Best North Dumpling Shop lives up to its name. This new shopping-mall stand serves delicate, well-seasoned boiled dumplings, Shandong style. Flavors are fresh and light, reports HLing. She singles out pork and sour cabbage dumplings, which top the version at Waterfront, a nearby northeastern Chinese restaurant.
Best North makes at least nine other fillings, and unlike many competitors they offer most varieties fresh, not just frozen to go. The herbaceous dumplings with pork and dill (sometimes translated as fennel) boast fine flavor, texture, and filling-to-dough ratio–better than at Manhattan’s Tasty Dumpling, says HLing. Other choices include vegetable, seafood, mutton, beef-turnip, cabbage-celery-pork, and the classic chive-shrimp-pork. This new shopping center also has a tiny sushi stand and a larger stall called Old Northeast.
Another chowish Flushing mini-mall is at Main Street and 41st Road, where a handful of food vendors are spread out on two floors, tucked in among hair salons and shoe and handbag shops. On street level, near the back of a narrow row of shopping stalls, you’ll find excellent lamb noodle soup–$4 for a large tub of wide, flat hand-rolled noodles in fresh, subtle broth. “A great noodle experience, the best I’ve had in ages,” raves Polecat. “What kicked this into the stratosphere, however, is the slide-off-the-bone chunks of fatty lamb.” Look for a sign with a picture of a man in a chef’s hat.
Downstairs, Chengdu Tian Fu offers Sichuan dishes like meats or vegetables in chile oil, ma la rabbit or beef tendon, and fiery “water cooked” pork, beef, or fish. eade ranks it among the three most authentic Sichuan places in Flushing; the others, he says, are Little Pepper and the Sichuan stand in Main Street’s J & L Mall (see below).
Across the aisle from Chengdu Tian Fu is Happy Family, a Fuzhou-leaning place with a brief menu of dumplings, fish balls, stews and noodle soups, with nothing over $5. (This is the owners’ second try in this space; their first was a Fuzhou vegetarian place whose dishes were tasty, unusual, and made with care, yet never found an audience, laments HLing.) The third vendor downstairs is a closet-size Wenzhou place called Lui; no reports yet on the chow.
A block and a half south, there’s news from J & L Mall, a destination for uncompromisingly authentic Chinese chow. Until now, the lack of English signage at this bare-bones food court has frustrated those who don’t read Chinese. But hounds are beginning to crack the code, sharing a floor plan and translated menus from the Sichuan, Guizhou, and hand-pulled noodle stands at the back of the mall. Still largely a mystery, for now: the Muslim Chinese and Fuzhou stalls closer to Main Street.
Best North Dumpling Shop [Flushing]
135-08 Roosevelt Ave. #A4, near Prince St., in Prince Shopping Center, Flushing, Queens
Waterfront International Restaurant [Flushing]
40-09 Prince St., between Roosevelt Ave. and 40th Rd., Flushing, Queens
Tasty Dumpling [Chinatown]
54 Mulberry St., between Bayard and Mosco, Manhattan
Noodle soup vendor [Flushing]
41-28 Main St. (street level), at 41st Rd., Flushing, Queens
Chengdu Tian Fu [Flushing]
41-28 Main St. #31 (downstairs), at 41st Rd., Flushing, Queens
Happy Family Restaurant [Flushing]
41-28 Main St. #29 (downstairs), at 41st Rd., Flushing, Queens
Xiao La Jiao, a.k.a. Little Pepper [Flushing]
133-43 Roosevelt Ave., between Prince St. and College Point Blvd., Flushing, Queens
J & L Mall [Flushing]
41-82 Main St., between Sanford and Maple Aves., Flushing, Queens
new favorites: Northeastern dumpling place and update on bakery in Flushing
ISO Vegetarian Restaurants in Queens
Happy Family Vegetarian–basement at 41 rd & Main street
Fantastic Big Flat Lamb Noodle Soup in Flushing, 41-28 Main
Floor plan of Flushing food court located on Main St between Maple and Sanford