Sometimes it feels as if I lead so many food tours of Flushing Chinatown that I don’t do enough research, i.e. eating, of non-sharable dishes like noodle soups. Sure I have my favorites: predawn laksa at Curry Leaves, Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup’s namesake tonic, the samgyetang at Hansol Nutrition Center. Lately though I’ve been craving a brand new flavor in noodle soup, which is why I’m glad I finally tried Gui Lin Mi Fen.
The house special gui lin mi fen ($7.25) is quite special indeed. For one thing it’s presented in two bowls. One contains spaghetti like strands of rice noodles topped with beef shin, pickled green beans, green onion, roasted peanuts, cilantro. Two generous slices of deep-fried pork chop lay casually atop everything, a meaty afterthought.
The other bowl contains a milky broth. To eat zheng zong gui lin mi fen (authentic gui lin rice noodle) as it’s known in Chinese pour the broth over the noodles and give it all a good mix. If you’re anything like me your first thought might be “Gee, these noodles are overdone.” The waves of flavor and texture—salty pickled veggies, crunchy roasted peanuts, meaty beef, crunchy pork, bright cilantro, and rich broth—will soon make you forget any questions regarding the kitchen’s preference for soft noodles.
In place of the typical crushed red chilis that grace the table at every Chinese soup joint find a bright orange concoction that looks—and tastes—like it belongs in a West Indian eatery. Adding it to the soup really ups the flavor and sinus-clearing ante.
Some quick research reveals that Gui Lin lies to the west of Guangzhou and that the noodle soup is a famous breakfast. I’m thinking about my next bowl already.
Gui Lin Mi Fen, 135-25 40th Road, Flushing, 718-939-2025