There's a lot to eat in Manhattan. However, for some cuisines, Flushing just does it better. I have yet to find a a Taiwanese restaurant in Manhattan that provides as delicious a meal as Main St. Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet. It's located on the outskirts of the main Flushing Chinatown area, and it has an extremely limited seating area given the high volume of people always waiting in line for a table. Lucky me, my dad is buddy buddy with the chef and owner, so we were able to get a large table at prime time Saturday night.
The greatest part of this restaurant is that they have an unlimited selection of small stir fry plates, that are all delicious. Something about the wok or the temperature that the chef achieves while cooking really does it.
Here is a celery with duck intestine stir fry:
The popular and traditional San Bei Ji, "three cups chicken," which is basically chicken prepared with soy sauce, wine, and basil.
I think at some point we ordered rice, and the waitress asked if we wanted the beef with rice, which clearly my family readily agreed to.
This I believe is a tripe prepared with hot peppers/ chili oil.
We also ordered a variety of tofu dishes. This is a fish and tofu dish in a spicy broth.
This is the infamous stinky tofu in a spicy stir fry.
Again, the spicy tofu, but in a simple chili and soy sauce.
We ordered 17 dishes in total that night including a fish soup, 3 different types of vegetables simply stir fried, pig kidneys in a soy sauce, fried shrimp with chili peppers, and a lamb stew.
I still don't have enough experience eating Taiwanese food to be able to describe you what makes Taiwanese cuisine distinctly Taiwanese, but let me tell you, this was a great meal.
The first time I ate here (almost half a decade ago), the chef specially prepared a steamed crab over sticky rice. It is probably one of the most fragrant and memorable things I have eaten. This dish, however, needs to be ordered at least a day or two before to ensure quality and freshness, so I couldn't order it this visit, but I'll definitely be back soon for it!
Main St. Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet
5914 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355