by Michael Hsu, 01/28/2014 [Updated 02/04/2015]
Mulan. Photo: Julienne Schaer
One of Flushing's main draws is its vast selection of authentic cuisine from all parts of China and beyond. To experience the taste of ma la—the uniquely spicy, numbing flavor that comes from Sichuan peppercorns—stop by Hunan House or Spicy & Tasty and order the mapo tofu (completely different from the Chinese-takeout variety) or fuqi feipian (a dish that renders the oft-neglected parts of the cow superspicy). Jade Asian is a great dim sum spot, while New Imperial Palace is known for stellar Cantonese seafood dishes (its Dungeness crab with sticky rice is the stuff of legend). For Korean fare, try San Soo Kap San, whose hot kimchi stew comes, in typical Korean fashion, flanked by an array of side dishes. For a one-stop solution, head over to the Queens Crossing Mall. On the ground-level food court, you can sample Japanese fare at Ajisen Ramen, a range of Chinese dumplings and fresh noodles at Special Soup Buns and bubble-milk tea at Kung Fu Tea. The top floor of the mall has one of the most upscale eateries in the neighborhood—Mulan—which puts modern twists on traditional Chinese fare; dishes include soft-shell crab with spicy mango dressing and wok-fried duck gizzards.