Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Dongbei cuisine, which got me to thinking about Minzhongle, a bygone Flushing spot. Like most Dongbei places the Korean influence was evident on the menu with dishes like naeng myun. The refreshing cold Korean noodles in an icy beef broth, are one of my favorite things to eat come summertime.
So when I saw “special Korean cold noodles” on the menu at Minzhongle, I had to find out just what was so special about this $17.99 bowl of noodles. Minzhongle is closed but the dish whose Chinese name translates to “noodle hat,” remains one of the strangest things I’ve ever eaten. For one thing there were no noodles in the icy beef broth. It did however contain the standard slice of beef shin. It also had many things which seemingly have no business being in a cold noodle soup. There was practically an entire produce stand’s worth of fruit in the bowl: watermelon, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and Korean pears. It was as if someone had spilled a quart of naeng myun broth into a fruit salad. To this day it remains one of the strangest things I’ve ever eaten.