The peanut Pure Snowy at Snopo
Last week, Counter Culture rode the long silvery escalators downstairs to the humongous new food court at the New World Mall in Flushing. Obviously, would couldn’t eat everything at the 28 stalls — many of which offered multiple specialties — but we did sample dozens of dishes, and here are the best we encountered.
10. Peanut Pure Snowy at Snopo — This stall specializes in the fluffiest of ices, with a choice of many flavors and toppings. The peanut Pure Snowy is a Matterhorn of snowflakes with rivulets of chocolate and crushed peanuts, something like a frozen peanut-butter sandwich.
9. Beef Noodles at Sliced Noodles — Excercising the fried-egg option, and dumping in the attendant chili paste, the noodles for this soup are handmade before your eyes with much stretching and slapping, at one of two Lanzhou-style stalls in the food court. Those are pickled mustard greens in the lower left-hand corner.
8. Bacon Cheeseburger at Burger Shack — If the name reminds you of Shake Shack, it’s probably no accident. This stall offers burgers inspired by the Danny Meyer original, only bigger and cheaper — in addition to Peruvian rotisserie chicken and other South American specialties.
7. Dozen Halogen Noodles at Tianjin Foods — Not quite sure what the name means, but this dish piles a wealth of mushrooms in brown sauce on shredded vegetables and noodles, making a very flavorful repast, especially for mushroom lovers.
6. Ma La Noodles at Chong Qing — Though these differ from real Sichuan noodles in many significant respects (inclusion of seaweed and fish balls, for example, and lack of Sichuan peppercorns), the soup is damn fine anyway, and pretty damn hot, too.
5. Fresh Fruit Creamy Infinite Ice at Noodle Village So Good — Superfine shaved green tea ice mounded with oodles of toppings, including what look like tapioca pearls, but are really tiny orbs of lychee.
4. Sliced Beef and Tripe in Hot Oil at SzeChuan Cuisine — Though the dan dan noodles fell pitifully short, this sliced-meat appetizer was right on the money, in spite of the sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
3. Curried Chicken Noodles at Bun Malaysia — This approximation of Malaysian fare is profuse and tasty, laced with coconut milk and about a ton of curry powder, and two could happily eat this as a main course, it’s so rich and caloric. The fish ball seems out of place, though.
2. Whole Lobster With Ginger and Scallion at Live Seafood — Served with fried rice and slaw anomalously topped with Russian dressing, the lobster is extracted live from the tanks, chopped up while still kicking, and fried in a wok with your choice of six treatments for the bargain price of $13.50, tax included.
1. Cold Skin Noodles at Beijing Cuisine — Nothing better on a hot summer day than a cold vegan dish of homemade noodles, shredded veggies, and gobs of gluten in a light sesame-soy dressing. Utterly delightful.