What to Eat at Flushing’s New Tangram Food Hall: Caviar canapés, corn dogs, and the world’s biggest spring rolls, to start.
Illustration: Adrian Mangel
As construction continues at Tangram mall — the two-story retail component of an enormous new office and residential compound in downtown Flushing — its food hall has already become the main draw. There are a handful of restaurants anchored throughout the rest of the mall, such as Shoo Loong Kan Hotpot and an upcoming conveyor-belt sushi place that cannot open soon enough in my opinion, but it’s the neon-lit collection of stalls and counters that will most make you feel like you’ve been transported to an Asian night market.
The name is ridiculous. Force yourself to order it anyway: This craggy fried chicken thigh, roughly chopped and rolled up into a tortilla with cucumber and hoisin sauce, is a crunchy, burrito-like alternative to the now-ubiquitous hot fried chicken sandwich.
At this first NYC outpost of a popular Korean chain, get a half-beef–half-mozzarella corn dog, dunked in squid ink–stained batter and rolled in cubes of potato confetti. It’s possible to add a final dusting of sugar or cheese, but with everything else going on, I say stick to ketchup.
How an appetizer turns into a main course: Coming in at eight inches long, and four to an order, these golden giant spring rolls — filled with pork and minced vegetables — demand to be passed around with friends.
It’s enough that you can get Peking duck in a mall. It’s even more impressive that this is one of the crispiest, juiciest versions I’ve had. Order the whole duck, mostly as an excuse to try the caviar-topped duck-skin canapés you’ll get while the chef carves the rest of the bird tableside.
Its caramel color would suggest coffee, but the maltiness of the roasted tea is a perfect foil for creamy sweetness — and it’s even better atop a chocolate waffle cone.
The best way to end your visit is a stop at Na Tart for a six-pack of Portuguese egg tarts, taken to go. Employees are pulling trays from the oven nonstop, which is good, because these tartlets are best consumed warm.
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