Canton Gourmet is a Cantonese restaurant in Flushing that is famous for its garlic crab, garlic chicken and golden fried rice.
The Chinese name of Canton Gourmet is bi feng tang (避風塘 / bei fung tong), which are typhoon shelters for fisherman’s boats in Hong Kong and there is a famous Hong Kong crab dish called bi feng tang chao xie (避風塘炒蟹) that was supposedly invented by fishermen in the typhoon shelters. As you would figure this crab dish is one of Canton Gourmet’s specialties. In any area with a lot of Hong Kong people you can usually find a restaurant that specializes in this dish and as far as I know this is the only restaurant serving this in NY. I’ve actually written about one other restaurant, Seafood Village in LA, that serves the same specialty dishes as Canton Gourmet (garlic crab and golden fried rice) although Seafood Village is a notch above Canton Gourmet food quality wise.
The restaurant is located on Prince next to Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. Oddly, the layout and décor of both restaurants are virtually the same. The restaurant is pretty new looking and quite clean. I’ve found the service to be quite good and they also speak very good English.
On to the food:
String Beans with Pickled Vegetable (Chao Si Ji Dou):
This is string beans that are stir fried with a mix of ground pork and salty preserved vegetables. The version here is pretty good; the mix of pork and preserved vegetables go quite nicely with the string beans. If they had a little more of the “wok flavor” this would be a great version of it, but overall it’s still quite good. 7.75/10
Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens (Mei Cai Kou Rou):
This is pork belly that is braised using a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, star anise, garlic, sugar and preserved mustard greens. I don’t see this in restaurants that often and I kind of think of it more of a home style dish. The version here was decent, but not great. The pork belly should be really tender and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as melt in your mouth tender as it should be. The sauce was good although I prefer the sauce to be slightly sweet and this wasn’t sweet at all. Also, I screwed up because it tastes a lot better with white rice and I got the fried rice. 7/10
Beef with Oyster Sauce (Hao You Niu Rou):
This is a pretty simple dish of sliced beef sautéed with asparagus and snap peas in a light oyster sauce. The beef was cooked nicely and was quite tender and the sauce compliments it well. I liked this dish because I grew up eating stuff like this, but I think some people might find it a little light on flavor as it’s not salty at all and the oyster sauce is a subtle flavor. 7.5/10
Sauteed Pea Shoots (Qing Chao Dou Miao):
This was a typical preparation of sautéed pea shoots in some oil and garlic. It was cooked nicely and tasted good. 7.75/10
Golden Fried Rice:
This is one of the house specialties. It’s fried rice with salted fish, egg and scallions. It’s pretty simple, but the combination of flavors works very nicely together. The only knock on it is that it’s not as fluffy as it should be, but it is still quite tasty overall. I’d also recommend getting some chili sauce with it as I think that kicks it up a notch. 8/10
Garlic Crab (Bi Feng Tang Chao Xie):
This is the crab I referred to earlier and is another house specialty. The crab is fried in a salty batter and topped with a bed of fried garlic and scallions. The flavors are delicious and go very well with crab. The crab meat is very soft after being fried and it also makes the shells easier to break through. I really like the fried garlic and scallions and I like to take some and mix it in with my fried rice. The only thing about the crab is that sometimes I’ve found it to be a little on the oily side, but it’s sort of been luck of the draw on whether it’s too oily or not. 8/10
Overall, I like Canton Gourmet and it’s one of the better Cantonese restaurants in NY. I find most of their food to be good and their specialty dishes are definitely worth trying out.
3808 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354