Several posters recently praised this place, and since they are the guys who KNOW Chinese food, I went as soon as I could. You might not have seen their recommendations, since they appeared at the end of a very long series of posts that started several years ago. The topic of those posts was "Best Chinese in Flushing" and based on my visit this place is a worthy contender for that title, and deserves a post of its own.
Go by six, the posters said, it's very crowded. It's Tuesday so I got there around seven and easily got a table. I was lucky. Within twenty minutes the place was packed -- and it's quite large -- and a line formed at the door. Most of the menu is in English, but there's a tiny menu in Chinese at each table, and I ordered a casserole from that. A big clay pot arrived, inside were slippery translucent noodles topped with shrimp, scallops and tiny octopi, along with a bit of squash and scallions. Now I've had this particular dish many times before, and have never been impressed. The seafood's okay, but you are left with a big glop of noodles put there to fill the pot cheaply, and they are a chore to finish. But this one was different. The preparation was infinitely superior. There was a rich savory broth redolent of the tang of the sea, and that and the noodles and the seafood blended in perfect harmony, so I wanted to have broth-laden noodles in every bite.
Either I got lucky and ordered the best dish in the place -- and I don't think I did, the plates at the other tables looked yummy and their specialty, Dungeness crab in a bamboo steamer with rice that absorbs the flavor of the crab ($20) was on several tables, and begged to be eaten -- or this is one of the best Cantonese restaurants in town.
Imperial Palace (Chinese name is East Lake, I believe)
136-13 37 Av (right near the subway)
By the way I saw two big banquet halls one block west on 37, I looked in one and it had a great menu too. New Tung Yi Fung, 135-29 37 Av But I'm in no hurry to go there, I want to go back to Imperial Palace!!!!!
Past posts recommending Imperial Palace: