New Treasures at the Golden Mall

For lovers of Chinese food, Flushing's Golden Shopping Mall is the gift that keeps on giving. This two-level warren of food vendors has been crawling with Chowhounds for years, yet fresh discoveries keep turning up. The latest is Xie Family Foods, which specializes in dumplings, buns, and small plates from the northern port city of Tianjin.

Lau (who also blogs about the joint) went for cold dishes and sniffed out some winners. Standouts included smoked bean curd (dou gan) in chile oil; jerkylike beef tendon (niu jin) steeped in soy, five-spice, and star anise; and pig ear (ed duo) with chile oil and cilantro, the best Lau's had in New York other than at nearby Nan Xiang, better known for its superb soup dumplings. He'll pass next time on wood ear fungus, which was overpowered by its vinegary sauce.

Northern Chinese chow has dominated the recent news from Flushing, and one of the newest places to try it is Guan Dong Yi Jia. Polecat enjoyed complimentary pickled cabbage (a close cousin to kimchi); spicy, earthy, chewy beef tendon in red chile oil; and the deceptively named egg yolk with pumpkin, actually a heaping pile of battered pumpkin fries. Guan Dong Yi Jia joins a neighborhood already thick with northern Chinese restaurants, including M&T and Golden Palace. As Polecat observes, "It's reached the point where if you throw a rock, you're likely to hit one (not that I'm condoning that type of behavior)."

It might take more than a rock to bring down the oyster Daniel76 ate the other night at perennial Cantonese favorite Imperial Palace. Part of a blowout birthday feast, these big boys came dressed with XO sauce and "took four large bites to finish." Also joining the parade: snails in black bean sauce, salt-baked duck tongue, Peking pork chops, garlic crab over noodles, pea shoots, sizzling beef, sizzling sable, cumin lamb chops, and fried rice. "The quality of the food was spot on," Daniel writes. "All in all it was a great night, there was lots of table jumping, more than enough food, more than enough beer, total bill was 35 bucks a head."

Belated birthday wishes, and thanks for the report!

Golden Shopping Mall [Flushing]
41-28 Main Street (at 41st Road), Flushing, Queens
No phone available

Xie Family Foods [Flushing]
41-28 Main Street (at 41st Road), Flushing, Queens
No phone available

Guan Dong Yi Jia [Flushing]
46-09 Kissena Boulevard (near Cherry Avenue), Flushing, Queens
917-285-2052

Imperial Palace [Flushing]
136-13 37th Avenue (between Main and Union streets), Flushing, Queens
718-939-3501

Discuss: Xie Family Foods – Delicious Cold Dishes from Tianjin at the Golden Mall
Guan Dong Yi Jia: Yet more Northern Chinese on Kissena (only this time with Pumpkin Fries)
Canton Gourmet or Imperial Palace

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