Monday, May 23, 2011

Grand Restaurant

So now it's official. I've been to all three major Chinatowns in NYC. It's been said that Manhattan's Chinatown has pretty poor-quality food compared to Flushing's, but I never even knew that Brooklyn had a Chinatown at all.

This past weekend some of my family and friends came to the city for my graduation, and that's when I also learned that my mom has some distant relatives (who I've never met or even heard mentioned before) that live in Brooklyn. My parents thought Saturday would be a fantastic day for a family reunion, and that's how I ended up in Brooklyn's Chinatown.

My brother, brother-in-law, and I all arrived at the dim-sum restaurant before the rest of the family, and that was a disaster. DISASTER. My mom had reserved a private room, and now the three people in my family who don't speak ANY Chinese were trapped in a limited space with about 40 old people who don't speak ANY English (did I mention that my brother in law is Japanese?). Somehow I managed to survive the morning by just smiling and nodding, but to be honest the food was a disappointment. The dim-sum wasn't any better than what I've had at Golden Unicorn or Jin Fong in Manhattan's Chinatown, and being in a private room also meant that fewer of the food carts came our way. However, my mom had so much fun that she decided to continue the reunion with a few of her cousins.

After stopping by a laundromat and a nursing home (during which time everyone under the age of 30 waited patiently outside for about an hour and a half while everyone over the age of 30 was inside visiting someone over the age of 80), we ended up in Flushing where a new restaurant had opened last week. That restaurant - called Grand Restaurant, in Flushing's Chinatown, is decorated with everything that most Chinese people would consider "grand." Massive chandeliers hung from the ceiling, the linens were all pinks and reds and golds, and there were poles of light that changed color on a timer.

My mom, who thought the understated elegance of The Kitano (hotel that I booked for my family's stay in the city) was "not fancy enough," wanted pictures all over the gaudy restaurant. Chinese people. Go figure.

The food at Grand Restaurant was much better than what we had in Brooklyn, and I think Flushing's Chinatown lives up to it's reputation for having superior food as compared to the others.

We started off with the seafood soup:

Next was Peking duck (my brother's favorite):

The remnants of the duck after the best parts were made into Peking duck:

T-bone steak:

Chinese broccoli with dried scallops:

Sea bass:

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the tofu and abalone dish before it was decimated by my family - by the time I remembered to take out my camera, all of the tofu was gone and there was only a small mound of veggies left:

Lamb chops:

Dessert was melon slices with red-bean jello

Overall rating: 8/10

Grand Restaurant
40-21 Main St. Flushing
New York, 11354

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