At Imperial Palace, arrive early or expect a wait. This Cantonese seafood house draws throngs even on weeknights for its signature Dungeness crab or lobster, steamed and served over sticky rice that’s put gloriously over the top by savory seafood juices. High turnover means dependably fresh food, and the cooking is above average, says lwong.
Casseroles are also strong. One with shrimp, scallops, octopus and vegetables over translucent noodles is a knockout, its rich broth redolent of the ocean and a perfect match for the seafood and noodles, reports Brian S. “Either I got lucky and ordered the best dish in the place,” he adds, “or this is one of the best Cantonese restaurants in town.”
Elsewhere in Flushing, the well-regarded Prince Seafood Restaurant has given way to another Cantonese place, New Pacific. Here, too, casseroles are a smart order, especially those listed only on the Chinese menu–hounds recommend the ones with fish and tofu or frog legs with sausage and mushroom. Items on the English menu, like out-of-balance steamed chicken with ginger and scallion, can disappoint.
A couple blocks away, Ocean Jewel–a hound favorite for dim sum–offers Cantonese seafood standards as well as less common specialties like fish head steamed with diced pepper–a wonderful, surprisingly spicy dish, artfully arranged on a fish-shaped platter and swimming in piquant red broth, Brian S reports.
For Cantonese-style treats, the new Vanilla Cafe is shaping up as the best bet on Roosevelt Avenue’s emerging bakery row. “Everything is fresh and tasty with real substance,” marvels HLing, who singles out Hong Kong-caliber egg tarts filled with tender, silky custard. Fresh ingredients shine in baked red bean bao, mung bean or taro balls, and peanut or mango mochi. Chicken and curry beef pies are standouts, too.
Imperial Palace [Flushing]
136-13 37th Ave., between Main and Union Sts., Flushing, Queens
New Pacific Chinese Cuisine [Flushing]
formerly Prince Seafood Restaurant
37-17A Prince St., between 37th and 38th Aves., Flushing, Queens
Ocean Jewel Seafood Restaurant [Flushing]
133-30 39th Ave., between College Point Blvd. and Prince St., Flushing, Queens
Vanilla Cafe [Flushing]
135-20 Roosevelt Ave., between Main and Prince Sts., Flushing, Queens