I've been finding great food in the most unprepossessing places lately. During a recent spin through the Flushing Mall food court, a busy stand near the center of things caught my eye: Ay Chung Steakhouse, adjacent to the Ay Chung Food stand which, by most accounts, serves pretty authentic simple Taiwanese fare.
Before that afternoon, I had no idea the genre "Taiwanese Steakhouse" even existed, but I'm now a believer! Almost everyone seems to order No. 1: the House Special Steak. It lives up to its moniker: a nice piece sirloin on a sizzling platter, smothered in a thick, peppery dark sauce with enough vinegar in it to keeps things really interesting, with a grilled whole scallion perched on top. No one asked me how I wanted my steak cooked; it emerged a perfect medium-rare. All grilled items seem to come with the same sides: a small salad, a cup of thick, light-colored soup, and some noodles that have been tossed with, of all things, corn kernels (those noodles go especially well with a bit of that sauce from the steak). If you don't feel like beef, they offer a wide variety of alternatives, including pork chop, lamb steak (I have to say I'm curious about that one), seafood, and even a vegetarian option. But that house special steak was so spectacular, I have feeling I won't ever find out how the other offerings are.
Ay Chung Steakhouse
Flushing Mall Food COurt
133-31 39th Ave., Flushing 11354
(7 train to Main St.-Flushing, 1 block north on Main to 39th Ave., then turn left)