I have fond memories of Henanese people.
I befriended a family of Henan migrants of China's Islamic Hui ethnic minority who ran a restaurant down the street from my Shanghai sublet. They served excellent lamb hotpot, Shanghainese crayfish in the summer, and lamb "chuan'r" year-round—euphorically seasoned kebabs sold for 2 RMB each.
Mister Ma, the congenial, diminutive boss, told me one night about his lao jia's (hometown's) hand-pulled noodles. (The Henanese-owned shop next door sold them, but Mr. Ma's clan mysteriously never befriended their neighbors.)
I finally got to try them back in the States in Flushing's Golden Palace Shopping Mall.
Henan is a centrally located, highly populated Chinese province with mountains in the west and the Yellow River flowing through the northern reaches. The dishes here frequently show their Northern inflection with ingredients and grain-based dishes like noodles and dumplings.
The area is known for excellent soups, using rice noodles, and plenty of lamb, all of which you'll find in a bowl of hand-pulled noodles at this Flushing hole-in-the-wall.
The noodles are just the right amount of chewy and salty, swimming in some seriously delicious lamb broth. Dig deeper, and you'll find they share the spotlight with clear rice noodles and bean curd noodles. With the tender meat and the crisp wood ear mushroom, it's a deeply satisfying and flavorful of noodles that rewards you with a variety of textures.By the time I got to the bottom of the bowl, the hand-pulled noodles had softened and absorbed their broth, becoming even more flavorful. My favorite find on this floor by far, and one I'll keep returning to.
Address and DirectionsStall 2E (Nutritious Lamb Noodles is the last stall on your right with the orange sign. There should be a small piece of paper pasted on it that reads "lamb noodle soup.")
41-28 Golden Palace Shopping Mall
Noodles: The Chinese term for these Henan hand-pulled noodles is "hui mian," which roughly translated into "braised noodles." I've found some sources online that call these Henan specialties "braised broad noodles." For simplicity's sake, I just translated them as "noodles."
The menu is Chinese only, so translations are my best approximations.
Print out this menu and bring it to order so you can point to what you want. If you don't have Chinese characters installed on your computer, download our translated Nutritious Lamb Noodles menu.
Main dishes ($4-5)羊肉烩面 Lamb noodles
牛肉 面 Beef noodles
羊肉 乌冬面 Lamb udon noodles
羊汤 Lamb soup
四味烩菜 Four flavors braised vegetable
丸子苏肉 Fish meatballs
鸡爪 Chicken feet
Side dishes ($3-5)牛肉 Lamb meat
牛筋 Beef tendon
牛肚 Beef tripe
腐竹 Tofu skin