On Cherry Avenue between Kimberly’s Furniture Store (where everything is 15%-50% off) and the Mr. Machine Laundromat sits Golden Palace. Only the Chinese signage reveals its true pedigree: 遼寧飯店 - 正宗東北風味 (Liaoning Fandian – Zhengzong Dongbei Fengwei) or Liaoning Restaurant - Authentic Northeast Flavors.
In this year’s spring issue of “Gastronomica” (Vol. 9, No 2, pp 82-86,) Jacqueline M. Newman; Professor Emeritus at Queens College (CUNY) writes about Dongbei food – the cuisine of Northeast China. She states that Dongbei cuisine is marked by “hearty meals centered on meat and fresh and pickled vegetables...grains like wheat, millet and sorghum” and reflects influences from Manchuria, Mongolia, Korea, Russia and Japan. Dongbei cuisine is also known for strong flavors, lots of dumplings and a large variety of cold dishes. Raw fish might be served to start the meal. Garlic seems to be used but not too much ginger.
Inside, the décor is far from ornate. There are four four-tops and two six-tops. A lonely aquarium is near the window. Ten faux lanterns guard the ceiling. When not busy, the four-top nearest the kitchen is used by the 2-3 waitresses for food prep. Little, if any English is spoken here but not to worry; the extensive menu is in both Chinese and English. All of the customers are from Dongbei one of the waitresses tells me and they've been open for three years. Pitchers of cold draft beer are served to the gentlemen at the next table.
Their menu features items like Braised Ribs, Pork Belly in Brown Sauce, Smoked Chicken Bones, Seaweed Salad, Smoked Rabbit, Crispy Flounder with Chili Peppers, a dozen soups, five kinds of dumplings and much more.
We are immediately served two small cold appetizers of Bean Sprouts with Carrots and Hot Pepper as well as Slivered Pickled Potatoes, which are gobbled up. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the potatoes. Now on to the dishes:
Cornbread – (玉米餅 Yumi Bing)
Arriving at the same time as the staff were eating lunch, we saw a large pile of these at their table. No one was eating rice. Small specks of cornmeal can be seen throughout the bun/bread and they prove to be excellent for sopping up the juices from the dishes. This is not our cousin Cletus’s cornbread for sure!
Tiger Vegetables – (老虎菜 Lauhu Cai)
A huge mound of fresh cilantro stems, scallions and hot green chili peppers packing a good kick. Refreshing.
Scrambled Eggs with Chinese Toon – (香椿炒雞蛋 Xiangchun Chao Jidan)
A savory, simple dish of eggs, Chinese Toon and bits of garlic. For more on Chinese Toon see below. I swoon for Toon.
Eggplant with Brown Sauce – (燒 茄子 Shao Qiezi)
A palatable rendition served piping hot.
Preserved Eggs with Tofu – (皮蛋拌豆腐 Pidan Ban Doufu)
A very sapid treat where the salty creaminess of the eggs is balanced by the soft bland tofu, scallions and cilantro bits.
Three Fresh – (地三鮮 Di San Xiang)
Three Fresh can mean just about three of anything mixed together and stir fried. Here a common Dongbei dish is twice-cooked potatoes, eggplant and green bell peppers. Piquant and pleasing. This was written differently on their menu but our server knew exactly what we wanted and delivered.
The rice they serve is similar to what one would find in Korea: short grain and stickier. I’ve not eaten at the Dongbei place on Main Street so I can’t compare but I think Golden Palace is going to be around here for a spell. I can’t wait to return.
Golden Palace Restaurant
140-09 Cherry Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355
Tel: 718-886-4383 or 718-886-3113
Open everyday from noon to midnight.
For more on Chinese Toon (Toona Sinensis) - 香椿 = Xiangchún:
For a slideshow:
14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355