January 28 marks Lunar New Year Day with the Year of the Rooster, a day to share with family, friends and lots of traditional food. Why wait until then to dine at yet another Chinese restaurant. This time it was Golden Palace Gourmet that serves “authentic Northern Chinese food, handmade noodle and dumplings”. Not all Chinese restaurants are of the same cuisine as years ago we had gotten used to the basic Cantonese style or the spicier Szechuan. I don’t eat alone as I venture into Asian restaurants with Taiwanese-American Luchia Meihua Lee and her husband Ken Howell, who does not either understand or speak Chinese.
Guan Jing is the owner of Golden Palace, located at 140-09 Cherry Avenue in downtown Flushing. Ms. Jing owns a few other restaurants that are located in Manhattan. The cuisine represents a city in China, Liaoning, located in the Northeast near North Korea. That may be the reason that Kimchi and another spicy appetizer of shredded potato in hot sauce was automatically brought to the table. I requested a small glass of milk just in case. As it turned out, the potato appetizer seemed spicier than the kimchi. Now you get that I don’t necessarily enjoy hot spicy foods. Luchia had no difficulty.
Ken is a vegetarian. I am not and it is always interesting being able to taste vegetarian dishes. Yes, we pigged out as we usually do and then take home the leftovers. The Crispy Lamb with Chili Pepper sounded pretty good to me now that I gained a bit more tolerance to the “hot”. I think that seeing the red and green hot peppers should have alerted me but my problem is that I didn’t realize that cumin was a main spice. I don’t favor the taste of cumin and am a bit allergic to it. Luchia thought it was delicious.
One of Ken’s choices was the sautéed Potato, Green Pepper and Eggplant that was in a vegetarian brown sauce. I was able to taste this one. Great alternative to other proteins, I truly loved the flavors.
Although I was skipping beef for a while, I noticed a photo of Fried Beef with Scallions. The chunks of beef were on bones. I love eating food on bones…so much juicier. The brown sauce made the dish even more savory.
Another vegetable dish. Not sure of the name of this one made with bean curd skins sliced up to look like a semi-wide noodle. These are just one of many handmade noodles created on the premises. The dish contained green beans, mung bean noodles and scallions. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t eaten the saucy or spicy foods prior as in comparison, it tasted bland. That’s not to say that Ken didn’t appreciate it. Personally I think the sauce used for the sautéed potato dish would have added a greater flavor.
Guan Jing stopped over many times to inquire about our enjoyment of the food. That is when I heard about the dumplings made on the premises and then looked at the menu. Ms. Jing does understand and speak English but it was a lot easier to have Luchia speaking with her and translating to me with any questions that I had.
The choices of dumplings were longer than any other restaurant I’ve been to. I’ll just list: Seafood dumpling with pork, egg and chives (This is the one that I ordered); Seafood Dumpling with pork; Sour Cabbage Dumpling; Leek Dumpling with pork; Tomato Egg Dumpling (sounded like a good one for breakfast); Fish Celery Dumplings; Radish Beef Dumplings; Fennel Dumplings; Green Dumpling – spinach, scrambled egg and vermicelli ; Lamb Dumpling. What I mostly treasured about these dumplings was that they were not only packed with the ingredients but were comparatively thin skinned to most that I have eaten. It allows me to enjoy the steamed dumpling without the heavy amount of flour. You can buy the dumplings wholesale frozen with a price range from $15 to $22 dollars for 50 pieces depending upon your choice.
Since Golden Palace is authentic, you won’t be able to get ice cream for dessert. There are “Sweet Dishes” one of which is Pumpkin Rice Cakes. The rice gives glutinous texture vs. the chew of rice and not overly sweet. I just think we should all have a sweet new year. Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Golden Palace is open 7 days a week from noon until midnight (718-886-4383).