Cumin lamb. This unique and flavorful dish can be found at Lao Dong Bei in Flushing, Queens. I’m a lover of all things mutton, and trying it ensconced in cumin seed was a revelation. A very powerful and dynamic flavor is achieved, something that I will try to imitate in my future preparations of lamb.
Cumin is that little seed distantly related to caraway that most Americans find ground up in chili seasoning packets. The popularity of this herb is ancient however, dating back to the Sumerians. Ancient Greeks and Romans typically would have Cuminum available as a condiment on their table next to the salt.
Lao Dong Bei is a minute space, with an unremarkable green facade on Kissena Boulevard in Flushing, Queens. In between the tables are stacked cases of beer and other beverages. A TV with what looked like Beijing Pop Idol was playing in the corner. The service came with a smile in this family-run operation, and the very patient chef came out from the back to make sure that he got our order correct and to make suggestions (there was a bit of a language barrier). He even came out after the meal to ensure everything tasted to our liking. Now that’s what I call service.
Above was the glass noodles and sliced pork. This was nicely seasoned dish that reminded me of a good stew, but coupled with the slick texture of the glass noodles.
Okay, we over-did our order, but still, with drinks and everything the bill still didn’t top forty dollars! Pictured above, pork dumplings, noodle soup, cumin lamb, sliced pork with glass noodles, and some Tsing-Tao. Now there is some #proof.
Lao Dong Bei, 44-09 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355