Chinese Crowd-Pleasers in Flushing

Flushing’s current hot corner is Main Street and 40th Road, where hungry mobs jostle for 75-cent duck sandwiches and other bites. At the center of the throng are two new and crushingly popular Cantonese eateries—a street-level takeout operation and a second-floor sit-down place called Corner 28.

Those must-have sandwiches, sold downstairs only, are steamed bao filled with one or two pieces of roast duck (and a sliver of skin, if you’re lucky), sliced green onion, and a dab of sweet plum sauce. The duck is fresh, tasty, and not exactly abundant, reports surly: “At times I felt I was eating an empty bao with scallions and plum sauce.” Then again, this is a 75-cent sandwich. “Not bad for a cheap thrill,” allows designerboy01. “Maybe it’s the size that makes them fun to eat—like White Castle.” Other downstairs offerings include congee, tofu, and deep-fried battered fish (“all decent but none really memorable,” sums up surly) and a forest of hanging roast meats: chicken, duck, pork ribs or belly, and the like.

Upstairs, at the top of a narrow staircase, is Corner 28, whose short, well-executed menu includes seafood noodles, clams with basil, and beef with hollow-stem spinach. All dishes are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and cooked with a light touch, reports lwong. Polecat fought through the downstairs crush to be rewarded with tender, succulent duck and fresh, tasty squid in XO sauce that measured up well against comparable dishes at such Manhattan Chinatown favorites as Cantoon Garden.

The upstairs and downstairs operations, though apparently under separate ownership, have two things in common: chaotic service and hordes of impatient customers. Those in line for tables in the tiny second-floor dining room must take a number, then go back downstairs to wait. “For Corner 28 to survive,” lwong suggests, “it has to continue to cook above-average food, otherwise no one will put up with the cramped quarters and the silly waiting situation.”

Corner 28 [Flushing]
40-28 Main Street, at 40th Road, Flushing, Queens
718-886-6628
Map

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