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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Szechuan Dish - 美四川 (New World Mall) (CLOSED)

Quite a few stalls in the New World Mall food court have closed recently, followed by some new arrivals. For me, the most interesting of the newcomers, open just six days, is Szechuan Dish (美四川) in stall 25, sharing the southeast corner with the wonderful Tian Fu.

Manning the counter is an energetic and engaging young fellow named Michael who will happily explain any dish to you (his English is great - no language barrier here). I quickly guessed this was a family operation, and sure enough, his mother and father are the ones cooking in the kitchen. They are from Chengdu (the round badge in their sign has Chinese characters that mean "Chendgu flavor"), and are serving some dishes I have not encountered in New York before. I was told they import from Chengdu the preserved tofu used in the cold dish cōng xiāng dòu jīn (葱香豆筋), shreds of preserved tofu (often called "bean gluten") in a vinegar-scallion sauce, a dish of which they seem especially proud. And with good reason - it's unique and delicious: the bracing sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the heartiness of the slightly chewy preserved tofu shreds.

Also new to me is liáng bàn xīn shé (凉拌心舌), a cold "salad" of sliced heart and tongue in chili oil. It's marvelous - sort of the pig's response to the famous Sichuan dish fū qī fèi piàn (夫妻肺片) - ox tongue and tripe.

They're keeping it fairly simple to start off, with plans to expand the menu a bit later. So for now, there are dumplings in red hot oil (hóng yóu shuǐ jiǎo - 紅油水餃), some interesting-sounding noodle dishes (I'm quite eager to try ròu shào dòu huā miàn - 肉紹豆花面 - noodles with soft tofu and pork), and several other cold dishes. These include a má là crispy fish to rival Sister Zhu's of the now-defunct-but-resurrecting-at-some-future-date Savor Fusion (where is she now, anyway?), and the delightful liáng bàn jīn zhēn gū (凉拌金针菇) - enoki mushrooms in a tangy sauce. That's it there on the lower right:

So, stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood. You'll be rewarded with some unusual - and unusually tasty - cooking.

Szechuan Dish - New World Mall food court
Main & Roosevelt (enter on Roosevelt), Flushing 11354

(7 train to Main St.-Flushing)
New World Mall food court website

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