not much chinese food, even in new york, transports me back to my days in china just after graduating from college. i lived in the northeast, teaching english (for which i had zero training) to a bunch of graduate students basically my age at the dalian university of technology. i knew almost no chinese (unfortunately for me my way with languages is nonexistent), and half-way through the year decided to travel on my own for the new year’s break in january. after a 36-hour boat ride to shanghai, and some adventures in hangzhou, suzhou and even a surreal night’s stay in the dormitory of a women’s shoe factory, i was off to kunming and dali in yunnan province for a week or so.
the best part of these travels, other than some of the amazing people i met, and the fact that i could somehow “read” a map in chinese, was the food. i had a lot of bad stuff, but i also had some incredible transporting dishes that i had never had anywhere, yun nan flavour snack brings me back to all that. this little hole in the wall out in sunset park has really the most amazing, delicious wontons. served in a hot and sour soup, with a definite lingering taste of msg (and again, for me that is all nostalgia as most of the food i had when in china was laced with the stuff), these little babies are juicy, with freshly made dough and good pork, and the broth was spicy, tangy and just intensely delicious.
i brought my then toddler son with me for my first visit to yun nan flavour snack, and the owners couldn’t have been more accommodating or kind with him. they got him some “unspicy” wonton soup which he devoured, and kept bringing him different chairs to make sure he didn’t topple over on their little metal stools. i also tried the yun nan’s noodle soup with pork sauce and cilantro which was very good but not worth my precious stomach storage (a single bowl of wontons is very very filling). it is such a thrill that such an authentic spot, with such tasty and cheap (at $4.25 a bowl) is only a few miles away from our house. hopefully all the great publicity yun nan flavour snack’s been getting lately won’t alter the experience one bit. yun nan flavour snack, 775a 49th street at 8th avenue, brooklyn, new york, 718.633.3090.