Muslim lamb chop is a dish I first had at one of Flushing’s first Dongbei eateries, Fu Run. Not really a chop but rather a whole slab of lamb ribs, braised and then deep fried and rolled in cumin, chili, and sesame seeds—a mixture that one food writer termed “Dongbei everything bagel spice”—the result was magnificent fatty, crunchy and luscious. And for quite some time it continued to be magnificent, so much so that I turned the crew of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America on to it.The past few times I’ve been to Fu Run the Muslim lamb chop has been but a shadow of its former luscious self. Still coated with those spices, the meat was dry beneath. Word on the street is that Fu Run’s original chef decamped to Lao Dong Bei. Yesterday I stopped by Lao Dong Bei with a friend and we were both blown away by what the menu lists as Lamb chop Xinjiang style ($21.95). It was every bit as good as when I first had it.
My friend who first turned me on to the dish has been urging me to pen a Chowhound style “downhill report,” ever since Fu Run’s chef left. After yesterday’s meal at Lao Dong Bei I was mighty tempted to file such a report, but today I awoke to a new wrinkle in the Muslim lamb chop saga. Veteran food critic Robert Sietsema filed a four-star review of what’s now called Fu Ran heaping high praise upon the now $25.95 Muslim lamb chops.
So here’s what I’d like to know have you been to the newly renamed Fu Ran? If so what do you think of the Muslim lamb chops? Are they worth the extra four bucks? Tell me in the comments or hit me on the Twitter, @JoeDiStefano.
Lao Dong Bei, 44-09 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, 718-539-4100; Fu Ran, 40-09 Prince Street, Flushing, 718-321-1363