The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Two Days of Flushing Fooding In One Huge-Ass Post

I know my friends are awesome because they'll say things like, "I've never been to Flushing before; can we go there and eat until we explode?" If you have no interest in going to Flushing, you can go sit in that corner over there marked "YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND." Yes, the corner with the sad faces all around it.

I may not cover that much ground on my visits to Flushing—with friends in tow I tend to revisit more favorites than try new places—but I hope you find it useful that that I take photos of everything and dump them all in these really long posts, even if I've posted half the stuff before.

Trip 1: Dim Sum, Assi Plaza, Shaved Ice, Etc.

Table of awesome.

Trip one with Diana, Alice, Greg, Chichi, Gloria, Lee Anne, and my out-of-town visitors Karen and Rebecca, took place on October 17. First top: Ocean Jewels for dim sum. Details about the meal are sort of hazy since our lazy Susan went from empty to plate-covered in 5 minutes (thanks to the collaboration of pushy cart ladies and my Cantonese-speaking friends), but luckily, I took a photo of every dish and Chichi wrote about it on Serious Eats. Her overall impression: meh. My opinion is worthless; I haven't had enough dim sum to know what's good. I'd just listen to Chichi, and according to her, this shizz blows (not her exact words): too many room temperature dishes, not enough stand out deliciousness. If you've eaten the best dim sum in Southern California (and beyond) as Chichi has, all dim sum in New York City might be underwhelming.

After dim sum, we roamed around Korean supermarket Assi Plaza where we met up with Tina and looked at the wide array of Asian foodstuffs. Mostly in the snack aisle.


From the curiously named.


To the anthropomorphic.

Man, it doesn't get any more exciting than this packaging
Let's not get too fancy here.

To the unadorned.

be a fish
Not a snack.

To the boiled canned mackerel.

Orientals love this stuff. I should know, because I am one.

There was also this questionable advertised snack found at a shop at the Flushing Mall. Whenever people ask me what kind of gum Orientals chew, I just point them to dried cuttlefish. It's like chewing gum, as long as the gum tastes fishy and is made of seafood.

Shaved ice from Ten Ren
Shaved ice from Ten Ren.

We popped into Ten Ren to hydrate with bubble tea and snack on a bowl of shaved ice and red beans. It's the best shaved ice I've had in Flushing...out of the two places I've tried (the other in the Flushing Mall).


And I rode this pink limbless blob at the corner of Prince Street and Roosevelt Avenue, sort of unintentionally. While I initially straddled the malformed creature for a stationary photo op (because it's not the first time I've been on a pink limbless blob kiddie ride), Gloria seized the opportunity to spend a quarter in exchange for watching me flail for a minute of non-stop undulating, shrieking fun. I'd do it again in the company of friends; riding it alone would be weird. Because riding it with an audience of eight friends isn't weird. At. All.

$1 duck bun
Duck bun!

I made sure to expose Karen to the cheap-ass $1 roast duck bun at the corner of 40th Road and Main Street.

LIANG PI, oh god it's tasty

Along with the also cheap-ass ($3.50 perhaps?) heaping plate of liang pi from Xi'an Famous Foods in the underbelly of the Golden Shopping Mall.

ham and cheese sammich?
Sand...wich? Is that you?

There was also this ham, egg, cheese, and pork floss sandwich creation from Sun Mary Bakery that nobody ate, but I thought was worth taking a photo of.

no more pinkberry

And a short trip to Pinkberry that I didn't partake in because you know how I feel about fro-yo.

Trip Two: Taiwanese Breakfast, Spicy and Tasty, Etc.

With trip two on October 31, we tried to cater to those who didn't want to sacrifice sleep by allowing them to join our fooding excursion later than our starting time of 10 a.m. While the food and company were good, the result was suboptimal; it's just way easier for everyone to meet at the same time and be on the same stomach-stuffing schedule. There are few people who are more sleep deprived than I am; if I can survive on unhealthily meager amounts of sleep, SO CAN YOU.

balls filled with stuff more not know what these are.

The core group of Tam, Al, Diana, Alice, Michael, Chichi, and I started at No. 1 East Restaurant for Taiwanese breakfast. Despite being Taiwanese, I know very little about what Taiwanese people eat for breakfast. If Tam and Al were here, they could tell you what those ball things above are. ...But they're not, so I'm going to call them "flaky dough ball things filled with stuff." Unfortunately, they were sort of dry and bland.

fried cruller of awesome
Yay, fried!

The fried cruller, or you tiao, was much more satisfying. You get crispy, chewy, poofy, and soft in every bite. Like all fried foods, it's best eaten fresh; after a while it becomes an unappealing grease stick.

savory tofu soup another tofu soup, mmm
Tofu soups.

The savory tofu soups were a highlight of the meal. Not that I remember much about either besides that they were savory (in that "blast of umami" way)...and had tofu in them. ...Moving on.

scallion pancakes egg scallion pancake thing beef filled pancake things
Bready things.

The scallion pancakes (one with egg, one without) and beef in sesame pancakes were alright. Not the best, but not bad. The beef pancakes from Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao are better.

pork dumplings fail

The steamed pork dumplings were undeniably full of fail. Anyone want dry, shriveled dumplings? HERE YOU GO.

spinach dumplings! spinach dumpling I love you
Spinach dumplings!

They must put all their dumping-making energy into the spinach dumplings, easily my favorite vegetable dumpling anywhere, and one of my favorite dumplings in general. Little thin-skinned pouches stuffed to the brim with chopped spinach and cellophane noodles—such chlorophyll-dense beauties they are.

Oriental Express Food
It's Oriental and express.

Gloria joined us after breakfast when we went to Oriental Express Food Lucky L & LWC, represented by the clever combination of a steam locomotive plowing into a bowl of noodles (because it's fast and oriental GET IT?). This is one of those places that you could pass a gazillion times and never notice. Or maybe that was just me.

Feels like I'm in a trailer

Shiny, red, and glaring with fluorescent lights—ah, the aesthetics of Chinatown. I couldn't tell you much about the food they serve here since I left the food ordering in the capable hands of Tam and Al, but considering how full it was, there must be good stuff. (I forgot to try the "rolling donkey"—doh).


Chive box, something like a large dumpling stuffed with chopped chives and glass noodles and pan fried to a light crisp, is one of my favorite Chinese foodstuffs that I sometimes ate as a kid. I rarely get to eat them these days though; they're not very common in New York City, as far as I can tell. I liked that the wrapping in this pancake-y version was super thin, making for a greater filling-to-wrapper ratio.

Yeaah this didn't tasty too awesome

The egg pancake-wrapped fried crullers were less successful. Remember what I said about fried crullers having a short window of awesomeness? I'm not sure these crullers ever had that window. Tepid, floppy logs of dough wrapped in equally tepid and floppy rounds of dough do not make for a winning combination. Maybe it would've worked better if it had been fresher.

Spicy and Tasty
Spicy and Tasty.

More win was found at Spicy and Tasty. It wasn't in our original itinerary, but since the neighboring restaurant we wanted to go to was too crowded, we figured we should cross this popular Sichuan restaurant off our list. By this point our party had shifted to include Kathy, Kathryn, and Dan, while Gloria had left.

I don't remember the official Chinese name for any of these dishes because I fail at taking notes—food porn will have to do. All you have to know is that I liked everything.

tasty chicken thing
Tasty chicken thing.

Spicy, slightly crispy chicken nubs with celery, green onions, and green peppers. GOOD STUFF.

spicy noodles

Spicy cold noodles. ...Also good stuff.

tasty spicy tofu thing

Soft tofu blocks with a bit of chewy skin, in ...Yes, also good.

sauteed string beans
String beans!

Crisp, sauteed string beans, I LOVE YOU.

lamb thing

Lamb bits with what looks like loads of garlic and chiles. Probably good, but I didn't eat much of it. Sometimes I can't take the feral lamb funk.

seafood soup

Seafood soup was another winner.

sweet egg soup with glutinous rice balls

We finished off with black sesame paste-filled tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) in sweet egg drop soup with fermented rice grains. I've never had this dessert in and egg and fermented rice soup before; I'd prefer it without the fermentation, but the wisps of egg were a nice touch.

Xi'an Famous Foods
Another Xi'an Famous Foods.

We ended our fooding journey at the Flushing Mall's food court, where I didn't eat anything because I was goddamn full. Some of the others bought food to go from the new Xi'an Famous Foods stall.

Pork sammich!

Kathryn bought this huge-ass pork-slab-filled steamed bun, also known as a Taiwanese steamed sandwich or burger, from a neighboring stall. Fatty pork on its own is tasty; with the addition of pickled greens, cilantro, and a dusting of ground peanuts, it's freakin' awesome. I wish that dishes like this one (and chive boxes and spinach dumplings) would become more popular outside of Flushing, but I guess I should feel lucky that I have access to such things at all.

Another Flushing Food Tour: Dumplings, Crab, Shaved Ice, Stinky Tofu, Etc.
Another Flushing Food Tour: Dumplings, Crab, Shaved Ice, Stinky Tofu, Etc.
I Think I Want to Eat Everything in Flushing, Mostly at Golden Shopping Mall
Beef Noodle Soup and Ginormous Shaved Ice in Flushing


Ocean Jewels
13330 39th Avenue, Flushing NY 11354 (map)

Assi Plaza
13101 39th Avenue, Flushing NY 11354 (map)

Ten Ren
13518 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing NY 11354 (map)

Roast Duck Bun Stall (Corner 28)
4028 Main Street, Flushing NY 11354 (map)

Xi'an Famous Foods (basement of Golden Shopping Mall)
41-28 Main Street, Flushing NY 11355 (map)

Sun Mary Bakery
13357 41st Road, Flushing NY 11355 (map)

Flushing Mall
133-31 39 Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354 (map)

No. 1 East Restaurant
41-27 Main Street, Flushing NY 11369 (map)

Oriental Express Food Lucky L & LWC
41-40 Main Street, Flushing NY 11355 (map)

Spicy and Tasty
3907 Prince Street, Flushing NY 11354 (map)


FN / November 16, 2009 2:04 AM

I'm coming back to Brooklyn tonight for a few weeks! I'm so excited and thanks to you I have a lot of places to try. I know this is heresy, but I am totally SICK of French food.

Nicholas / November 16, 2009 2:16 AM

Everytime you hav Flushing pictures, it makes me sad. Now I miss Taiwan haha. Still, thanks for letting me know where to find shaved ice :D.

JT / November 16, 2009 3:34 AM

Oh man, that all looks so good. I especially love crispy beans and sammiches and am glad that someone else uses the term, its half the fun!!

SK / November 16, 2009 7:14 AM

I've never been to Flushing in the 1.5 years since I moved to New York... your posts make a really compelling argument for making the trip out there! (Ahhhh, jealous~)

Jenny Famewhore / November 16, 2009 9:27 AM

Ah, the deliciousness that is Flushing, quite near my 'hood when I'm in NY, which makes me really grateful, even though it's such a dirty, claustrophobia-inducing little area.

I've never had Nan xiang's xiao long bao. How does it compare to Joe's Shanghai's?

Kevin / November 16, 2009 9:50 AM

Asian snack packaging is hilarious...oh btw the link to how you feel about fro-yo is borked.

roboppy / November 16, 2009 10:44 AM

FN: HAHA, I understand (although I miss French bread so much). One of the first things I ate when I got back to the US was ramen at Mitsuwa :)

Nicholas: Taiwan may be far away, but Flushing is within your reach!

JT: I love saying "sammich."

SK: Go go go!

maggie: I almost wish I had bought it so I could keep the packaging forever and ever.

Jenny: I almost forgot that people can live near Flushing...hell, in Flushing as well. It's a trek for most people I know. :(

I think nan xiang's are probably better. I haven't been to Joe's in years though.

Kevin: Thanks for the heads up; link is unborked!

Teresa / November 16, 2009 12:38 PM

King 5 Noodle has a very delicious niu rou jia bing. It's the beef inside a shao bing. It's delicious. I'd definitely recommend going there during your next Flushing excursion. You were right next to it when you were at Spicy & Tasty! I'm going to send you a picture via e-mail to convince you. :)

P.S. When I click on Preview comment I get an error message. Jsut FYI!

SK / November 16, 2009 4:09 PM

Eventually! May I join you and your merry group of friends on your next expedition? ;)

(I'm kind of partially kidding. ^_^; You seem like such a fun group of people!)

Patty / November 16, 2009 5:46 PM

You really can't go wrong with Hot and Spicy. Such a great place!! When you visit Flushing in the near future, try Sentosa on the same street. The prices and food are awesome. Then go get some bubble tea at the neighboring cafe :)

roboppy / November 17, 2009 1:38 AM

Danny: I guess we just have to move closer to Flushing....HAHA, nah that ain't happening.

SK: You totally can! I will let you know the next time we go there.

Patty: Thanks for the recs!

Christine: "Horsey," rather. ;) Not sure anyone knows what creature it's supposed to be.

Julie / November 17, 2009 3:46 AM

Oh, yum! I love those fried taro balls--they're one of my dim sum faves, along with anything eggplant. You should host food tours for people visiting NYC--I bet you'd make mad bucks. I'd bite!

Mila / November 17, 2009 10:00 AM

I wish I could tell you that China has great dimsum everywhere, but tis not so. I'm going to HK later in the year just to get my dimsum needs fulfilled. If I ever get my butt over to NY next year, may I drag you out for some eating and nom-ing? You lead, my stomach will gladly follow.

roboppy / November 18, 2009 9:20 AM

Julie: I'll hold food tours for people who leave comments on my blog...if you visit NYC I will make sure you are well fed. :D

Mila: Hell yeah, you can drag me around.

Jamie: YAY!

Gloria / November 20, 2009 5:45 PM

AH HA HA HA HA!! You're welcome. :P
Awesome huge-ass post! Shit, I missed out that day that I left...and I didn't even know it till now...

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