Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chinese eating extravaganza

Last night, we did something that's been on Peter's New York to-do list ever since we saw this article in the New York Times -- have a Chinese eating extravaganza in in Flushing.  He did research in the afternoon while I went shopping, and met me at the subway armed with a map. Dumplings, seafood, and dessert were covered.

We started with dumplings at a Shanghai style restaurant. We ordered steamed pork and crab dumplings, noodles with scallion sauce, and, upon the suggestion of the wonderful family next to us from Shanghai, dark mushrooms with green bok choy.  Our lovely table mates even taught us the right way to eat those tricky  dumplings!  

You pick one up with the tongs and put it on your spoon.  Then you take a tiny bite off the top of the dumpling, right where the dough has been nipped together.  It's a bit sticky and can cling to your mouth, but be careful not to take too big a bite or you won't be able to experience the wonderful next step.  Pour a spoonful of the vinegar into the opening you just made on the top of the dumpling.  Then put your mouth on top and suck out all the liquid inside.  It's a bit like vegetable broth, but with that acidic taste from the vinegar.  It's wonderful. Once you've gotten all the liquid out, you can bite the dumpling.  Inside, there's a meatball like thing of the crab and pork.  

The noodles were good, but they took up some valuable stomach real estate.  The mushrooms and the bok choy, though.  Oh wow.  The mushrooms were very dark and so earthy -- I have no idea what they did to make them that way, but I'm happy that they did it.  

Next we went to a seafood Hong Kong style restaurant.  (I know this seems very glutenous, but figured if we made it all the way out there, might as well take full advantage.)  The waitress convinced us to get an order of crispy seafood rolls to go along with our Dungeness crab with glutenous rice.  Those crispy seafood rolls were not very good.  Don't let your waitress boss you into ordering them!  They were mayonnaise-y, even though I highly doubt they had any mayo inside.  Which makes we really wonder what that white stuff was.

But the crab!  And the glutenous rice!  Yes, definitely allow yourself to be bullied into that. They crabs have a soft shell that you can break with your fingers, but using the cracker is fun. Inside, there was lots of flaky white crab meat.  The rice is lightly spiced and super sticky.  A delicious combination.  

We had high hopes of venturing into one of the mall food courts for some red bean shaved ice in the name of adventurous eating, but we were just too full. Next time.  

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