Xie Family Foods – Delicious Cold Dishes from Tianjin at the Golden Mall

Xia Family Foods is a stall located in the Golden Mall in Flushing, which specializes in cuisine from Tianjian and seems to offer two types of food: xiao chi (small snacks) and dumplings / buns.

Tianjin is a northern port city in China that is located a little southeast of Bejing.  I’m far from an expert in their cuisine and a lot of it is as foreign to me as it is to someone who has never eaten Chinese food as this was not what I grew up eating.  I know a few of their famous dishes, but I really don’t know too much about their food so I was quite interested to try it.

We came here after as a last stop on a mini food crawl through Flushing.  The stall was actually featured on Anthony Bourdain’s episode about the outer boroughs.  I believe he had some head cheese when he came.  The stall has several cold dishes laid out which you can choose from and also has dumplings and various buns you can order to be made fresh.  We were too full to try any of the dumplings or buns, but we did try several of the cold dishes.

Here’s what we got:

Smoked Tofu in Chili Oil (Dou Gan):

Dou gan is a type of smoked tofu that has a much more firm texture than normal tofu; it almost reminds me of a cheese in terms of texture.  It had a nice smoky flavor and it was covered in spicy chili oil.  It’s a fairly typical Chinese preparation, but it was done very nicely here and the flavors went very well together, I thought this was excellent. 8.25/10

Pickled Potato Strips:

This is thinly julienned pieces of potato that are pickled in a vinegar sauce.  This is not uncommon in Chinese cooking, but it’s not my favorite dish; I mainly ordered it for someone else.  It tastes just like it sounds and while the version here was prepared well, it’s just generally not a dish I’m in love with.  7/10

Spicy Pig Ear (Er Duo):

Pig ears sound really weird to most people, but they are delicious.  They have a firm texture and a very mild flavor and basically taste like whatever sauce you put them in.  Here they are prepared in spicy chili oil with little pieces of cilantro that go really well with the pig ears.  These were great and were the best version that I’ve had in NY besides Nan Xiang which is on par although prepared slightly differently.  8.25/10

Wood Ear Mushroom (Mu Er):

I like wood ear mushrooms a lot, they almost taste more like seaweed than a mushroom and they look a lot more like seaweed than a mushroom.  The version here was prepared in a tangy vinegary sauce.  This was the one preparation I wasn’t so keen on; the sauce was just too tangy and overpowered the mushrooms.  6.75/10

Beef Tendon (Niu Jin):

This was beef tendon that I believe was preserved in a mixture of soy sauce, five spice and star anise.  You could really taste the flavors of all of them.  Because it was served room temperature it had a somewhat waxy texture, but not in a bad way.  I thought this was pretty tasty and sort of reminds me of a beef jerky.  7.75/10

Overall, I liked the food here and if you’re going to the Golden Mall I’d definitely recommend coming and trying some of the interesting and delicious cold dishes at Xie Family Foods.

41-28 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

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