NYC
Updated May 30, 2022, Posted June 9, 2019

This is an updated entry to Dun Huang. The original East Village location is closed, but they opened another location out in Long Island City. They have several locations spread throughout the city. Dun Huang advertises itself as authentic Northwestern Chinese food. The menu at this location pales in comparison to what we got in the East Village location, so I’ll still share the differences for reference.

Ambiance

The decor at the Long Island City location is pretty no frills. It feels they have two rooms: one “main” dining area and another dining area next to the window.

The service itself was pretty fast. When we placed our order, food arrived within 10 minutes. Do keep in mind that you usually need to flag the wait staff to come to your table. It’s definitely not as proactive as other restaurants. When we paid, they bring the card reader to your table.

One disappointing aspect of this location was that the menu had a bunch of checkmarks indicating if they had an item or not. I really came here for the rice wine soup with rice balls, so I was irked that we ate here.

Food

The wood ear mushroom (at the closed East Village location) was pretty good, specifically the sauce. The texture of the mushrooms was pretty good too. This is the same stuff that Chinese restaurants sometimes put in their hot and sour soups.

The beef tripe (at the closed East Village location) skewers were also pretty good too. They remind me of unflavored boiled tripe pieces with the same plumpness as dim sum. The sauce accompanying these is some chili oil and red peppers.

The chicken bbq skewers (at the closed East Village location) were basically chicken with I think a lot of cumin on them. The seasoning was strong, and the chicken was tender. Not the best thing I’ve had, but good. It’s a little expensive for what we paid for 5 skewers though ($2 a piece).

Lastly, the lanzhou beef noodles (at the closed East Village location) with thick cut noodles was really tasty. I’m a sucker for fresh cut noodles. I love the doughy texture and bounce from these. The soup itself was light, flavorful, with some salty tastes. There were pieces of radish in it. Think of it like the Korean soup they sometimes give you at Korean BBQ where its clear broth cooked with small beef bones, green onions, and radish. It’d definitely be good for a cold day.

The restaurant was completely empty at 5 PM on a Sunday for good reason, but the service was fast and attentive. I saw someone got the fish, and maybe I might get that next time.

The wood ear mushroom salad ($7.99) at the Long Island City location came marinated with black agaric, diced red pepper, and black vinegar. It felt the marinade was not as good as the East Village location. It seemed to lack vinegar and was a little on the plain side.

The marinated cucumber ($6.99) at the Long Island City location came with specially cut cucumber, vinegar, and mustard. The cucumber was pretty crispy, but there was something off about this. It tastes as if the marinade was broken. You can see the little white specks all over. The vinegar was not pungent, and sometimes you can taste the salt more than the acid. It was definitely not worth the $7.

The braised beef noodle ($12.99) at the Long Island City location came with heart beef flank, soy sauce, in prime beef broth and bok choy. The noodle were pretty good. They had a bouncy and chewy texture to it, and it definitely tasted more homemade. The broth though was definitely on the watery side and lacked some salt in it. The flank meat unfortunately wasn’t cooked long enough, so some of it was a little chewy.

The monstrous plate chicken ($23.99) at the Long Island City location came with chopped chicken with bones, onion, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. At the bottom of this dish, they added thick wide noodles to soak up some of the juice. This was actually fairly decent. The chicken itself was tender enough due to it being dark meat, and the sauce had plenty of cumin and salt flavors to it. It definitely reminded me of curry essences. The best part of this really is the thick wide noodles because they are sitting at the bottom absorbing all the flavors into it. It was the first time my partner actually enjoyed Chinese thick noodles. This dish is probably enough for two people as a side, so take that into account if ordering.

Final Verdict

I originally wrote this for the East Village location:

This is a decent authentic Chinese food in the East Village that is slightly different than your typical Sichuan / Shanghainese / Cantonese deal. Worth a try if you are around the area and craving Chinese.

For the LIC location, I feel this restaurant is a disappointment, and I do not recommend if you’re looking for super good noodles or dishes. Much of it is hit or miss, but if you’re really craving for some of these dishes, I think you can check it out and judge for yourself.

Yelp Jabs

The beef noodle soup was a little bland to my liking, and it felt the broth wasn’t developed long enough to have all the flavors that you commonly associate with a normal bowl of beef noodle soup.

That’s because it’s not just a normal bowl of beef noodle soup. Every region has subtle flavors and preferences. Clearly, it’s not yours.

Ordered for delivery and unfortunately for this review, delivery was late and the food was cold by the time it got to us. We ended up having to microwave everything. Pass if you plan to order delivery.

Ah yeah, the classic “Let’s rate a restaurant based on the Seamless order”. Here are some words of wisdom for the illogical: if you’re ordering delivery, you’re rolling a die on what you get even in NYC.

Food overall was absolutely brilliant - one of the best Chinese I’ve had in the US!

If you consider that this Elitist can probably count on one hand the number of times they’ve eaten Chinese, then this comment might make sense.

They just might put Xian’s out of business…

This Yelper either is either trying to be amusing or literally has a smoker’s tongue. Flavor wise, Xian’s (which is very close to the LIC location) has much better flavors than Dun Huang’s noodle dishes. It’s more punchy and more distinct. Dun Huang’s flavor profiles are much more single dimensional and tamer. People will more than likely enjoy punchy flavors than subdued.

Revisions

  1. May 30, 2022 - Removed some East Village texts and added Long Island City items and location.
  2. Jun 6, 2019 - Initial revision at the East Village location.