ladies preparing the food in the kitchen behind the glass. Then I got the food and all was right.

    I’ve had soup dumplings more than a handful of times and have rarely been very excited about them. These were fantastic, however. They are formed and cooked just after being ordered so they are very fresh. The dumpling skins are delicate, the broth is rich, and the filling is perfect. A splendid combination of textures and flavours. We also had an order of spicy beef noodle soup. Although there was nothing spicy about it it was very tasty. And, to sooth the way warm tofu milk…

    I’m either going to sleep really well tonight or terribly.

    Thanks for the post. it inspired the trip this evening.


    May 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

  3. […] a chain of small restaurants that started in Flushing, in the Golden Mall (yes, we’ve eaten there before and blogged and vlogged about it), and has now expanded to Chinatown and the East Village.  The highlight of […]

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