Hello? Long Island restaurateurs? Could I get some Chinese noodle soup?
A few times a month I find myself at Tasty Roast House, a hole in the wall on Main Street in Flushing, just north of the LIE. There, for about $6, I can get a bowl of soup with roast chicken and noodles in it. The broth is superb, clear and flavorful. The egg noodles are thin and pliant. The roast chicken is plump and moist, with beautifully burnished skin. (The soup is equally good with roast duck or roast pork.) There are usually some segments of choy sum and a sprinkling of scallions thrown in for good measure, and the result is as good a meal as you can get for the money.
Tasty Roast House specializes in Chinese roast meats, siu mei in Cantonese. I’m aware that this is a culinary specialty unto itself and I don’t expect every Chinese restaurant in Nassau and Suffolk counties to dabble in it. (As far as I know, V&T Market in Hempstead is the only LI source.) But certainly great broth, great noodles and great vegetables are not beyond the reach of local Chinese kitchens.
Nor do I believe that a love of noodle soup is some arcane, gastronomic fetish. Who doesn’t like noodles in broth? And yet while local Chinese restaurants expand their menus to include ever more sushi, pad Thai and miso cod, could they not expend a little more effort in perfecting one of the glories of the Cantonese repertoire?
Roast chicken noodle soup at Tasty Roast House, Flushing