The dark red clams and rough-cut cukes make a very pretty picture on the plate.
The surf clams, meaty and briny, look like those southern Italian chile-pepper necklaces, and the cukes are jagged, with a profound crunch provided by the thick kirby skins. But the biggest surprise is the invisible dressing on this delightful salad ($10.95), known as wasabi surf clams.
The salad is tossed with a light and clean-tasting wasabi dressing, leaving a slight burn on the lips and giving it a Japanese-y flavor, but also reminding us how close parts of northern China are to Japan, and the complicated love-hate relationship between the two nations.
You can find it at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant, a newcomer in Flushing’s Chinatown located — as most of the new northern Chinese restaurants are — in a little campus nearly a half-mile south of downtown. And the menu contains many more fascinating dishes.
Yi Lan Halal Restaurant
42-79A Main Street
Our crew last Sunday afternoon