Supposedly, Flushing is home to the (better) China Town in New York, which can only mean that it’s home to many wonderful treats I so often find myself missing.
Sadly, it’s taken me two years to make it out there! It happened a few weeks ago, when I finally convinced Zack to take me to “Main Street” on the end of the 7 train line…
Our first stop for the day was Corner 28 – a clean and respectable restaurant. It reminded me of the shiny plastic interiors of so many HK restaurants trying to be smarter and more posh than they really were…
I almost thought we had made a mistake by coming into this fancy-shmancy place. But one look at the menu, and I knew better.
Menu items included roast duck, roast pig, soy sauce chicken, BBQ ribs plus noodles and rice galore. Stir fries were staple and prices were so reasonable. A plate of BBQ for $5? Yes, this feels like home.
I certainly wasn’t expecting the menu to be so…bookish…
BBQ spare ribs…
Roast duck, chicken and pig! I couldn’t pick one…so I got all three! Unfortunately, my eyes were bigger than my stomach that day and I ended up leaving a good portion behind. Luckily, it was mostly fat.
And two glasses of ice cold taro boba to wash it all down.
Next, Zack and I enjoyed the sunny weather for the first time in a long time by walking around and soaking up the sights…
Little Sheep hot pot! All the way from HK to Flushing…now I know where to get my hot and spicy fix!
We then went in search of the Hong Kong Supermarket. Here are the goods I came away with…
Overwhelmed? OK, here’s a little key to help you out…
A: Banh Pho, or noodles for pho soup.
B: Barley tea. I thought this might be something like barley water, but it’s slightly diffrent. It’s a very earthy tea that tastes great ice cold.
C: Tapioca balls. Also known as “bubbles” or “boba.” I’ve always wanted to make my own bubble tea, so I finally got the bubbles! Apparently all you do is boil them in hot water and presto – they are soft and chewy.
D: Curry Laksa spice packet.
E: Taro mochi. Basically a glutinous rice cake with a taro paste filling.
F: Vermicelli noodles.
G: Korean red pepper paste. The base to all things yummy (bibimbop, dokbokki).
H: Dukbokki! aka Korean rice cakes. These stiff disks of rice flour become chewy and cakey when fried.
I: Bao. Just like the kind at Momofuku, Ippudo, Baohaous, Fatty ‘Cue…now I have my own to make yummy pork belly and kimchi baos…mmm.
J: Frozen parata. The Indian/Pakistani version of tortillas…kind of. Just imagine a more flaky, doughy and buttery fried bread. Delicious with some egg in the morning or a spicy curry at night!
K: Frozen dim sum (shrimp shaomai to be exact).
L: Frozen curry samosas. Ironically, this is not an Indian/Pakistani product at all. It’s the Chinese iteration of an Sub-continent classic…and in my opinion, it’s even better! A mix between a fried spring roll and a curry puff.
M: The ever elusive Malaysian kuih! I finally found some of the steamed rice cakes in coconut, and pandan flavors from the Malaysian restaurant, Curry Leaves.
N: Last but not least! Pandan essence. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this, but it’s fragrance reminds me of the hot, balmy summers in HK and of course, my most recent trip to Malaysia. One instant vacation, coming up!
Phew! That’s a lot of very special Asian treats I found. Stay tuned for the kitchen experiments to follow…
To finish off the happy trip, I spotted a yangrou vendor right before the train station. The scent reminded me of my summer spent in Shanghai, stumbling out from nightclubs and paying 1 RMB for a stick of heavily spiced and greasy yangrou (lamb) that could make any sensitive stomach turn (for the worse). I had to have some.
And that, my friends, is why I LOVE Flushing!