I've written about Gu Xiang in the past (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/525099) and been there several times, but i ate there this weekend and after just being in taiwan, i decided this might be the best taiwanese restaurant in flushing.
To be clear there are certain dishes like the gua bao at temple snacks that are quite good, but on an overall basis gu xiang might be the best. I feel like taiwanese food generally is fairly simple food and they do a good job of getting simple dishes right and being consistent. If you go in you'll notice that its a) consistently busy and b) most of the patrons are taiwanese.
It's a pretty small place with maybe 8-10 tables and its pretty quaint, not much decor wise, but does feel homey like a typical restaurant in taiwan. I also like that they have normal lighting not the white florescent lighting that alot of chinese places have.
They also have two other small businesses along w/ the main dining area:
- take out business in the front selling taiwanese bian dang (lunch boxes) with stuff like lu rou fan, you fan (literally oil rice, but its sort of like a sticky rice with mushrooms although not as heavy), gua bao (very curious to try their version) and unagi over rice (there is a strong japanese influence in taiwan due to japanese ruling taiwan for a very long time)
- next door they sell baozi next door (although its connected to the main restaurant)
The food is also very cheap as they have a special (2 dishes and 1 soup for $14.99)
Anyhow, we had the following dishes:
- beef w/ peppers (la jiao niu rou): this is very simple, just sliced beef strips with sliced spicy green peppers sauteed in a wok. This was very good, tastes exactly like it sounds. The beef was tender, the peppers were tasty and it was just good
- sauteed chinese lettuce (bao xin cai): i think this is actually cabbage, sauteed in a wok. Again very simple and self-explantory, but tasty
- clam soup (ge li tang): very simple soup with just broth and clams. The broth was a nice light broth with clam flavor, not overally salty or any type of bad seafood taste. Was nice tasting and was even nicer b/c it was freezing outside.
- rice w/ meat sauce (lu rou fan): this is a pretty staple taiwanese dish. They actually sell it to go up front. Its rice topped with a minced pork sauce (think like a ragu), suan cai (minced pickled vegetable), one whole lu dan (similar to a tea egg) and takuan (the japanese yellow pickled radish). The key is the sauce and the sauce here is good, the pork is tender and has good flavor. Also, the pickled vegetables are very tasty. It's a very simple kind of dish, but it's a staple and i really appreciated how good it tasted.
As you can see the dishes they serve here are very simple. There are alot of other taiwanese dishes they have here that i'm pretty interested in trying. I highly suggest trying if you're looking to have a low key, but good meal in flushing
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