Nan Xiang Dumpling House 南翔小籠包 in Flushing, NY- The Semiotics of Eating 

I am not a fan of Flushing restaurants for many reasons: the diners often chew with mouth open; they burp while eating; they speak loudly and encroach on your space; the wait staff treat you with little to no respect; the menu is never online; food has questionable hygiene (Grade C from the City Health Department); one can never find parking. Therefore, when I found myself at Nan Xiang Dumpling House 南翔小籠包 at 9pm one Saturday, it really shows me how much I have grown as a person and flexibility is now my middle name. Or did I just have a serious lack of judgment?

And yes, not only did I order for my friend, I also ordered in Mandarin. I guess it was a good practice for my night market visit in Taiwan. I felt very out of place.

Bamboo Shoots with Chili Sauce 辣油香竹: Wow. So good. So authentic.

Boiled Pork Bun with Chili Sauce (not sure what the English translation is) 紅油炒手: even now when I am recalling the experience, I salivate for a dish in which I have no English name for.

Beef Crispy Noodles 牛肉兩麵黃: This is Cantonese cuisine. My friend liked it.

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup 小辣椒牛肉湯麵: Excellent. This is one of my items on my last meal list.

While we were dining, dishes were broken at the next table; a man was speaking loudly on the mobile in Mandarin about painting his room and his appointment from this afternoon; a young boy woofed down his food, slurped and licked his lips with smacking sounds. The restaurant also did not give us all the food we ordered. They forgot the famous dumplings, 小籠包.

I miss Asia for the authentic food from my childhood. I miss a civilized dining experience with the authentic Asian food. The food and the memories they bring back for me is what this blog is all about – the semiotics of eating. I am now officially too biased to make a recommendation.

This experience took place at

Nan Xiang Dumpling House
38-12 Prince St,
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 321-3838

Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab in Flushing, NY – Lamb Tikka and Grilled Halal Meats Rule!  

Occasionally, I go running in the Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens, NY. Mt Hebron is a huge cemetery. When not covered in snow, it felt like Central Park for the dead people. Much quieter, less pretentious and more to my liking. But this is mostly a food blog… so after one of my runs, I went across the street to Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab, an Afghan restaurant where grilled halal meats rule! I love Afghan food.

A funny story – My last Afghan food experience in Queens was an interesting one. I walked into a very traditional establishment where the men were dressed in the traditional Thobe (Thawb) and I walked in with a short skirt and high heels. I was also the only female in the entire place that stank of male testosterone and conservatism. Click here to read the entire post.

With that in mind, I thought about what I was wearing before I walked into Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab. I was wearing a pair of tight running pants. Not a whole lot better than the short skirt but at least I was not showing any skin. The authority defying side of me decided that trying out this place was far more important than being judged upon. I was also hungry. I went in.

I was so happy to find that I was treated like everyone else – normally. The men at the counter were friendly and cared more about whether the grilled lamb is ready than an inappropriately dressed Asian woman in a muslim restaurant. The marvelous Flushing, NY, where all cultures intersect. Love it.

This is combo number 1: beef kofta, lamb and chicken tikka. Can’t go wrong when it is the first item on the menu or the most popular one. I eat Afghan food for the lamb and for lamb tikka. It was a perfect lamb tikka, still juicy in the middle. Just writing about this experience makes me hungry again for lamb tikka. The chicken was equally good. The beef kofta was a little dry. The rice was ugly looking but tasty. This is my kind of hole in the wall place. LOVE.

Salad. Ah, ok. A must have accompaniment for the combos but serves no purpose.

I asked – they don’t deliver. I wish they did. This place is too far for me to walk to pick up my food. As you know, driving and parking in Queens can be a pain.

Will definitely return. Highly recommend it if you are looking for a good Afghan place and do not care for the ambience.

This experience took place at

Main Bakhtar Halal Kabab
67-29 Main St
Flushing, NY 11367
(718) 793-4535