The Chairman himself might approve of the "Mao's style" braised pork at Flushing's Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan. scoopG describes juicy, well-cooked belly meat in gravy, the best dish of a promising meal that also included flavorful smoked beef in a shower of dried white peppers. Chicken with hot red pepper, chunks of meat on the bone, comes in a mountain of dried chiles with bits of garlic, ginger, and scallion. For a textural change of pace, try pickled cabbage, light and crunchy with a mild kick, or mashed, sesame-scented Hunan eggplant, billed as spicy though it really isn't.
As the restaurant's name might suggest, it's connected with the Manhattan-based Grand Sichuan chain, scoop was told. So he tried the Sichuan classic dan dan noodles, which sadly turned out to be overcooked and short on meat. Still, he'd readily return to this place, the second credible Hunanese option in a neighborhood that already has a huge hound favorite in Hunan House on Northern Boulevard.
Flushing's Chinese banquet is so bounteous these days that Chowhounds also have a second option for Shandong food from the northern coast: Lu Xiang Yuan, not far from Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan. Lamb soup is one highlight here, scoop reports, deeply lamb-y with touches of vinegar, scallion, and white pepper. Others include earthy and refreshing Tiger Salad, made with chrysanthemum greens; tasty pan-fried guo tie pork-and-chive dumplings, open at both ends; and eggs scrambled with mild green chiles. And an eye-catching specialty is rose fragrant fish, topped with mayonnaise, crushed peanuts, and a scattering of rose petals. "Probably only a dish to be ordered once," scoop reckons. Over all he finds Lu Xiang Yuan a notch below M&T, the hound-recommended Shandong restaurant on Kissena Boulevard, but still worth checking out.
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan [Flushing]
42-47 Main Street (near Franklin Avenue), Flushing, Queens
Lu Xiang Yuan [Flushing]
42-87 Main Street (between Blossom and Cherry avenues), Flushing, Queens