Chowhounds were disappointed when Flushing’s J&L Mall went belly up early this year. With J&L gone, Main Street’s liveliest Chinese chow scene is now at Golden Mall, at the corner of 41st Road. And the hottest hound destination among this venue’s food stalls is a Szechuan place in the basement called Chengdu Tian Fu, or Chengdu Heaven.

Brian S recommends pork intestine with chile and the flavorful double-cooked pork (“The Platonic ideal of a dish that is all too often lackluster”). Other hounds endorse fish with bean curd, “fish flavored” pork belly, and mapo dofu (“leagues above Little Pepper,” swears JFores, “and I love Little Pepper’s”). Like many food court eateries, this one has no English menu, but photos and translations may help guide the Chinese-challenged.

Another Golden Mall vendor Brian S raves about, Xian Ming Zhi (Xian Famous Eats), offers cumin-seasoned lamb with green peppers and broad, chewy noodles in a red broth that delivers a “rich, very unusual and totally unidentifiable flavor.” Xian Ming Zhi lacks an English menu, but it does have color photos of the dishes and a friendly proprietor.

Closest to the building’s 41st Road entrance is a bustling operation where a crew of women turns out northern-style pork-and-chive dumplings, served boiled or in soup or sold frozen by the sack. They’re some of the best in town, promises Joe MacBu.

Golden Mall [Flushing]
41-28 Main Street (at 41st Road), Flushing, Queens

Board Links: J&L Mall shuttered again (?) - Mandarin translation needed
Xi’an Restaurant -- in a tiny basement food stall, a taste of western China
Chengdu Heaven -- the best Sichuan food in a tiny basement stall at the 41-28 Main St Mall, Flushing
Floor plan of Flushing food court located on Main St between Maple and Sanford (L&N)

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