Aug 19 2019

698 Cafe


Dongpo Pork: L to R: reality and the lie – on their menu.
39-07 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

Probably won’t return.

Once up on a time, there was a poet from Song Dynasty who, among many talents, was a gastronome. Rightfully, a dish is named after him, Su Dongpo (1037 – 1101) – Dongpo Pork. It’s the most famous dish from Hangzhou, where West Lake is (nowadays, think the punitive Jack Ma and his Alibaba which is trading as BABA at $177 a share.)

The pork is cut about 2 inch square and about 3″ thick. Although the fat and lean ratio is nearly equal, but it is not greasy because it the first stage of cooking is frying – to get the fat out. The skin is always on top when serving and looks deep red and shiny. The texture is soft to the point it melts in your mouth.

So, when I marched into the restaurant, my mouth was already watering. The decor and atmosphere is casual and pleasant, so is the waitstaff. The mini carnations do make a big difference. However, I was offended by the Dongpo Pork. No kidding, it is not even close, as making me feel Insulted.

The other dish, the flounder with pickled mustard soup is bit too sweet for me.

Most patrons ordered lobster. Our server did suggest it but we declined. The two young girls dined next to us had it. The one last strike: a grannie stopped by that table – essentially ours too since the two tables were close (you needed to go side way), pointed to the lobster and asked about it. “How does it taste…” her finger was so close to the dish, it not only made the two girls uncomfortable, it made me too. I looked up for someone to intervene. But no one cared. The woman even called to her husband or companion who was almost walked out, “come, look at it, maybe we should have order this one …”

Talking about manner and culture.


Aug 7 2019

Flushing Cemetery in 2019

In Fresh Meadow.


Jun 30 2019

Qingdao eatery … why?


40-46 Main Street
Flushing, NY

Qingdao restaurant is next to the LIRR east bound station. It has been there for a very long time, over 10 years, which is long in Flushing. Actually I never paid any attention to its name until now. For some reason, I thought it was a Taiwanese restaurant [changed hand(s)?].

It’s convenient for me to zoom in and grab something then catch the train. And the one item I’ve buying is the popular Sichuan appetizer Couple Lungs – 夫妻肺片 fuqi feipian. It’s made of thinly sliced beef and beef offal, and could serve cold or at room temperature – great with beer or chill white or rose. I think theirs is the better one in and around Flushing. Today I ventured a little further and bought two full bags…

 

As I was looking for it name, I found there are nine reviews on Yelp and 3 on TripAdvisor. … Rudeness is a common complain. I do speak Chinese but …

Ok, you may say, it’s a cheap eat. But I don’t seem to recall any other ethnic vendors (or even street vendors) treat their customer like dirt or non exist. Is it our tolerance that led the Chinese vendors to treat other Chinese like dirt?

Today as I was buying, the woman behind the counter was constantly serving other patron.
Me, “hi, can we finish up here? I’ve a train to catch.”
She, “I’m not delaying you. I’m just taking a payment …” And next moment, she went to clean up a table.

When I saw the slow sautéed beef I asked how much because they don’t take credit card and I only had $5 left.
She, “$8 a pound.”
I, “May I have half pound?” then added “I only have $5 left.”
After weighting, I handed her the five bill. She said, “$9.”
“I thought you said $8 a pound.”
“I said $18.” She threw back the bill and turned to another customer.
I said, “can you have some manner?”
She, “What manner?”
I, “NOT throwing thing? It’s very rude.” Then I said to myself, “Irene, why bother? Move on.”

Many years ago (early 1990s), a group of us had lunch with the Consul General of China to New York and his wife in a midtown up scale Chinese restaurant. One of the dish was lobster. I looked around there wasn’t a fork, so I asked the staff, “May we have some lobster picks?”

The staff looked at me and walked away. My next companion was an elder gentleman and he said, “Irene, just eat. This is a Chinese restaurant.”

I was stunned by his resignation or tolerance and wondered how could I eat  it without a mess on hands?

Another time, I was on line at a Chinese supermarket in Little Neck. A female cashier trying to push me away so she could go through. I stood my ground. She looked at me with a surprise, “let me go …”

“Don’t you know how to say ‘excuse me’?” …

The Chinese around me, both shoppers and workers, didn’t seem to be on my side.

Oh well …

醜陋的中國人 – 为啥呀?

今天在法拉盛一小吃买了七八样食物 – 这家开了很久了 至少十年以上 (一直买他们的夫妻肺片。。。从来没有留意过名字 。。。也许换过手?)服务员不停的收其他客人的钱 甚至去清理桌子。 我说 ”妞 先把我的东西拿完再去服务别人 行吗?” 她强词夺理说 “我没有影响你呀 ” 。。。其实我应该知趣 一走了之,非但没有,我反而又要了一个 。结果因为给错了钱 她把现金丢给我
我说 ”你怎么这样呀?“
她 “我怎么了?”
我 “为什么这么粗鲁?”
旁边的一个客人赶快说 “不要吵架 。。。”
觉得 中国人什么都能忍 所以要求不高?
很多年前被抓去和国内新来的领事吃饭 。。。龙虾来了 我问服务员 “没有小叉子?” 旁边一个中国人说 “这是中国餐馆, 吃啦。。。”
是消费者宠坏了服务业 还是 中国人什么都能忍 所以要求不高? 我还真没有见过别国人 随地大小便的 。。。 好几星酒店往地毯上吐痰的 (上一次去法拉盛的图书馆。一个中国男人不停的吐痰 虽然他吐进垃圾桶 但是那也不卫生 最恐怖的还是他 从吸到吐的响亮过程。。。 ) 。。。 那天去中国超市 一年轻的收银试图把我推开,这样她就可以通过了。 我没有动。 她惊讶地看着我,“让我过去呀…”
“难道你不知道怎么说’劳驾吗’?”…我身边的中国人,包括购物者和工人,似乎都觉得我是多事婆。


Jun 29 2019

Noodle House: Guh Song Chinese Restaurant


45-46 Bell Blvd
Bayside, NY 11361

Won’t return: bland and over priced. The shrimps NEED bath – cleaning.

We set to dine at another restaurant but someone didn’t want buffet. It was about to rain and we crossed the street … Obviously it’s a wrong move.

A waste: they use a lot of raw shredded cabbage as garnish, which made me wonder their sense: neither Korean or Chinese eat raw cabbage. And the abundance is just overwhelming and silly.

The chive and pork dish: made me feeling like a cow, chewing on long and tough grass.

 


Jun 5 2019

Jade Asian Bistro 明都


249-32 Horace Harding Expy
Little Neck, NY 11362

This was the old Pine Court. Not much has changed. The decoration is better than their Flushing branch. The service and food are average. It’s convenient for me: a Chinese grocery store is next door.


May 3 2019

The handicap lots @ New World Mall


Roosevelt Ave & Main St,
Flushing, New York, 11354

And … the handicap parking spots are filled with German made cars, always. Have you seen anything like this before: so many, so often at the same time?

What’s going on here?


May 3 2019

Daxi Sichuan, is dishonest …


136-20 Roosevelt Ave, 2nd floor
Flushing, NY 11354

Calling them cheaters maybe too harsh but I won’t return.

Three aging women having lunch. My friend said to the staff as she was ordering the Boiled Fish with Picked Veg, “… we’d like to have the small.” – this dish comes in two sizes.

“Yes, small would do.” We said. We don’t and couldn’t eat a lot.

But when xicao (西曹soup dish came in this giant bowl, we knew instantly it’s the large size. We asked why but the staff just shrugged and walked away. We let it go. But we won’t return.

The food: average.

The serving plates and bowls are pretty neat. The tea pot is heavy which I don’t mind – good exercise for my bicep, tricep 4-cep …  hey … summer is coming -:).

The decoration: above average in Flushing. Good ceiling height. But the booths by the window are uncomfortable: too far from the table and the couches are too low for the table. The worst: the glassed tables have greasy streaks. I had visited it when it was first opened and sat on the table, which had no glass.

The service: was subpar. I have to signal for tea all the time, especially when it wasn’t busy at all. They didn’t offer rice, not even asked if we need or want rice. Again, we have to ask for it.

Bathroom: a public bathroom, a little walk from the restaurant. Cute washbowls (the white towels underneath are ugly…) but a dirty bathroom.

There was a dirty dish station by our table: I’m wondering, the restaurant is nearly empty, why can’t they move it elsewhere or do NOT throw in the dishes n chopsticks. Unless, they meant to chase us away. We were there for less than two hours.

The elevators are SLOW, very slow. Ten minutes slow. Parking is in the basement for the mall.


Apr 27 2019

Saturday in Flushing


I took the LIRR train into Flushing. It’s pretty early and rather relaxing. The restaurant isn’t crowded. The Tianjin Pancake is up and running. I like them a lot and buy red bean paste cake all the time but lately I find the skin is bit too al dente for my aging teeth. So today I bought the paste, only.

The new building along southern side of the LIRR Flushing station.


Apr 27 2019

Royal Queen


136-20 Roosevelt Ave, 3rd Fl
Flushing, NY 11354

This was Grand Restaurant 君豪大酒楼 – I don’t know when did they change to the current name, because the location and the interior – everything else is unchanged. I haven’t been there for a couple of years and did discover some new dim sums. The six small plates are about $40. Their bathroom is pretty clean.


Nov 9 2018

You Garden 豫园


41-07 Bell Blvd.
Bayside, NY 11361

Will return.

The 3 star is for their bit too sweet taste – not their fault but mine – my dislike toward things too sweet. The few items we have are good. Shanghai cruise is on the sweet side. It’s a cash only shop.

Very good service – plastic bag for umbrellas. Disposable chopsticks heads, plastic gloves for Beijing duck, … spacious and clean bathroom. The atmosphere is more relaxing than their Flushing one.

A group of middle aged Chinese women (4) behind me are overly loud… Half roasted Beijing duck is $16.33 ($15 + 8.875% tax take out).

Street parking. They open 9-11 so one more place for breakfast.