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
Went about three weeks ago – not quite the stuff of the past in my opinion. They weren’t dry, but they lacked the fall of the bone quality that they’ve had on every other occasiont. Still outstanding, just a bit off their game.
Fu Run: the magic is infrequent these days. Not sure if it’s a matter of catching the right chef at the right time or what.
Lao Dong Bei has been more consistent though I’ve not been there in several months. Their cumin fish, bean jelly salad, and that wacky gooey/sticky desert (forget the name) are all fine there too.
Went back to Fu Run (Ran?) the other night and noticed a big difference with the Muslim Lamb Chops. The seasoning on top has less emphasis on the cumin and is blended more with the chili to the point where it is clumped together. The chili flavor is reminiscent of the stuff you find in the chili oil at dumpling spots. The lamb also seems to have less of the fried shell and it has a more “lamby” flavor than previous versions I’ve had there.
This one is good and is different, but I prefer the style at Lao Dong Bei. Even the sweet potato used in the ba si had an earthier taste and was more yellow in color, as opposed to the orange ones in the past.
Would definitely seem like there is a new chef and perhaps even new owners.
Interesting thanks for the intel Greg
The best version I had was at the Fu Sheng stall, #13, at the NY Food Court on Roosevelt.