Maybe it is true after all – that one great Sichuan restaurant can really change the world. Especially a mysterious new crimson Queens entry with no exterior English language signage. Once through the doors though the friendly female staff warmly welcomes you.
Within the past month, Prince Noodle House has converted from a Shanghainese restaurant into a serious Sichuan suitor: Old Chengdu 老成都 lǎo chéng dū . As Joe DiStefano reports, it marks the return to prominence of Chengdu native, Big Sister Zhu (朱大姐 - zhū dà jiě). She will gladly leave her basement kitchen to answer any questions you have. The owner is the same – he just lured Big Sister Zhu over and let her totally redo the menu. He also kept the English name Prince Noodle House on their menus, which are in both English and Chinese.
And what an exciting menu it is. There are four different Doubled Cooked Pork dishes, with your choice of Green Pepper, Garlic Shoots, Cabbage or Jelly. Jelly (or 粉皮 fěn pí) here refers to Green Bean Sheet Jelly. (The Chinese take the starch from sweet potatoes, potatoes, mung beans, broad beans and more to make a dry flaky-type noodle which is reconstituted in water). Also on the menu: 1000 year old eggs, eel, duck head, duck tongue, frog, kidney, lobster, pork ear, pork blood, rabbit, rice cakes, sea cucumber, two goose intestine dishes and one hot looking “Hot Chili Chili Blue Crabs.”
I quickly sampled two Sichuan stalwarts: Dan Dan Noodles and Gong Bao Chicken. Both dishes answered the ma la call. These Dan Dan Noodles are the first I’ve had in a long while that weren’t swimming in hot chili oil. In the middle of my large $5 bowl a fragrant cardamom pod was found. The only misstep was some overcooked noodles but that will be easily corrected next time. The Gong Bao Chicken was light, stir-fried with garlic, ginger and hollowed out dried chilies. You could see and taste the Sichuan peppercorns. I can’t wait to return.
Joe DiStefano’s Report:
Their special Lunch Menu consists of 30 dishes priced at $6.50 and consists of an amuse-bouche, entrée, soup and white rice. Some of these specials include Sautéed Kidney, a Braised Pork Chop, Shrimp and Pickled Turnips in a Spicy Sauce and Sautéed Tomatoes and Eggs.
Prince Noodle House (老成都 lǎo chéng dū).
37-17A Prince Street (between 38th and 39th).
Flushing, NY 11354