In the emerging Chinese enclave south of downtown Flushing, Chowhounds have uncovered winning Cantonese cooking at Happy Garden, right across the street from another local favorite, Lake Pavilion. Robotron, whose Chinese-American family digs this place, recommends Happy Garden's crab in sticky rice, Peking-style pork chops, deep-fried crispy bean curd, and pork chops or squid with chile and salt. Casseroles—curry beef stew, lamb with dried bean curd, eggplant with salted fish—are also good bets, as are soups, including the one that comes gratis with your meal. This restaurant has at least one other draw: Parking is far easier than in the congested downtown area a mile north.
Across Main Street, meanwhile, Lake Pavilion remains on top of its game, Lau reports. A highlight of his recent dinner there was Peking duck, which was brought out whole, carved at the table, then served Cantonese style with hoisin sauce and spring onion in steamed buns (pictured). The skin was nicely crisp and the meat perfectly tender, says Lau, who found it easily the best Peking duck he's had around town. Also recommended: eggplant and sparerib casserole in a terrific brown sauce; tender salt-and-pepper squid; snow pea leaves with crab and egg white sauce; and stir-fried string beans with pork that boasted commendable wok hay, the touch of smoke that comes from skillful high-temperature cooking. Overall, Lau says, "this is definitely one of the best Cantonese restaurants in New York right now."
Happy Garden [Flushing]
60-06 Main Street (near 60th Avenue), Flushing, Queens
Lake Pavilion [Flushing]
60-15 Main Street (near 60th Avenue), Flushing, Queens
Photo by LauHound.com