There’s another new kid on the block in Elmhurst, Queens: Q Town Asian Cuisine at 82-87 Broadway. They specialize in Taiwanese cuisine, but their extensive menu (some 300 options) tiptoes into mainland cuisines as well. At the outset, I should report that we were a party of 14 with somewhat divergent tastes so our ordering attempted to cater to a cross section of palates. A few dishes we tried, in no special order…
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Beef Tripe with Hot Pepper Sauce. I know this dish as fuqi feipian (aka husband and wife lung pieces, although there’s really no lung in it). This Sichuan dish consists of spicy beef tripe with one other cut, usually tendon, but this seemed more like beef shin to me. Q Town Asian Cuisine did an excellent version of it.
Oyster Pancake. A classic Taiwanese appetizer.
Fly Heads. Another example of Taiwanese home cooking, this dish calls for garlic chives, bits of pork, and fermented black beans (the ingredient that looks like flies’ heads). On the downside, this version would have benefited from a slightly heavier hand with the pork; on the upside, for all the many times I’ve enjoyed this dish, I’ve never had a version that was quite this spicy. I don’t know about its authenticity, but I certainly liked that aspect of it.
Crispy Fried Shrimp. They did a great job with this one. Tempted to try their crispy fried oyster or cuttlefish next time.
Cuttlefish and Squid with Yellow Chives. I understand that this dish is subtle, but even with that, it was lacking in flavor. Fresh ingredients though.
Homemade Tofu Pot – Pork and Oyster. Delicious, but I wish there had been a little more pork or oysters in evidence. In fairness, that observation may be attributable to the fact that we were a convivial group of 14 and it’s truly difficult to portion out dishes like this one equitably, but their flavors made their presence felt. Or tasted, perhaps!
Clams with Basil. Tasty and flavorful. The basil flavor comes mostly from the basil leaves in the dish, not the sauce itself, but that’s fine.
Sautéed Squash – the loofah variety. It’s a gentle dish with a pleasant crunch, a change of pace for the palate; as such, it succeeded.
Kidney and Liver in Sesame Oil. If you’re an offal aficionado and a liver lover (like me), this one is for you. Perfectly cooked, tender meat with welcome slices of ginger to kick it up; excellent execution.
Three Cup Chicken. A Taiwanese classic, theoretically made using one cup of soy sauce, one cup of sesame oil, and one cup of rice wine, but usually tweaked a bit and fleshed out with additional ingredients including garlic, ginger, sugar and red chili.
Sizzling Black Pepper Short Ribs with onions and bell peppers.
Striped Bass swimming in Spicy Black Bean Sauce dodging slabs of tofu. Very fresh and truly delicious.