Yanbian is in China but not of it, an autonomous northeastern territory with deep Korean roots. Now Yanbian’s rustic cuisine, of Korea but not in it, has landed in New York at Ri Fu in Flushing.
scoopG says smart orders include kimchee fried rice, potato-flour dumplings filled with ground pork and chives, and “slate tofu” (sizzling bean curd with hot sauce). Ri Fu also offers a Yanbian take on Korean favorites like soondae (blood sausage), shrimp and scallion pancakes, and injeolmi, delicate steamed rice cakes topped with sweetened ground red bean. Reflecting the region’s mix of cultures, the long menu is rendered in Korean, Chinese, Pinyin, and English. Expect to hear Korean, Mandarin, and a smattering of English in the air.
Somewhat more familiar to New Yorkers is the food of Wenzhou, which has turned up here and there around Flushing. A good place for exploring this coastal cuisine is Gourmet Noodle and Delicacies, a spin-off of a vendor in Golden Shopping Mall a few blocks away. SpiceJunkies can’t get enough of the short rib noodle soup, but he also recommends fish cake soup and Wenzhou noodles. Check out the cold appetizers in the deli case, too; SpiceJunkies is partial to the smoked duck.
Ri Fu [Flushing]
136-77 41st Avenue (between Main and Union streets), Flushing, Queens
Gourmet Noodle and Delicacies [Flushing]
42-15 College Point Boulevard (near Sanford Avenue), Flushing, Queens