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Based on a recommendation from a co-worker, Mee Simon, The Chinese Quest once again descended upon Flushing in search of the best Chinese restaurant on Long Island and New York City. With us this evening, appearing under a pseudonym chosen to honor her #1 son, was another co-worker, Mee Jet Li. She definitely added some character to the proceedings, and her fluent Chinese and good cheer made this evening extra special. As if the food wasn’t good enough! And it was QUITE good!!
We dined this evening at Main Street Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet, which is located at 59-14 A Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355. If the crowd was any indication, we knew we were in for a great meal. A packed house. People waiting for tables. All Chinese patrons. With menu’s plastered along the walls, it was a bonus that we came prepared. By the way, the very nice Chinese restaurant right next door was almost completely empty! Enough said right there. Oh, I must mention that it was MONDAY night. Did I mention that the restaurant was packed?
Though I was very much looking forward to their Taiwanese Hot Pot — SO ready. I don’t want to spoil it for the next time. But, let’s just say that I was ready to take a video of the preparation and presentation. But, blame it on global warming, for it wasn’t cold enough for them to be making this dish this evening. Though we do thank global warming for bringing us the mildest December evah! But, I digress…
We started off the evening with three dishes. Asking our server to select their very best dishes, we were served:
Minced Pork, Black Bean with Leek – Proclaimed by Mee Gonzi Biao as Questie worthy, our meal was off to a rollicking start. Taiwanese is not known for being extremely spicy. But, this dish packed a few surprises. In about ever third bite, there was jalapeno peppers that lit up your mouth like the Fourth of July!
Three Cup Chicken – Truly a must have dish as we heard lots of other tables ordering it as well. The chicken was extremely moist and had a most interesting flavor.
Crispy Salted Chicken – This was my personal favorite dish of all. Colonel Sanders step aside and make room for the new Chicken Champion. Aside from being crispy it still was able to maintain moistness and flavor. I could have eaten this dish all night long.
However there was still more to come! The next three dishes we ordered were again recommended by our waitstaff, with direction from Mee Jet Li. We had:
Chinese Cabbage – A debate ensued whether this was in fact Korean Cabbage rather than Chinese Cabbage. Whilst the debate raged on, some of chose to just enjoy the dish. It was quite nice.
Whole Fish – Sea Bass? Tilapia? We’re not sure. But a whole fish it was, and it was head sucking good shows Mee Tsu Yan!
Spareribs (Braised) – Not your typical ribs. They tasted a bit like flanken. Beefy. But, we were assure it was pork. These were ok. Mee Jet Li had ordered ribs off the wall, but alas they didn’t serve them this evening. Next time she said we needed to order them (for reference, count in five red ribbons from the left of the picture… that’s the one we hoped to get!)
Shrimp with Fine Spices – The shrimp had to be shelled and I feel that that took away some of the flavor of this dish. Mind you the shrimp, really prawns, were quite good. But the flavoring was left with the shell on the plate.
Every morsel from every dish was eaten. They probably didn’t have to wash the dishes when we were done. There wasn’t a lick of food left on them.
The check came. For all those dishes, that fed six of us, the total cost including tax was just over $100. That included four cans of beer and a soda. All in all, this was a great way to end the year for the Quest.
Our rating of Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet:
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)