BY JESSICA MILITELLO
A new restaurant that opened at the start of the new year and specializes in authentic Chinese hand-pulled noodles and barbecue skewers has joined the ever-growing array of delicious places to eat in Astoria.
Residents in the area looking to satisfy their craving for freshly made noodles in a bowl of hot broth can indulge at La Mian Lounge’s new location at 25-12 Broadway. The eatery, which uses only halal quality meats, is an addition to the area that owner David Kong says was certainly lacking for those looking for authentic Chinese cuisine.
“We just want to offer really ethnic Chinese food,” said Kong. “We didn’t change the taste of anything. What you have here is the way it is made in China, as close as we can get to it.”
Kong has made it his mission to provide authentic Chinese cuisine throughout Queens with several restaurants, including The Bund in Forest Hills, which has dishes from a wider region of China such as sautéed dishes and dim sum. And almost a year ago, Kong expanded to Bund on Broadway, which is just a few stores down from La Mian, and specializes in handmade dumplings.
At his new shop, the focus will be on noodles and barbecue skewers, which are made by two chefs who are experts in making each dish accordingly. In looking to further fulfill the need to the area, Kong felt it was important to provide halal quality meats in order to make everyone feel welcome to eat there.
“In the community there are a lot of Muslims as well as people who don’t eat pork, so that’s why we made it halal,” he said.
The ingredients and process in which the food is prepared is instrumental in providing customers a truly authentic Chinese cuisine. The noodles are continuously made throughout the day in order to be fresh for guests, and their broth is made over a process of 10 hours in order to create a clear broth that is not overbearing in seasoning or over-flavored in order to nicely complement the fresh, handmade noodles.
La Mian’s menu has options for everyone, from fish tofu that is a great addition to share at the table, as well as tasty skewers that are marinated and seasoned with spices.
The menu also features cold dishes which complement nicely with a hot bowl of fresh noodles and broth. One cold dish that is certainly a must-try is the tripe, which is braised with soy and ginger, spices, and mixed with vegetables.
The menu certainly has something for everyone and in catering to the melting pot of Astoria, that is certainly the goal that Kong had in mind.
“The reason I love Astoria is because everyone loves to try new stuff,” said Kong. “There’s Indian food, Greek, so why not give Chinese a try?”