I love showing people around New York City, mixing food exploration with sightseeing. A recent expedition involved taking Mark, a food guy visiting from Bali, on a highly personalized journey that took into consideration preferences of his (bakeries, ice cream) and ruled out cuisines from Southeast Asia (where he lives and travels), Japan (his future home), and squeezed it into one dinner Wednesday night and half of the next day, along with homework to complete in his own time. We could have covered more places, but unlike me (probably wisely), he doesn’t eat for science – only for hunger – and our geographically disparate destinations took a toll on available eating time due to heavy New York City traffic.
Sunset Park’s Yun Nan Flavour Garden is one of my go-to spots for affordable, high quality, flavorful Chinese food, so I was excited when a review of an unknown-to-me Yunnan restaurant, Deng Ji Noodle House (云南过桥米线), popped up in a Flushing blog a few months back, especially since there are very few places showcasing that region’s food in the New York City area.
There’s no better way to start off a hungover 2016 than by heading to Sunset Park’s Yun Nan Flavour Garden. I grabbed my roommate and a fellow Flavour Garden addict and headed there this past New Year’s Day.
My standard two-person order is: the lu mein combo, which is a cold plate of ears, tongue and unidentifiable (to me) chewy cartilaginous matter served with a spicy dipping sauce; crossing the bridge noodles, a Yun Nan staple that is assembled on your table by the waitstaff who dump fresh beef and lamb slices, thick, round rice noodles, and a solitary quail egg into a steaming bowl of broth redolent with cilantro, white pepper and Sichuan peppercorns; and the pièce de résistance, the glorious hot and sour wonton soup.