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On The Menu at Golden Palace

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Restaurant Review

Winter Volume: 2014 Issue: 21(4) pages: 20 to 21


At 140-09 CHERRY AVENUE in FLUSHING NY 11355; its phone: (718) 886-4383, the chap behind the register does recognizes me, and I him. However, I do not know from where; simply that it is not from here.

We are meeting a lovely young lady from Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, and do recall this place was once called Liaoning Palace in an earlier life. A map of the northeast corner of China does show three provinces called Dongbei; Liaoning is one of them. The other two are Heilongjiang and Jilin.

She orders for all of us becauase she hails from that province, and has eaten here before. She also had eaten at Liao Dong Bei, a restaurant around the corner. She advises she likes them both and just did drive here from her college in Philadelphia to meet us. We are thrilled to have an expert share her favorite food. Liaoning is her birthplace, and she loves the tastes from her hometown. Actually, we did eat here once before, but about two years ago when it was called Liaoning Palace.

From her, we learn about and taste many dishes new to us from this province, actually six of the dishes has ordered; a handful are new to us. The one we ate before does have potatoes in it. Those who know a lot about Chinese food do not think of potatoes as Chinese, but they have been part of their cuisine for more than five hundred years. The dish in question also has eggplant and hot peppers; and we love that dish.

We also love their di san xian, Sauerkraut with Bean Thread Noodles. It is also made with pork ribs, the kraut plain pickled cabbage with loads of clear noodles usually made with sweet potato flour. They can be made with potato starch, bean starch, or sweet potato starch; here she advises, they are made with potato starch.

Made with green peppers and eggplant, as well, here with very piquant peppers, our lady-friend tells us that some call this dish ‘Three Fresh.’ Its picture is on the menu but not listed there, and only found on their take-out menu. Its vegetables are soft, a mite sweet, and very delicious.

I do get my protein fix next, many know I adore all meats, and here enjoy them in their Pot Bag; and on a previous visit eating I did eat lots of skewered lamb and pork. They have slices of gau bao rou deep fried and crisp, almost candied, the way the Chinese make apples or sweet potatoes when they serve them at the end of a meal. Sometimes this dish comes with fresh coriander our friend tells us, but there are none in this dish this day. My husband says they would have been appreciated, but the rest of us were happy as it came.

At some Dongbei eateries, we have had meat pies sometimes called Haicheng Meat Pies. In Chinese they are known as niu zhuang xian bing. These crisp delights were not ordered this day; other dishes were. Seems the owner told our waiter before he left for another appointment, to bring us stuffed dates. These are a little crisp and most delicious and we wonder how he knows we love all dried fruits.

As to the pictures with this article, see the crispy crunchy fried pork that is not on skewers, a yummy kidney and vegetable dish, the potato one, and a particularly yummy kidney and a vegetable dish on sterno with long skinny tree mushrooms, carrots, and other vegetables. There is also a picture of the red dates filled with sweet rice flour and bits of peanuts fried before serving them.

This northeast province of Liaoning is between Russia and Korea, so potatoes and hot peppers represent good use of foods of their northern and southern neighbors. This restaurant is a big bargain at lunchtime with twenty-two ‘lunch specials’ that come with soup and white rice. Eight have an indication of being hot, but they are not. For one cent under five bucks, this is one of the biggest bargains in Flushing!

The take-away menu does not include everything they serve, so we do ask to see the regular menu, and ask more questions. Had our Shenyang lady-friend not ordered, we would have missed some very fine dishes, some shown in color photographs; they do entice.

If you live or work locally, they and many other Flushing eateries are part of www.flushingfood.com so use your computer and see many more dishes served here. A telephone call and these dishes can be had delivered to your door, noon to midnight.

For those not familiar with foods from Dongbei, check out this magazine’s Volume F17-3 article by Zheng Nan about Dongbei food; and do try her recipes. One uses napa cabbage, it and all foods here are great!

                                                                                                                                                       
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