North Dumpling House (Flushing in Queens, NY)
||144-18 Northern Boulevard,|
Reviewed by: Michael Gray
Spring Volume: 2012 Issue: 19(1) page: 24
This is not what it says on the bright awning left from a previous owner. That past owner's name was yellow-painted out at this year-old North Dumpling House.
The new owners seem to be keeping the same English name. They are one of several Korean-Chinese or is it Chinese-Korean restaurants that have sprouted recently in Flushing. Most are North Korean style, but a couple do serve Penyang or Southern Korean chow.
The fare at this one is closer to North Korean food as evidenced by the food and the fact that all hand written house specials are only in Chinese. Our friendly waiter, Mr. He Yu, hails from Shenyang which is the capital of China's Liaoning Province. There and in Jilin, many Koreans now live. He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English, and is most helpful offering frequent explanations, when requested, in any of these languages.
We peruse the many-page menu and snack on boiled peanuts and a spicy cucumber kimchi, the latter is addicting. We like it so much we request seconds and it is delivered promptly.
The Wide Bean Noodles with Dark Sauce we order are excellent, their mung bean noodles perfectly cooked in a rich, dark sauce. They arrive accompanied with slivered shreds of ginger and sliced garlic.
The Spicy Pig's Ear Salad is another success story. Here, cilantro stems and leaves come with little bits of onion and chili peppers, seeds included. They add piquancy to the slightly chewy pig ears.
Our green vegetable, listed in Chinese only, is some type of Garlic Cabbage. It is gently stir-fried with plain fried garlic and some oil. In Chinese, it is Suan Rong Cai. It is bland even with its lots of large tossed slices of garlic. Plain, too, are our two Corn Dodgers. Actually, they are innocuous and a reminder of Johnny Cakes from younger years.
Tendon Stewed Mushrooms arrive in hot broth with three types of mushrooms: Abalone, Beech--also known as Bunapi, and Button Mushrooms. The editor took those leftovers home, said the next day she reduced them until almost no liquid remains, and pronounces them better that way.
Sour Cabbage Dumplings, the only dumplings we spot on the menu, lead us to believe their name is Northern for the Boulevard they are on. They look and taste as others typical of China's three Northeastern Dongbei provinces. In these provinces, many Koreans did migrate starting in the 1800s. The dumplings are delicious in their steamer basket with a side of soy dipping sauce centered with a large dollop of garlic. They also look lovely.
Portions here are generous, our leftovers feed three the next night for dinner. For the record, this Korean-Chinese eatery is the seventh or eighth in Flushing; and it is open everyday from noon until midnight.