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Sep 22, 2006 01:49 PM

Special Fujian places in Chinatown?

I've just moved to East Broadway and would like suggestions on really good Fujian dives

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  1. Do a search on Division, Eldridge street.

    1. Here's a very recent post on the noodle places on Eldridge. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. However, I would caution that a number of the Fujian restaurants are catering to low income diners, both locals as well as people in transit from the other parts the U.S. who come to spend a day or two to visit the employment agencies around the Manhattan Bridge. As such, the selling point of some of the restaurants is economy, and not necessarily quality.

      1. There are so many Fujian places in the area that, as far as I know, no one on this board has tried and last night I went to one. It's called East Seafood Restaurant, it's at 105 E Broadway (212 227-8857) and it's not a dive.

        The place was nearly deserted. A party of drinkers were engrossed in loud and blustery conversation. The waiters were eating what looked like a banquet at a nearby table while an obnoxious little boy -- one of the waitresses' sons -- ran all over, throwing a paper airplane someone had made for him. It was like a genial family gathering, and for a short while I felt part of it.

        I want Fujian food, I told the waiter, who got up from the banquet to take my order. We don't have Fujian food, he replied, but when I ordered from the menu (the paper takeout menu, not the short Engish menu I was given)what I got was indeed Fujianese. The menu is mostly in Chinese and I ordered almost at random. I got thin strips of pork belly, crunchy squash, celery, mushrooms, a chewy root vegetable, a lot like lotus, that I couldn't identify -- all tossed together in a bright red sauce that looked like spaghetti sauce. It didn't taste like spaghetti sauce. It was like nothing I've ever eaten -- rich with rice wine and a slightly acidic flavor. It's rare for me to encounter something different like that, so I'll go back.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Brian S

          Those noodles in red wine sauce usually taste weird at first, but then pretty good after you get used to it. I'm not sure if I ever crave that flavor, but it is certainly different from other chinese noodle soups.

          1. re: spchang

            Do you know what that dish is called?

            1. re: spchang

              There were no noodles, just beef and vegetables and that bright red sauce. It was delicious.

              1. re: Brian S

                Yeah, reading your post more carefully it sounds like the sauce was not watery, whereas the noodle soups are in a broth that has dyed everything red.

                Another simple thing that I was pretty happy about was a Fried Taro Cake that I had at one of the Fujian places. It was only 70 cents and was definitely a generous helping. I can't remember the place right now, but I have the menu at home if people are interested.

                1. re: spchang

                  > I can't remember the place right now, but I have the menu at home if people are interested.

                  Sure, if you can dig it up, I'd appreciate hearing about it – thanks for the tip.

          2. I think I know what the red sauce is but I have no idea what its called in english. Its called jiu zao in mandarin, and is the fermented residue left over from making rice wine. My granny used to make contraband rice wine at home and we'll end up eating a lot of stir-fried red sauce and prawns/chicken etc...
            Do you have any idea whether they sell deep fried prawn rolls at any of the Fujian restaurants? That's one dish I miss most from the restaurants in Singapore. Thanks!

            2 Replies
            1. re: xigua

              Oh I know what that is. I make it using sweet white rice. Never had that with noodles. I have to get some of that.

              What prawn rolls are you talking about? Can you give more detail?

              1. re: designerboy01

                The thing is I'm not too sure I know what its called in English... Its called hei zor (prawn balls??) in hokkien and its minced prawns, meat, water chestnuts and everything else wrapped in yuba skinn, deep-fried and served with a sweet dipping sauce. Not sure whether its just a Singaporean fujianese invention or what.. I hope not =(

            2. If you are ever in Brooklyn's Chinatown, there are a lot of Fujian restaurants. One of the best is Everett along 8th Avenue.