UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Preface:
Umamiventure #13: Flushing Food Circuit, Pt. I
Umamiventure #13: Flushing Food Circuit, Pt. II

GOLDEN MALL
41-28 Main Street
Queens, NY


ON THE DUMPLINGS


YAMAHOMO
Dumplings were tasty, but to me a bit too chive heavy.

HAMAMAMA
I wasn't feeling too adventurous - tried more dumplings (this time steamed -- flavorful and fresh as well, but preferred our first stop).

JONES
I preferred the basement food court dumplings (steamed) rather than the leek dumplings at the counter (pan fried). But they were both delish.

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ON THE CHINESE BURGER


RICKY
Lamb sandwich – if I didn't buy these myself I wouldn't have guessed these were Chinese. These tasted like really spicy Moroccan lamb tangine in freshly made english muffin.

YAMAHOMO
Chinese burger tasted like a taco, because of strong cumin flavoring. Again, lamb smell was everywhere and I was getting nauseated by this time.

HAMAMAMA
Intriguing, but as Yamahomo said, "It tasted Mexican"... because of the spices -- cumin? Maybe they should change the name to Chinese taco?

SONJA
"Chinese burger" was quite good...more like Chinese Manwich, no chewing needed. Actually the guy said it was pork but totally tasted like super soft Korean kalbi jjim (braised beef).

KELLY
The Chinese hamburger was good because the filling was chopped meat, and it reminded me of Korean "kalbi-jiim". The meat was wrapped in a tortilla-thin bun which was lightly toasted. It was good, but half of it went into the trashcan.

TYSON
I had seen and read about most of the various stalls inside the Golden Shopping Mall, but it was my first time trying this location of the Xi'an "lamb burger" joint (the one in the now-closed Shi Fong mall was good, at least based on my sole visit in July).

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ON THE COLD APPETIZERS

TYSON
The cold-gluten-noodle "salad" liang pi was tasty as always, although this version seemed to lack as much chili oil in the 'dressing.'

KAYOKO
Liang pi ROCKED! Very refreshing, would be great on a hot tropical day.


TYSON
Also, there was a Sichuan / Hunan stall that had dumplings and nice appetizers / room-temperature prepared foods; the dry tofu slices with chili and Sichuan peppercorn were $3 for a large styrofoam box-full, and were tasty.

HAMAMAMA
Loved the spicy tofu dish that Tyson got in the food court-- reminded me of the cold appetizers that you can get at Spicy & Tasty.


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ON THE MALL

YAMAHOMO
Totally shocked. Utterly speechless.


HAMAMAMA
I had always wanted to go to the food courts in the mall, but was too intimidated. Glad to be going with someone who had experienced them before. There were more menus written in English than I was expecting - but the tight quarters and just the overall "unknown" still made it quite intimidating.

JONES
I do enjoy watching the food preparation and trying to guess the ingredients (note to self: do not ever bring Health Department brother on an Umamiventure).


TYSON
Probably as a result of Julia Moskin's recent Times article on Flushing as a food destination, there were more non-Chinese than I've ever seen down in that smoke-filled basement. I definitely want to further explore the network of stalls at the Golden Shopping Mall, especially since many of them now have picture menus posted on their walls with English captions.