Maxi’s Noodle: A Destination for authentic Hong Kong-Style noodles in Flushing

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Maxi’s Noodle in Downtown Flushing has become a popular destination for authentic Hong Kong-style noodles and cuisine with exceptional quality. Opening in 2018, it prides itself for its food, from fresh top-notch egg noodles paired with a light, flavorful soup broth accompanied with a variety of toppings to giant-sized wontons and a tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef stew.  Spread by word of mouth, it has since been featured on many news outlets and by social media stars like Mike Chen (Strictly Dumpling) and the Fung Bros.

In an article published in the New York Times, owner Maxi Lau explained that she sought to fulfill her mother’s dream of opening a wonton noodle shop. Her mother had learned the art of wonton wrapping from a family friend in Toronto but was forced to give up her goal after a cancer diagnosis. After her mother’s passing, Ms. Lau followed in her footsteps, leaving her job to start her business. Maxi’s Noodle started out as a nightly pop-up at Kissena Cafe, a Hong Kong-style breakfast and lunch place owned by her aunt, located close to Queens College.  

Although they served her dishes five times a week from 5 to 10 p.m., Ms. Lau’s homemade dumplings soon outgrew the kitchen through word of mouth. Seeking a larger space, she decided to relocate her business in late 2019 to a storefront off Main Street in the vicinity of Downtown Flushing. Although they were limited to serving frozen wontons and dumplings for takeout during the first few months of the pandemic, they were able to serve their full menu when outdoor dining began in June 2020.

As the name suggests, Maxi’s Noodle specializes in its authentic homemade Hong Kong-style dumplings and noodles, with many options to customize and combine different toppings to the customer’s liking accompanied with their soup. According to Ms. Lau, the soup broth recipe is a secret, but the main ingredients include a stock of pork bones with dried shrimp and a garnish of yellow chives when served. If you opt for a noodle soup or a Cantonese lo mein (similar to a noodle soup, but with noodles and soup separate), their fresh egg noodles are cooked al dente, resulting in a chewy, elastic texture that complements the soup.  

For the most part, the wontons are quite huge compared to the soup spoon they’re served with. The main attraction of the wontons is the shrimp and pork filling which provide an unusual, yet satisfying, combination of plumpness, crispiness, and juiciness in each bite.  The dumplings take on a roughly oblong shape, but they are equally as good with a balance of pork and shrimp, mixed in with a variety of ingredients, giving it a greater variety in texture and taste.

The dace fish balls are handmade with streaks of green onion, a rarity considering that most fish balls are made off-site. Compared to the typical frozen fish ball, this dace fish ball stands out with its smooth texture and green onion, which adds extra flavor.

The fried fish skins feature a crispy, weightless exterior without excess grease. Dipping the fried fish skins briefly for about five to ten seconds in the soup broth on the side slightly softens the crispiness, but also adds the flavorful soup broth into the fried fish skin’s nooks and crannies.

The beef stew is also a must, with succulent, tender cuts of beef seasoned with a pinch of five-spice powder. With tender beef cuts that melt in your mouth, this dish is sure to transform your palate. Although the ja jiang, pork covered in a red tomato-based sweet sauce with chili, may be unusual for one who hasn’t tried it before, it works in complete harmony with the noodles and other toppings.

Maxi’s Noodles also offer a selection of drinks. The yeung yang is a well-balanced mix of Hong Kong-style milk tea and coffee. The addition of condensed milk adds a nice touch to this Hong Kong classic and makes it reminiscent of the traditional drink. They offer other drink selections including honey lemon and lemon tea which are lighter, yet refreshing complements to their cuisine.

Alongside their usual offerings, among their limited time specials is a Hong Kong-style shark fin soup. This special dish is made with a thick soy sauce soup base, interwoven with ribbons of egg, slices of mushrooms, some pork, and strands of imitation shark fin. Customers also have the option to top their serving with homemade dace fish meat. This dish provides a level of depth and thickness that contrasts their light and simple soup broth.

To celebrate the loyalty of their customers, Maxi’s Noodle occasionally give something complementary in thanks, such as a free appetizer or a sweet green bean dessert soup. Outside of serving high-quality Hong Kong cuisine, however, Ms. Lau has worked to give back to the community. During the first few months of the pandemic, Ms. Lau donated meals to the frontline workers from firefighters to the healthcare workers at nearby hospitals. 

The authenticity of Maxi’s dishes make them reminiscent of what is served in Hong Kong and makes it stand out from most wonton noodle shops in the U.S. From the simple soup broth served with high-quality egg noodles to the various limited-time specials offered, Maxi’s Noodle impresses on its offerings with authenticity and originality.

Photo caption: Three Topping Lo Mein ($11.00) w/ Wontons, Fried Fish Skins, & Beef Stew ($1 extra) and soup on the side;  Hong Kong-style milk tea ($3.50)

Photo credits: Matthew Merino