Long before the New York Times wrote about the wonderful regional Chinese fare available in the food court of Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall serious eaters were abuzz about the fantastic lamb noodle soup available in a joint across from a hairdresser on the food court’s upper level. It was a wondrous concoction of hand-pulled noodles along with chunks of meat and other goodies. Sadly the place closed last summer. Every now and then I’d go back to see if it was reopening. Eventually I gave up and started focusing my eating on the food court’s lower level. The other day I decided to give it another shot. As I approached the hairdresser I noticed a day-glow orange sign, in Chinese. In between the two lines of characters was the English translation: lamb noodle soup.
As I opened the door I was met with the hunger-inducing aroma of the soup: It was like lamb aromatherapy. The new owners told me they hailed from a region of China called Henan and that they’d been open for two months. I watched in awe for a while as the lady behind the counter took flat noodles that started out at about six inches in length and tossed them in the air pulling them until they were some three feet long. My reverie was broken by hunger pangs and I ordered a large bowl for $5.
That bowl of noodles was quite a mouthful, as is its Chinese name: zhe bu yang rou hui mian. In addition to hand-pulled noodles and lamb, there were translucent bean thread noodles and long, thin slices of dried tofu cut to the thickness of soba. Bobbing in the milky broth along with the fat-fringed pieces of meat were all manner of fragrant vegetables and herbs: cilantro leaves, lily bulbs, Chinese wolfberries and black tree fungus. A little bit of the smoky chili paste helped to bring everything together. It was just as good as I remembered it from the old place, perhaps even better. One caveat: there really is no delicate way to eat noodles that long, you just have to dig in and slurp away.
Lamb Noodle Soup
Golden Shopping Mall Food Court (upper level opposite hairdresser at back) 41-28 Main St, Flushing NY 11355 (map)
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