Guan Fu in Flushing is about as luxurious as à la carte dining in NYC gets. You’ll sit on a cushioned wooden bench that looks like it was intended for someone holding a scepter and eat big plates of Sichuan food that you’ll want to share with your top ten favorite people on the planet.
All of the dishes we’ve tried here are worthy of recommendation, but the standouts include some delicately fried green beans, a bowl of flaky fish boiled in pickled cabbage stew, and a serving of mapo tofu that will raise your standards for mapo tofu in NYC. (Guan Fu’s version is the best in the city.)
In addition to a large dining room, Guan Fu also has a covered outdoor area on the first floor of Flushing’s One Fulton Square. Wherever you choose to sit, bring someone who wants to try all of New York’s great Chinese food, and prepare to impress them with Sichuan peppercorns and a formal-but-not-too-stiff night out.
Plan an entire evening around this mapo tofu alone. There’s not a ton of pork visually present, but this dish still has enough meaty flavor to inspire an image of two happy pigs smoking cigars on a couple of lounge chairs. Fish around for the occasional salty explosion of fermented black bean— our favorite aspect of the dish—and expect plenty of spice from the chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns.
Boiled Fish With Pickled Cabbage
This is one of our favorite dishes anywhere, but Guan Fu’s take on it is the best version we’ve tried. Pieces of delicate white fish swim in a pungent, slightly translucent yellow sauce flecked with green and red chiles.
Guan Fu’s glistening green beans are fried until they shrivel, but the insides somehow stay nice and snappy. If you were taught to eat your vegetables during dinner, you might as well accomplish that task while enjoying this garlic-sprinkled pile of green beans.