Pix from Hunan House


     A lush plate of Hunan pickles makes the perfect start to a meal at Hunan House

This week Counter Culture visits Hunan House, which may be the only real Hunan restaurant in the city. Located on the outskirts of downtown Flushing, the new restaurant is easy to attain from the Main Street stop on the #7 train. Countrary to what you might expect in that part of Flushing, the patrons are not Korean, but Chinese, and, according to our waiter, the popularity of the restaurant rests on a  positive reassessment of Mao by Chinese immigrants. Mao grew up in Hunan, and his dish of red braised pork belly with chestnuts is still a rural classic in the region.

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Here it is: Mao’s red braised pork belly with chestnuts, one of the richest dishes on earth

Light and cooling pumpkin soup is the perfect antidote to Mao’s pork.

White chile with preserved beef was a riddle waiting to be solved. “White chile” turns out to be bean curd skin, stir fried with pickled peppers and beef jerky.

“Special chow fun, Hunan style” comes deconstructed in the bowl, with peanuts, cilantro, slender rice noodles, and braised beef. The fiery sauce is in the bottom of the bowl.