Hearty Comforts from Henan

The Chowhound map of Chinese Flushing, redrawn once again, now covers Henan, an eastern province whose robust, meaty chow will be new to most New Yorkers. Henan Feng Wei makes a winning first impression, scoopG reports.

Expect a hearty, seasonal, and well-balanced cuisine—"not east, not west, not south and not north," as the Henanese say—that favors pork and lamb and is strong in soups and dumplings. Cold appetizers, displayed behind glass, are a great way to start. scoop recommends the green beans, sliced pig ear, and dried bean curd in slices or strips.

"Big dish chicken" is an earthy, soupy entrée of meat on the bone with potatoes, chiles, cumin, garlic, Sichuan pepper, and cilantro. "Simply stunning," scoop declares. Lamb noodle soup is a soothing bowl of wide handmade pasta with meat, shredded bean curd, goji berries, and dried tiger lily. The "button ball" casserole features meatballs in a broth delicately flavored with ginger, Sichuan pepper, and star anise. Dumplings are a "big comforting hug in a bamboo steamer," scoop says.

JFores isn't sold on the dumplings, but he loves the big dish chicken, the cold plates (especially boiled peanuts), and the authentic, bare-bones atmosphere, which he likens to that at the Main Street hound haunt Golden Shopping Mall. "From appearance to the level of English, you'd think you were in China," he says. "Very Golden Mall in that sense (except this place has literally no foreigners at this point whereas Golden Mall has loads)."

Henan Feng Wei [Flushing]
136-31 41st Avenue (between Main and Union streets), Flushing, Queens
718-762-1818

Discuss: Flushing Review: Henan Cuisine at Henan Fengwei