Monday, January 26, 2009

Noodle Soup Row In Flushing Mall

WE JUMPED INTO THE FREEZING Toyota Highlander after church last Sunday to see what's going on for Chinese New Year in Flushing Mall. (Many people call Flushing in Queens New York's real Chinatown, not the one in the Canal Street area of Manhattan.) The mall is old and dingy; my wife said it reminded her of Divisoria with its cheap garments and trinkets, but its basement has a food court that is occupied by thirteen-or-so noodle soup stalls that offer Sichuan, Korean, Taiwanese and many other variations of this cheap winter fare for $5.50 or less. One chef makes hand-drawn noodles right in front of the customers, who are mostly "just-off-the-boat" Chinese. Indeed, one gets the feeling that he is on a Shanghai or Taipei sidestreet. Some stalls do not even bother to translate their posted menus into English, befuddling even my wife who is half-Chinese and speaks a little Fookien. Thank goodness for the pictures. I settled for the familiar spicy stewed beef with sinewy tendons like Chow King's beef mami, with parboiled bok choy. My wife, the more adventurous one, had fish noodle soup Korean (or was it Japanese?) style, which turned out to be a discovery. (The fish strips are deep-fried in batter like tempura, and the thick spicy broth had the consistency of bird's nest soup with tinapa flavor. Add chopped cilantro leaves to that as garnish and you can imagine the taste.) From our table, we watched the celebration in the adjoining atrium, with amateur Chinese musicians, dancers, magicians and acrobats. The whole thing was a good bang for the buck; we spent about $15 (pickled ox tripe and tongue extra for some uric acid) and went home happy and warm, ready to face the day's challenges.

Here are pictures of the joint and Sara with the ox. Although she is one quarter Chinese, the pose struck us as oddly blasphemous because we just got out of a Catholic church, but we reminded ourselves that this was not Aaron's biblical golden calf. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Flushing Mall Food Court, 133-31 39th Avenue, Flushing, Queens, New York 11354, (718) 762-9000

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your restaurant blog. We've been to both Flushing Mall and Cendrillon. We tried the dumplings in flushing Mall on the 2nd floor, I think, and it was excellent. We heard Cendrillon is closing. I've been there about two times. Elizabeth and her boyfriend went there just last month to have Amy Basa and her husband sign the award winning book by Amy which she bought from Barnes and Noble. Elizabeth made the Buko Pie from that book and it was delicious but the dough did not came out quite right.

    How did you get that picture form Cendrillon? You could write now for Food Magazines like Edible New York.

    Warm regards to the family.