I’m not sure why, but it’s taken four decades of eating Chinese food for me to discover the wonders of HK noodles. My introduction to the wiry Hong Kong style yellow noodles began with HK lo mein combo at Shun Wong in Elmhurst. The massive portion of dumplings and lo mein comes with a sidecar of chicken broth as does an equally massive feed I tried at Flushing’s Shifu Chio.
I’ve passed Shifu Chio by hundreds of times, but had only eaten there once before. I scarcely ever look up at the faded red awning, which reads “Prince Noodle & Cafe, when I’m leading tours through the neighborhood. One day last week after perusing such whimsical menu categories as “Golden Oldies,” which includes fried fish cake lo mein, and “The Conservatives,” a septet of congees, including pig’s belly and liver I zeroed in on HK noodles.
At the urging of the waiter I chose the Dumpling Trio Lo Mein (HK Style). First came a bowl of mellow chicken broth, which I livened up with a bit of white pepper, and then the main event. Wontons, shrimp dumplings, and shrimp and watercress dumplings comprise the triple treat served over a prodigious tangle of noodles along with some greens. Each of the dumplings was lovely, especially the shrimp ones, which I believe had a smokey mushroom within. Along with the noodles, the dumpling trifecta provided a much needed carb bomb to combat the frigid temperatures.
My dear friend Stanford tells me that the dish’s Chinese name translates to “three colors dumpling lo mein.” He went on to inform me: “The pinyin is “sān sè jiǎo lāomiàn,” but since this is Cantonese food, you may wish to use that instead: ‘sāam sīk gáau lōu mihn.’” That’s all well and good, but I have much simpler name for the whole lot: “The HK Happy Meal.”
Sifu Chio, 40-09 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354, 718-888-9295