Today, my girlfriend & I decided to venture Flushing, NY - famous for good Chinese food, cheap Chinese groceries and all around Chinese goodness. Our goal Anthony Bourdain's featured spot on the "Outer Boroughs" episode on No Reservations - Golden Shopping Mall.
Armed with an empty stomach we made the trek out of Manhattan into the burbs of what is a predominantly Asian/Chinese area. All the signs are in Mandarin, no one speaks English and not a single Caucasian soul in sight. Feels like Asia already! And of course being Sunday, its universal grocery shopping day so Main Street is bustling!
With our iPhones and Google Maps in hand, we find our destination and eventually find the entrance and walk downstairs to enter a bustling, cramped, dirty food court. Ah! At last! & it feels so authentic too. Brought me back to the days in Singapore where hawker stalls are cramped together, while patrons sit on make shift seating consisting of stools and foldable tables and orders are always yelled out. PERFECT!
We do a quick look around and settle with dumplings first. We place our orders and dug in. Note: they aren't any menus and if there are its all in Chinese so if you don't read or speak the language, be prepared to point and pay. I also think its cash only but that shouldn't be a problem, our dumpling feast was $5 with a side of fried chive pancake. Disgustingly cheap for NY's standards but also fresh, handmade and piping hot. Plenty of chilli paste and chinese black vinegar. Slurp and all 12 are gone. Next stop, Xi'an Famous Foods - another foodstall toured by Mr Bourdain. Famed for Liang Pi & their lamb burger. Seeing how I don't eat lamb we went for the pulled pork instead which was well-spiced and seasoned to perfection. Mmm..Mmm...The Liang Pi was a first for me and it was AMAZING! Apparently, the recipe from this stall is several generations old and very authentic. Chewy, tangy, spicy and peanuty all in one - its a flavour that's hard to define and must be tried.
Stuffed and sweaty, we decided to pop outside for a breather and some bubble tea and before venturing home. We swung by for cheap groceries and hopped back on the 7 to return to the city. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday!