Hunan House

Restaurants, Chinese Queens
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinSteamed fish head at Hunan House
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinPreserved Pork with dried turnip at Hunan House
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinMustard greens at Hunan House
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinPork noodle soup at Hunan House
 (Photograph: Jessica Lin)
Photograph: Jessica LinPumpkin pancakes at Hunan House
Hunan House opened as one of the first local restaurants to focus on the south-central province of Hunan, renowned as the home of Chairman Mao. While you can now visit an outpost in midtown, called the Manor, a brand-new makeover has rendered the original as festive as its food. Hunan is known for a mix of hot, sour and smoke, all of which appear in the preserved pork with dried turnips, in which three-inch sections of house-cured bacon are sautéed with tiny rectangles of the pickled and dried turnip root, green onions and chopped chilies. For the famous steamed fish head, mild freshwater buffalo fish from the Great Lakes is braised—almost pickled—in a simple, tart sauce and slathered with a chunky mix of chopped fermented chilies. (You might want to call ahead—pun intended—for this dish, as they prepare only 20 a day.) On the side, try wok-tossed bitter mustard greens, and for dessert, the barely sweet pumpkin cakes, dusted in bread crumbs and lightly fried.


Venue name: Hunan House
Address: 137-40 Northern Blvd
Cross street: between Main and Union Sts
Opening hours: Daily 11-2am
Transport: Subway: 7 to Flushing–Main St
Price: Average main course: $15. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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