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Any Chinatown Goose sightings?

They used to sell roast goose at Lake Pavilion. They probably still do, but I haven't been there in a while.

Lake Pavilion's siu mei is pretty good.. Would probably be a decent version of roast goose, although of course you can't expect Yung Kee or Chan Kee quality roast goose in NY.

Dec 22, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Yes that was where the BBQ joint was.

I have passed by there a couple times in the past few weeks. Seems like business is good. Looking forward to giving it a shot soon.

Dec 04, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

I could've sworn the Chinese name is the same as Lian Won. The signage looks the same. When I drive by I will take a look or ask the owners when I try it for the first time.

Dec 03, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

FYI, looks like Lian Won has opened a second branch on 18th and 65th street. 6515 18 ave

Will report when I have time to try it out. It looks like a more upscale branch.

Dec 03, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

C'mon guys I think he's just saying that the food looks good enough to be worthy of a longer trek.

I think it's worth it. Heck I live 10 min from downtown flushing. I have all this accessible Chinese food in my backyard, but I schlep all the way down to Bensonhurst. That's a 35 min drive for me without traffic. With traffic you're talking 1-2 hrs.

Oct 03, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Yeah they know the difference between wok hei and burning the food.

I would def go eel rice, five flavor duck and a veggie. Stir fries are good too. Never tried their braised dishes but they look interesting. Forgot if they have black pepper pork stomach with ginkgo nuts.

Oct 02, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Yeah, the kitchen had plenty of wok hei. All the fresh veggie dishes should be good.

The oxtail is interesting. I know they use fermented tofu for lamb to kill the gaminess and to soften the meat, but I never heard it being used for oxtail.

Oct 02, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Any good? Looks like there's a lot of fermented tofu in there.

Oct 01, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

I know what you mean when you're talking about the soy sauce with regular bo zai fan where they put the meat on top of the rice, but the eel claypot rice at Lian Won is a little different.

The rice comes out premixed. It's basically rice, shredded eel meat, scallions, eel blood, and some salt agent (soy and prolly salt). With usual clay pot rice orders the rice is unseasoned except for the drippings of whatever meat you ordered. This eel rice comes out almost like eel fried rice. A totally different animal from usual clay pot rice dishes.

If you look at DaveCook's photos you can see the pic of the eel rice. He didn't put soy in there; that's the way it looks out of the kitchen.

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Scoop, looking at your pics, and I was wondering what is in the oxtail? Lotus root and peanuts? Very interesting.

Oct 01, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

In Bensonhurst: Lian Won Cafés Signature Eel with Rice Casserole and Five Flavor Duck

Glad you enjoyed your meal. This place is kinda small, and definitely no frills.

This place definitely does the eel rice right. I love how the rice doesn't stick to each other and all the different flavors are in each mouthful yet you can taste each individual component. You can taste the eel, the slight smokiness of the rice, the scallion. Bits and pieces of slightly crisp rice. No need for any soy or anything else. By far the best clay pot rice in the city IMO.

I remember my last time there I had dinner there I finished an order of five flavor duck, a rice for 2 and a veggie. Yes, it was that good..

I would definitely recommend going there if you're in the nabe. Here's a tip - call and order your eel rice before coming in. If you go in and order you will have to wait 20-30 minutes. They will call you to remind you when it's almost done.

Oct 01, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Chinatown

It's on the first page in Chinese. I think it's one portion for 12 bucks. Either way it's a must order. The duck is soft yet full of flavor, slightly sweet and salty with the duck fat making a nice sauce that goes well with rice. Also, do order a vegetable; like I said before the kitchen has enough firepower in there to make a good stir fry.

May 28, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Chinatown

The five flavor duck is my favorite, maybe over the eel rice. Eel rice is what they're famous for. The kitchen has enough flame to make some nice stir fries as well. The seafood stir fry is good too.

May 28, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Chinatown

Lian won cafe on 86 street 20th ave is very good. Real authentic taishan cuisine. Their clay pot rice dishes, especially the eel rice, are IMO, the best in the city. 5 flavor duck is great too.

May 28, 2013
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper Hot Pot in Flushing

1. They offer beer, but I don't think they'll object to bringing spirits. Not sure if they offer wine.

2. Non hot pot items are limited to what you see on the menu. They don't offer other non hot pot items.

Dec 21, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Liang’s Kitchen – A Delicious Taiwanese Import from Los Angeles

"AA choy" is a vegetable, sort of like a small romaine lettuce.

Aug 16, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Xi'an Famous Foods Opening More Upscale Sit Down Branch on Main St. Flushing

Ate here yesterday afternoon. The decor was nice, minimalistic with lots of dark woods and stools. Service was for the most part ok, although we had to ask for plates a couple times. The staff spoke decent English, and of course, Mandarin Chinese.

Anyways, onto the food:

beef stomach skewers (ma la shuan niu du)- nice and soft, with a little bit of bite, not rubbery at all. These were served in a spicy sesame sauce. 3 to an order, I could've eaten the whole thing myself.

pork blood cubes (la zi suan zhu xue) - these small cubes were full of flavor, served in their ubiquitous sauce of chili oil, cilantro, garlic, black vinegar, and sichuan peppercorns. These blood cubes were diced quite fine, texture was a little firmer than, say, a dim sum version, but that was to be expected since this dish was served cold.

lamb burger (zī rán yáng ròu jiā bái jī mó) - great flavor, served on a shao bing (roasted bread). Slightly spicy, sort of like a pulled pork sandwich but kicked up 10 notches. The shao bing is the size of an English muffin. Of course, they taste completely different. My favorite dish of the meal.

pork burger (là zhī ròu jiā bái jī mó) - same as above but with pork instead of lamb. I didn't try this since I pick lamb over pork about 12 times out of 10. But I'm sure it was quite tasty.

oxtail (la zhi niu wei) - ok, here is where we went a little wrong. We ordered the oxtail appetizer and my friend ordered an oxtail noodle. We were thinking of a nicely soft textured meat. These were definitely not the case. The meat was very firm, braised in a soy sauce and IMO very salty. Very hard to use chopsticks to eat these oxtails. Basically we had to hold the bone between our fingers and gnaw away. I'm fine with that but just not what I was expecting at all.

yang rou pao mo - lamb soup with thin noodles and shao bing. The broth was full of cilantro and nicely flavored with lamb. The shao bing was broken up into little pieces and put into the bowl to soften up. Every version I had in China had the shao bing on the side and you would break it up and put it into the soup. I actually prefer the way they do it here because the shao bing absorbs liquid better than paper towels. Anyways, good flavor, and the shao bing was nice and soft, but not to the point of mushiness. I ate the whole thing with a spoon instead of chopsticks.

oxtail noodle (là zhī niú wĕi biáng biang miàn) - basically the above oxtail served with some pulled flat noodles. My friend ordered this, and said the noodles were good, but the oxtail just wasn't what he expected texturewise.

Things I want to try next time:

liang pi
lamb salad (liáng bàn má là yáng tŭi ròu)
stir fried lamb noodles (zī rán yáng ròu biáng biang miàn)
quail (xī yù kăo xiáo niăo)

The biang biang mian all looked very good. The noodles stir fries IMO aren't as talked about as the noodle soups (even in China) and deserve more attention.

May 21, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Lake Pavilion, new Chinese in Flushing

Definitely Cantonese food. The old Lake Pavilion (used to be called East Lake, the Chinese name is the same, just with the word "new" in it) was on Main Street and Franklin, across from Duane Reade (which used to be Rockbottom). A couple of my co-workers have been there already, and they were complimentary about the food. Will report back when I go myself.

Apr 27, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

LITTLE PEPPER College Point is OPEN!!

Great report, Erica. I was there on Monday, and it was pretty busy (probably because of the holiday). We had hot pot with like 8 cooked dishes. So good (my fav dish is the poached pork belly with chili sauce), and such a bargain!

I'm sure if you bring your own fish in they will cook it for you. If I catch a big blackfish on the boat I would bring my catch to Flushing and have them make a couple dishes out of it. I only do it with bigger blackfish though. These fish just can't be done right at home. You need the high flame of a restaurant. You can tell them how to prepare the fish, also.

FYI, there's a beer distributor on about 1/2 mile away on 14th Ave, to the west of Five Guys. Selection isn't the greatest but better than that deli nearby. I always pick my beer up there before heading to Little Pepper.

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Han's Beer & Soda
131-21 14th Ave, Queens, NY 11356

Feb 23, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Sol Hyang Lee – Amazing Korean-Chinese BBQ Skewers at One of the Most Unique Restaurants in Flushing

Good point, Peter.

Every time I've been one of these chuanr places I've been with a party of at least 4. My second time at Sol Hyang Gee we had them make the chuanr in the kitchen. Perhaps the staff thinks that parties of 2 aren't going to order enough skewers to go through the hassle of grilling tableside. For example, if you order one order of kalbi, they're going to make it in the kitchen instead of tableside.

Those skewers are fun to cook tableside, but there are also drawbacks. First, your clothes smell like charcoal, two, you have to pay attention to those skewers or else you're going to lose some. If you have fresh coals, they burn pretty quickly, especially when they're almost done. You have to turn them like every 15 seconds or they'll burn. I remember I had like 15 skewers on at a time and when the skewers were almost done my hands were basically flying all over the place flipping and keeping them from burning. Fun, but a PITA.

Feb 18, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Sol Hyang Lee – Amazing Korean-Chinese BBQ Skewers at One of the Most Unique Restaurants in Flushing

That's too bad. I wouldn't go back either if I were you. I'm also wondering if they changed ownership; when I went I had a similar experience to Lau.

Fortunately, there are restaurants other than Sol Hyang Gee that serve chuanr.

I wrote a mini review on one of them below. Basically the same stuff as Sol Hyang Gee/Feng Mao. The decor might be even less spartan, though.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796734

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Ming Xing
35-14 Farrington St, Queens, NY 11354

Feb 18, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Sol Hyang Lee – Amazing Korean-Chinese BBQ Skewers at One of the Most Unique Restaurants in Flushing

Enjoy! Be prepared to drink lots of liquids. These skewer restaurants are quite salty.

Feb 17, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Chinese: where can I find these dishes?

I think the tea is called ba bao cha (eight treasures tea)? IIRC, that tea originated from the Hui Minority in Yunnan. They should sell that tea at Ten Ren.

I remember drinking it a few times in China. There are actually tea pouring competitions all over the place over there. Alas, the few times I had that tea I didn't have anyone close to competing. There was hot water all over the table, with many apologies from the staff. I was having so much fun watching them try to pour water with that 5 foot long tea spout that I didn't really care if they missed the mark.

Can't help you with #1, sorry. But there are tons of Dongbei restaurants in Flushing. I had something vaguely similar a month or two ago. It was quail with red peppers. They fried dried red peppers and quail till crisp then stir fried them together with Sichuan peppercorns, some cumin, green onions and garlic. They then drizzled the quail with some kind of sweet syrup. It was very tasty, but probably not what you had in Chaoyang. Man, I am now jonesing for that dish.

Hope you're successful with your search, and please report back if you are. I would love to try that lamb soup with rye bread.

Feb 02, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Stellar Kimchee WangMandoo at Grand Opening of Da Myun in North Flushing

I think if you asked for cold water they would've given you some.

Kalbi - The best place IMO is Mapo Galbi across the street from the Murray Hill LIRR station. Their kalbi are cut into chunks from the bone, not cut into strips like most places. They use charcoal, which is a big plus in my book. The meat is tender, juicy , and sweet. At first you taste the slight saltiness from the meat, and then you get the subtle sweet taste. It's awesome.

The price per order of kalbi is more than the standard rate but it seems like they give you more meat than a standard order. It's definitely worth slightly higher price. They also give a couple more freebies than the standard Korean restaurant. Last time we received a couple free OBs and a smaller portion of deon jang stew "service." Of course, the steamed egg is complimentary as well.

Their grilled fish is not bad, either. Other items (jap chae, pajun, soups) are pretty standard. But the star of the show is definitely the kalbi. Probably the best kalbi I've eaten in New York. If only they used scallions instead of sliced onion as the accompaniment for their kalbi.

The waitresses are very nice and are very accommodating as well. I like that place a lot - it has a homey sort of feel like a mom and pop run place, which I prefer over the bigger Korean establishments.

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Mapo BBQ
149-24 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11355

Jan 30, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Stellar Kimchee WangMandoo at Grand Opening of Da Myun in North Flushing

I had hot water too. I think it was because it was cold outside.

Jan 30, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Food stalls on the corner of Maple and Main street Flushing?

Golden Mall was even tougher for parking - I guess I can park at the muni lot but it's always full. I just park at the private parking lot on Sanford Ave, south of Main when I have to go to that area.

There's actually a parking lot in the back but I'm not sure if that lot is for Savor Fusion patrons. I know that Maple Garden (Shanghainese restaurant next to East) patrons can park there for free.

If it's really tough to find parking I just park by the Botanical Garden and walk. It's not that far; maybe a 5-10 min walk.

Jan 21, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Food stalls on the corner of Maple and Main street Flushing?

This weekend might not be the best time to go. Chinese New Year is on Monday. I saw a sign that said the resto supply store would be closed from Jan. 23-27. The food court should be open.

Jan 20, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Food stalls on the corner of Maple and Main street Flushing?

Going to have to try the dumplings soon. Only problem is that parking is horrendous in that area. Does the Sichuan stall at Savor Fusion offer xiang guo?

Yeah, they definitely need the business from fellow CHers. FWIW, there's a Sunrise Restaurant Supply branch 3 doors south (towards the Botanical Garden) from the food court. That place is packed with goodies. So if you guys are looking for kitchenware, maybe make a trip out of it.

Jan 20, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Food stalls on the corner of Maple and Main street Flushing?

Yeah, that food court was maybe a quarter full at about 2PM yesterday. That location on Main Street isn't as busy as near the 7 station. I think New World Mall is just too centrally located (not to mention new) for any food court/hawker center in downtown Flushing to expect to do well. Maybe if the food court had decent parking and/or their food was that much better they'd have a chance.

It's sad, really. 10 years ago I was practically begging for authentic regional Chinese cuisine Now there are almost too many options in downtown Flushing, and these small shops can't even get off the ground.

The good thing is that I think the specialty restaurants (places that specialize in 1 or 2 things) are coming along. Hopefully we'll have more choices in the near future. And, selfishly, I would love them to be non food court restaurants. That'll be an exciting time. The board would be flooded.

Jan 20, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs

Food stalls on the corner of Maple and Main street Flushing?

Had the lamb noodle soup (yang rou hui mian) today at the Henan stall. Cheap and filling. Broth was full of flavor. Slices of lamb with wood ears, strips of seaweed (I have no idea how that came into Henan cuisine), chopped cilantro and scallion and topped with a huge spoon of chili oil. It was the perfect lunch for a cold day like today. I saw the cook make the hui mian from scratch - the technique looked very similar to la mian except he used a lot less dough and the dough he started with was flattened out. The noodles look sort of like a long thin, ribbony lasagna noodle. They came out nice and tender yet had a slight bite to it. I should've let the noodles soak up some more broth.

Overall, for 5 bucks it was a great meal. If I was hungier I would've tried the lamb bing. They have both fried and unfried versions. Next time..

Jan 19, 2012
birdsandtogs in Outer Boroughs