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Haejo and Yangtze River in Flushing

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Haejo and Yangtze River in Flushing

Iron Frank | Dec 14, 2002 12:59 AM

I went on a mission for hand-made noodles to Haejo on Kisena Blvd. in Flushing. It's a Korean-Chinese restaurant recessed in a strip mall. An encapsulation from a Village Voice "best of" review proclaimed it Flushing's answer to Honmura An. If so it's a pretty weak reply.

The noodles could be heard loudly thumping on the counter behind me in the kitchen as the chef whacked them about. They have kindly installed a close circuit-cam so that you can watch the whole process or maybe so management can see what the chef's up to.

The noodles had a good bite to them and were definitely carefully made. The accompanying "special brown sauce with extra pork and vegetables" lacked any assertive flavor despite it's thick brown color. Some freshly ground chili powder helped a bit but there was no recovering from the lifeless sauce whose major flavor component was of very bitter diced zuccini. My dining companions spicy chicken broth noodle soup had good zip but the seafood within was over-cooked and tough.

On the way home we made our way to Yangtze River on 40th Rd. Now this place totally redeemed the mission. It's a nicely decorated place. Not phoney gold-leafed or anything, just comfortable and clean with some tasteful art and text painted on the walls. The snacks we got all excelled from the perfectly done vegetable bun with mushrooms, to the beef "pancake" which was actually boiled beef and cilantro on a golden, crackled freshly-fried bun cut into four. A flakey, sesame-seed coated bun was filled with shredded radish and looked artisinally made.

A dessert of seven treasures taro rice turned out to be comically large for two people. It was actually a type of a short round cake made out of sticky rice stuffed with very smokey red bean paste and sprinkled with bits of plant matter and colorful jellied bits. Everything looked supremely delicious as it passed by. I'll definitely be going back to sample some more substantial menu items.

Enjoy!
Frank

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