Polecat's Profile

Title Last Reply

Chowhound lunch at Zabb Elee in Queens

The dark beef noodle soup, also known as Nom Tok, is one of my favorite Thai dishes.

These guys and Pye Boat Noodle do a very good job.

P

Nov 19, 2014
Polecat in Manhattan

Dumpling Galaxy - Dumplings and more

The pumpkin mochi with black sesame is terrific. This is no knock on the food to say that they're what I came away craving and remembering after 2 visits.

They're that good.

P

Nov 17, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

Have had and enjoyed Chao Thai's version, at both locations. Chicken is especially fall-off-the-bone tender.

Looking forward to trying this place

P

Nov 13, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

I work a short drive from Nan Bei Ho, which is supposed to be linked to the long-departed Flushing original. It is Taiwanese.

I've eaten there and/or gotten take-out about half a dozen times since they opened, about three to four years ago. The first dish I had there, a braised sliced fish, showed promise.

Since then I've had a slew of forgettable Taiwanese specialties, including a rolled beef pancake that was greasy as hell.

I love this kind of food, and would be going there much more often if these guys did a better job.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper Hot Pot Closed!!!!???

The place is now called Hot Kitchen Sichuan Style (in English, anyway), and has a more extensive menu I believe.

I've now been here twice.

The first time it was to try the Qong Quing Spicy Noodles, which weren't bad. I'd been craving both soup noodles and the ma la flavor, and this delivered both, along with a generous helping of beef slices. The beefy broth was spiced up with chili oil. On the whole, good, not great.

When my wife saw the photo, she had to try it, so I returned with her and tried the shredded pork with peppers. Again, nothing to shout about, but okay. I've had better.

To put this in perspective:
1. I tried two dishes. There are many more.
2. This is Flushing. That means that Spicy & Tasty, Chen Du Tian Fu and Lao Ma Ma La Tang, not to mention many others, are right around the corner. If this place were in Forest Hills, I'd already be shouting from the rooftops about how great it is.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

New food court in Flushing

" Nothing new & exciting caught my eye."

This was my impression as well. Upon first glance, the New York Food Court, right down to the name and decor, is pretty much a carbon copy of the New World, but with less variety.

There's tons of noodle joints, some Sichuan, liang pi, bing, hot pot, etc - they're going with the tried and true.

I hit up Stall #7, Lao Si Ji (the English name: Chicken Noodle), and got the House Special Chicken Noodle Soup with hearts and livers. The noodles were hand-pulled and tasted exactly like Lan Zhou and a million other places. The organ meats added very little.

On Friday at about lunch time, the court was about three quarters full, so I don't think there will be a foot traffic problem. People can park and shop nearby at Sky Foods, then be here in minutes. The Taiwanese noodle and fried chicken/pork chop specialist - I think it was stall #8, with a cartoon steer lit by neon, was doing the most business.

I might eventually hit up the "Crispy Pancake" specialist. It's about the third stall on the right as you walk in, #3 I believe. They're still setting up and might be open by tomorrow.

P.

Nov 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

E-Pie in Flushing: Sweet, Savory Xianbing and More from Eastern China

Believe everything you've heard about the beef xianbing. Upon first bite, juice shoots out of the other end at light speed in a jet stream. It's like a cheap parlor trick. I was working a conference at the Sheraton, and couldn't chance stains. Just try addressing potential clients and fellow professionals with beef xianbing all over yourself. Unless you have a towel-sized bib handy, keep this thing at arm's length at all times. From start to finish, juice drips every which way. The beef is very moist and has a strong, savory flavor. I also had a red bean pie, which, I agree, is decent but no more.

I took my own advice and downed my E-Pies at the Bland Playground with a cup of strong coffee. Just me, the pidgeons, a few early morning workers, a straight-on view of the Long Island Rail Road and savory beef juice running up my sleeves.

I ask you, is there any other way to dine?

P.

Oct 24, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

Haven't been to Gu Shine in ages.

I wouldn't go here ahead of Liang's or Main Street Imperial, but Mama Lee's is certainly better than Nan Bei Ho, which is just up the street.

Back when that place opened, I had a very good sliced fish dish. Everything I've had since has been lackluster and mediocre.
P

Oct 22, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Mama Lee: Taiwanese in Bayside

I work nearby and like Mama Lee a lot. She's a nice, charming lady who makes you feel good to be on the premises.

I wish I like the food as much as I like the chef/hostess. So far I've found it to be decent, certainly better than Chinese takeout and such, but not nearly as good as Yelp reports indicate.
3-Cup Chicken is boneless chicken over rice with a subtle flavor. Ok but not nearly as good as, say, Liangs' version in Flushing.

I had something there a few weeks ago, can't even remember what it was but, again, decent not great.

Here's the thing: she served me a complimentary small pork bone soup that was terrific, with a deep broth and fall-off-the-bone meat. When I asked her where it was on the menu, ML reied that it wasn't, that she just felt like cooking it that day. That soup was eons better than anything I've had off the menu thus far.

Hope you find something there you like and report back.

I root for a place like this.

P

Oct 22, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Wok fried broad noodles

Give it a shot. Hardly typical of what you'll get at Makaysian joints in NYC, but in my opinion better, spicier and more sinful.
P

Oct 21, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Wok fried broad noodles

Try the Jakarta-style spicy Kwei Tiao @ Java Village in Elmhurst.
P

Oct 20, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

E-Pie in Flushing: Sweet, Savory Xianbing and More from Eastern China

Or the beautiful playground right next to the scenic, plush Bland Housing Project.

Oct 16, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Taking a trip to Flushing

Ok good to know and my bad. By Noodle House do you mean the place whose English name translates to "You Get The Jjajang-I'll Get The Jjambong?"

Had their Jjambong once and liked it.

We like Guh Song and the Flushing Chinese House the best.

P

Oct 02, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Taking a trip to Flushing

Wow. That's news to me. We've been to a whole bunch of these places, my wife is Korean, and she's asked.

We'll just have to give it another go, perhaps be more forceful.

Thanks for the info.
P

Sep 22, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Taking a trip to Flushing

Re Chinese House, yeah, they're good.
To date they're the only Korean-Chinese I know of that will give you the ying-yang bowl: half-ja jjiang/half-jjambong. This solves the messy, traumatic dilemma of which one to get.
P

Sep 22, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Caribbean/West Indian food in Queens

I work with several Jamaicans who swear by The Door. Am looking to hit it up soon.
P

Sep 09, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Looks like El Sitio in Woodside is done?

RIP.

Will miss stopping in for a cafe con leche and sitting at the counter.

P

Sep 09, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Favorite Xiao Long Bao ( soup dumplings) in Queens?

Recommended cold dishes at Kung Fu:

Sliced beef w/ "spicy" sauce
Wine chicken
Marinated tofu sliced

P

Sep 07, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Sky Cafe - Indonesian in Elmhurst.

Behold the Kari Bihun.
No trick photography here; it's as good as it looks.

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.

P.

Jul 27, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

Also, Pata Paplean, the funky little bar next door to Tea Cup, serves up some formidable noodle soups on the weekends. 4 bucks each. One bowl's a snack, two's a meal. The tom yum is excellent.
P

Jul 11, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

Good place. Go for the Hor Mok (Sundays only) and the stewed pork belly.
P

Jul 11, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

bayside bay terrace whitestone

Give Mian a shot. Decent, if not great, noodle specialist. They took over the space vacated by Deli Masters.
P

Jul 08, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

I used to think the Brew Burger made the best hamburger on earth. As a teen, a favorite pastime was to catch some movies in Times Square with a friend or two, hit up the Brew Burger, then try and peek past the bouncer at the Metropole Go Go.

I had my priorities in order back then.

P

Jun 24, 2014
Polecat in Manhattan
1

Spicy Lanka: Sri Lankan Cuisine Returns To Queens

Yes, give or take.

May 05, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Spicy Lanka: Sri Lankan Cuisine Returns To Queens

I used to hit up a little joint near the Ganesh Temple Canteen in Flushing, called Bownie.

It was a tiny, dark storefront that you could have passed a million times without noticing it. Chances are if you did notice it, you'd likely have mistaken it for one of those makeshift car service joints. What it was, for many years, was Queens' only Sri Lankan eatery.

Bownie was the first place I tried a dish called Kothu Roti, which consists of chopped up roti mixed up and fried with the meat of your choice, assorted vegetables and a dynamic array of herbs and spices. I understand that in Sri Lanka, it's a street classic. In these parts, it was, and still is, hard to find, and I fell in love with it at Bownie. I returned periodically to Bownie over the years and tried other dishes, such as Iddiapam and Fish Curry. Liked them all. On top of that, I liked the people who worked there. Good, friendly folks.

Then, a few years back, something terrible happened.

Bownie burned down. On top of the fact that some good people were out of work, Queens had lost its' only Sri Lankan restaurant. That is, until about a year or two ago, when I heard about a new place that had opened up on Hillside Avenue. I'm sure someone here will remember the name - started with 'A' as I recall - and perhaps a few of you ate there. I never got a chance. On my two lone attempts to eat there, the joint was shuttered, and there was no answer on the phone. Eventually, it was a given that the place was a goner, down before its' prime.

I'd all but given up on Sri Lankan in Queens until this afternoon, when, en route to dropping my car off for servicing, I saw the bright green sign for Spicy Lanka, with the proprietor/server, a very gracious and friendly hostess, standing outside. To my delight, the place wasn't shuttered. It was open.

First, a few facts. Spicy Lanka has been open for about two months. They took over the medium-sized storefront previously occupied by the other Sri Lankan place around 9 months ago, and spent all that time renovating before opening. The chef is, indeed, from Sri Lanka. Sounds like they flew him in just to open the place. I'd give anything to know his impressions of Hillside Avenue.

The menu is a work in progress. Like Bownie's, Spicy Lanka has a small, modest selection of curries - I'm going for the Kingfish next time - appetizers and Devil dishes, which are something of a Sri Lankan stir fry. They don't have Hoppers yet, but will as soon as they have the proper kitchen equipment. The decor is nice, simple, clean. Nice bathroom. There's a funky little bar in the back right, but I'm guessing these guys don't have a liquor license yet; I didn't ask.

Pictured below is my lunch today - String Hopper Kothu with beef. String Hoppers are a kind of noodle, aka Idiyappam. The portion was enough for a meal and then some, and could easily be shared by two people along with another dish or two. What to say, I'm in love all over again. For those who've tried this at the celebrated Sigiri, Spicy Lanka's version is just as good, with potent heat, great texture and a wonderful array of flavors. It's also, at 10 bucks, about five dollars cheaper. This dish has a claim on my soul - I consider it a dark master. I know it's not good for me, but I can't stop eating it. With each heaping spoonful, I say I'm going to stop but know that I don't stand a chance. I'm caught in the crosshairs and resigned to my fate.

In all, I've been worse.

I'm excited to try more dishes here, and am really glad we have some Sri Lankan in Queens again. If the kothu is the only good dish here, I'd return again and again just for that.

Hope others come, enjoy and report back.

P.

Spicy Lanka
159-23 Hillside Avenue
(about a block or so away from the Parsons Blvd F stop)
Jamaica, NY 11432
718-487-4499

May 02, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Eim Khao Mun Kai: A Hainanese Chicken Rice specialist sets up shop in Elmhurst

Eim Khao Mun Kai is a small, dark store front with no outdoor signage. They do one dish and one dish only, Hainanese chicken rice. I would never had noticed them at all had it not been for the fact that I parked the car just a few paces away, on a busy stretch of Broadway that I usually look to avoid at all costs. It’s sandwiched between a pizza joint and a liquor store, and is just a few storefronts away from Ploy Thai.

The walls are brick, the ceiling one of those old-school corrugated numbers. It’s mostly a take-out joint, with two small round tables against the wall. Three skinned whole chickens hang from hooks behind the counter to the right, and there’s what appears to be a metal street food cart to the left, from which they sell cold drinks and sodas.

Again, these guys do one thing and one thing only. You have a choice of two orders, a half or whole chicken, on a pile of ginger-flavored jasmine rice, with a side of soup and a soda. The small order will hold you; it’s $8.99. The chicken rice comes with mostly white meat boneless chicken atop the rice with a few pieces of dark meat and a few small slivers of chicken liver, as well as three cucumber slices, for palette cleansing, and a thick, dark spicy sauce in a small plastic cup. There are other condiments on the table that I didn’t bother with, because the spicy sauce was enough. These guys are Thai, and the guy behind the counter told me that they do a Thai-style chicken rice (Khao Mun Kai is Thai for chicken rice), not so much that I’d notice; the sauce was what struck me as Thai, nothing else. The rice here was the clear star, fresh, aromatic, tasty, and, like I said, I liked the sauce. The chicken wasn’t so great, not when you consider that this is a place that does nothing all day but this dish. It wasn’t especially tender and, on the whole, not all that much better than what you’d get at any Malaysian restaurant in these parts. It should be better.

I actually did a double take when I peered inside this place and discovered it was a specialist restaurant, and, for that reason, wanted to like it more than I did. As it stands, although I liked the rice and the sauce, I don’t see myself beating a path back here any time soon. That said, these guys are new – they’ve been around for less than a month – and the food quality at this stage could be a variable.

The upside here is that, if these guys hit their stride - they've been around for less than a month - it could set the tone for more specialist joints to open up in Queens, which, to my taste, is a good thing. So I find myself rooting for them to succeed, and would encourage all of your Chicken Rice enthusiasts to beat a path out here and see what you think.

Eim Khao Mun Kai
81-32 Broadway, Elmhurst
(sorry, didn't get the phone number)

P.

Feb 18, 2014
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Mei Li Wah – A Cha Siu Bao Institution; Amazing Cha Siu Bao? No…The Best In Chinatown? Probably

I think they do a dai Bao; we've gotten it a few times. It's on the sweet side.

I've liked the pumpkin bun here.

Aug 06, 2013
Polecat in Manhattan

Mei Li Wah – A Cha Siu Bao Institution; Amazing Cha Siu Bao? No…The Best In Chinatown? Probably

I actually miss the older place. How can you beat a card board sign taped up to the wall saying, "no spitting."

We actually run into one of the older guys who used to man the counter. We were semi- regulars back in the day, so he smiles when he sees us. Never saw him do that when he worked there.

The big combo bun used to be my go- to back then; haven't ordered it much in recent years.

P

Aug 06, 2013
Polecat in Manhattan

Northern Boulevard Flushing Koreatown

It isn't sickly sweet tastes more of sesame.
P

Aug 05, 2013
Polecat in Outer Boroughs

Best Filipino restaurant in Queens?

Inihaw na Baboy, or grilled pork belly. It's excellent. Comes with a nice vinegar sauce. The tuna belly is also a good way to go. They offer it up in different portion sizes, which is nice.
P.

Jul 30, 2013
Polecat in Outer Boroughs