Ride the Wild Wasabi Surf Clams at Yi Lan Halal Restaurant in Flushing


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
Flushing, Queens

Our crew last Sunday afternoon

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2011


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