Uncle Zhou opened three months ago and brings the cuisine of Henan (as well as other regions of China) to the original Queens Chinatown. Located just a few steps away from the new location of Lao Bei Fang (and around the corner from Lao Kou Wei), the number of places serving hand-pulled noodles in the area has tripled in recent months. Dumplings have come along for the ride, as have knife cut noodles! Meatball soups and house special entrées round out the menu.
On a recent visit, I was transfixed by a bowl of spicy beef knife shaved noodles [麻辣牛肉刀削面]. The noodles were irregularly chewy and the beef very tender, but what made my night was the broth that sang. It was so bright yet balanced that I initially thought there was something like lemon grass in it. It took me a minute and a few sips to realize that it was the expert use of Sichuan pepper. While 'tingling' is the characteristic usually attributed to the spice, it is a citrus and can have lemony overtones when fresh and of high quality. Here, the málà quality was refined and not something I wanted to ruin by adding anything, including chili oil. It's my new favorite bowl of noodles, for now.
An order of boiled lamb dumplings proved to be equally balanced, with a very tender wrapper and a juicy lamb filling which is best described as subtle. Yum.
Uncle Zhou 大河人家 [dà hé rén jiā]
83-29 Broadway nr. Dongan Av
Elmhurst Queens 11373
Lao Bei Fang
83-05 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373
83-29 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373