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Sun Hing Lung Co.

photo by Bradley Hawks

The metal clapboards are raised early at Sun Hing Lung Co., a tofu producer in a compact stall in Chinatown, and it’s worth stopping by in the morning to order classic Chinese breakfasts of soft, custardy tofu and fresh soy milk, hot or cold, sweetened or straight up. But the kitchen, if you can call it that, is best known in the neighborhood for its rice rolls, which are really cheung fun, a large, flat steamed rice noodle. Rice batter — sometimes dotted with additions like dried shrimp, egg and beef, or corn and cilantro — is poured into a tray and slid into the boxy, metal steamers in the back. Once set, the noodle is dumped into a Styrofoam container, where it scrunches up on itself, gelatinous and floppy. A splash of soy, a squirt of peanut sauce, and a dab of chile go a long way on the ivory folds, fragrant with the aroma of freshly steamed rice. Most menu items top out at $1.25; $8 buys you 50 frozen pork and chive dumplings. If you want a chair, though, you came to the wrong place: Henry Street’s your dining room, pal.