The faded yellow awning at North Dumpling House says "Korean Restaurant," but that's not quite right. The current occupant of this space in Flushing, Queens, specializes in northern Chinese food with Korean influences. It's robust, satisfying fare, perhaps a cousin to the hound-endorsed chow at Minzhongle a few blocks west, and some of it brings to mind familiar Chinese competitors.
"Spicy fish," as the roughly translated menu calls it, comes in chile oil loaded with Sichuan pepper and is much like the braised fish at Little Pepper—but spicier and better, el jefe declares. Cumin lamb is tasty, reminiscent of versions at Szechuan Gourmet and Lan Sheng, though Ike finds it disappointingly light on cumin (el jefe, in dissent, says it's moist, perfectly cooked, and seasoned in a way that lets the lamb take the lead).
Noodles are a smart order. "Seafood Noodles in Soup" is soft rice pasta in thick, flavorful broth, Polecat reports. "Seafood Donut with Seafood Noodles" is essentially the Korean sujebi (hand-torn wheat noodles) in a comforting, congee-like soup. The menu's also unusually deep in vegetable dishes. Good ones include "vegetables with garlic," meltingly tender "mixed mushroom," and "potato and eggplant," a chunky, garlicky spin on mashed potatoes. You'll hear Chinese and a smattering of Korean in the air, and the vibe is intimate and old-world. "My wife and I felt immediately transported once we walked in," Polecat says. "We weren't in Queens anymore, yet, of course, we were."
North Dumpling House [Flushing]
144-18 Northern Boulevard (near Parsons Boulevard), Flushing, Queens