Chinese New Year in Manhattan and Flushing
Gong hey fat choy! I am back in the ALB area. And phew what a crazy 24 hours it was!
My brother, sister-in-law and I took the megabus down to NYC yesterday. No problems with the bus at all. It was waiting where it said it would be, and we were soon on our way to New York City. As soon as we hopped off the bus, we scooted over to the nearest subway and went over to Canal Street (this took longer than I thought it would.) and by the time we arrived we got to see Mott Street completely closed off with tons of confetti poppers littering the streets and some dragons dancing.
We were also pretty hungry, and went to a nearby bakery. It was swarmed, but I had an excellent baked char siu bao. It had onions in it that were still a bit crisp, and a rich, meaty flavor. I took a picture or two of the crowd, and was quickly flagged off by one of the managers. Whoops, sorry! Albany John is trying to teach me to say “Sorry” and “No Problem” in Chinese. All I know is that it was so good – I can’t wait to go back and get some more of those juicy baos!
We had met up with my Father and sister in Manhattan Chinatown, so after we saw enough of the festivities, we went back to our Yeh Yeh’s place and chatted a bit before heading over to dinner at Canton Gourmet (38-08 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354). One of the things I love about visiting my family in the city is that wherever we go to eat, the food is amazing. Always. I might only remember a handful of the places’ names, but the food… oh, the food.
Here’s the jellyfish with cured pork meat. It tasted kind of like a chinese prosciutto. Other kinds have tasted hammier. I liked this plate – there wasn’t too much jellyfish (and the jellyfish was well seasoned, not bland or anything. If it’s under seasoned or not seasoned at all I think it can just taste like cold gooky things). There were also pickled shreds of daikon and carrot beneath the jellyfish. They were sweet pickles, yummy.
A shrimp dish. So succulent, sweet and simple. The peas were plump and tender. So was the other vegetable (they said it was asparagus. I didn’t think it tasted like it, but whatever it was certainly was tasty)
Canton Garden’s house special chicken – the skin is cooked all crisp and crackly, and topped with crispy garlic and scallions. I thought this was Peking duck for little bit. The meat was so juicy and tender. Just look at the skin – it was amazing. This was a very big platter of one whole chicken. The garlic crisps were so good too – a very good complement to the rich chicken.
Look at the salt and pepper baked pork chops in the upper right corner! These were soft, soft, soft. Melt-in-your-mouth tender and numtacular. They also had a sweet saucy coating on them. I liked that too, and I normally don’t like to combine sweet sauces with meats. (We also had made some pretty good headway on the chicken at that point)
Beef chow fun! My sister-in-law is awesome. These are one of her favorite Chinese dishes, and one of mine as well. I love the soft-yet-chewy texture of fat fun noodles. The beef was very tender, the bean sprouts crisp, and both had a great char. I love it when my fun tastes a bit smoky. Mmm, mmm
Sauteed beef with some veggies. Also tender as anything. We all agreed that Canton Gourmet had incredibly tender meat, and it was for all of the meat. Was it lots of tenderizer? Cornstarch? Magic? I’ll call magic. It was Chinese New Year after all.
Sauteed bak choy. These were also so buttery and tender. We ordered them sans animal products, and they were simple and refreshing. A good complement to some of the heavier dishes (not that I ate a ton of those pork chops or anything… I ate a ton of everything! hee hee), and wholly enjoyable.
Albany John called up mid-meal to wish us Gong Hey Fat Choy and his ears must have been burning, because right before he called, my family said that if he were there, we wouldn’t have had these leftovers. Albany John didn’t skip a beat and said he certainly would! I don’t think he could have finished all of it, but maybe a good 50-60%.
Best red bean soup dessert ever! The soup wasn’t overly sweet, and nice and thick with pureed beans and a few chunks of beans. I ate the whole bowl, but my sibs aren’t big fans of it.
We also celebrated my brother’s birthday – the staff even started singing with us when we sang him Happy Birthday. The fam ordered and picked up a cake for him – a sponge and fruit cake. Yummy!