Tonight I ate a noodle dish that temporarily eradicated memories of all other noodle dishes I've ever eaten - it was that good - at Szechuan Dish (美四川), in the food court of the New World Mall. I wrote previously that on my first visit, ròu shào dòu huā miàn (肉紹豆花面 - noodles with soft tofu and pork) had piqued my interest to try the next time. But, for some reason, I skipped right over it this evening and ordered ròu shao gān nǎn miàn (肉紹干煵面 - sliced noodles with Szechuan chili-minced pork and peanut). It is, I think, the greatest noodle dish I've ever tried.
The picture does not begin to do justice to the magic of this dish. First off, the knife-shaved noodles are the most delicate I have ever encountered. They are positively light, almost lacy. In the bottom of the dish is a sauce of hot oil and spices, and sprinkled on top are minced pork, crushed peanut, and some chopped scallions. It is more than the sum of its parts, and eating it must be something akin to what Nirvana is like.
I was a bit puzzled by the Chinese name of the dish, and my thanks to Miss Audrey Lo for helping me decipher it (okay, for doing most of the deciphering for me). It seems that 干煵面 (gān nǎn miàn) is a type of noodle dish with lightly-fried sauce (apparently dàn dàn miàn (担担面) and my beloved zhá jiàng miàn (炸酱面) are both varieties of gān nǎn miàn), and 肉紹 (ròu shao) refers to the addition of minced pork.
And for the first time that I can remember, I had to know the name of the person who made this dish. His name is Yáng Kūn Qián (阳坤乾), and, as I noted before, is from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. This man can COOK.
Divine as those noodles were, they weren't quite a meal, so I decided try the hóng yóu chāo shǒu, wontons in red hot oil (or "Wontons in Roasted Chili Sauce" - 紅油抄手). By now not unexpectedly, the greatest version of these I've tried. They're quite similar in style to Little Pepper's - the red oil is practically a broth - but with MUCH bolder flavors. The wontons are meaty and HUGE... I've been served smaller dumplings than these.
Next visit I'm definitely going to sample that ròu shào dòu huā miàn. I swear.
Szechuan Dish (美四川) - New World Mall food court
Main & Roosevelt (enter on Roosevelt), Flushing 11354
(7 train to Main St.-Flushing)