Northeastern Chinese fare for Northeastern U.S. climes: String beans, wrinkled with just the right touch of the wok, and vigorously spiced Mongolia-style lamb are just two of many excellent dishes turned out by the chef of Xing Shun Da. He previously lived in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, which is nearer to Pyongyang, North Korea, than to Beijing. (Nearer as the crow flies, that is, but more remote in many other ways.) For additional photos of his handiwork at Xing Shun Da's now-shuttered predecessor, also known as Rural, and at this transplanted, rebranded kitchen, see the EIT page on Facebook.
Previously: The picture menu in the front window dubbed the dish shown below "Dongbei style pasta." The menus at our table spoke of "shredded pork with vermicelli." And when our waitress ultimately brought forth the dish, she proclaimed it "la pi" (Lah Pee; the latter syllable, an awkward homophone, is spoken with a rising inflection). This cousin of the better-known liang pi features noodles made from mung bean starch rather than wheat or rice.
Compared with the dish as served, the dish when mixed and ready to eat is less dramatic in coloration, a case also true of the typical Burmese tea leaf salad. At many restaurants, dishes like these are presented first, then tossed at the table, not only to keep crisper ingredients from becoming soggy but also to display a variety that otherwise would be lost in the mix, and so to give a better impression of value for money. Tabletop showmanship by the waitstaff can be a selling point, too.
Xing Shun Da
44-18 Kissena Blvd. (Cherry-Elder Aves.), Flushing, Queens