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6/14/09 Fuloon Update: Favs and Nays at Boston's Best Chinese Restnt.

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When we were at Fuloon tonight for our weekly dinner, we heard that there was going to be a CH group there this wed. So I thought I’d give a quick list of our yays and nays in case they might be of use to you. We originally discovered Fuloon through a great Chdown there last?year and I wrote an extensive review of our group’s experiences. After a year of visits, we have gone through many more items and here are our thoughts. (I have starred the items that I have not seen on other Chinese menus.
One of the components that the Chef uses particularly well, and which is not seen often here., is vinegar. I noted the 2 fav dishes that have distinct vinegar tang):

Yays:
Peking Duck (we like it w/o sauce, wrappers etc.; just focus on the duck) Also, ask for the head chef to prepare your duck; it will be better than otherwise.
*Wok baked Beef
*Starch noodles w/ pork (vinegar)
*Orange Chicken- ‘Velvet’ style stir fry; not deep fried
*Chicken w/ dates and peanuts

Pork lo mein- not dry and boring; excellent. sauce and vegs and meat
*Szechuan chow foon
Moo shi pork
*Singapore Style Rice noodles w/Curry- flavor good but ask for lots of meat and vegs

Yu Hsiang eggplant- usually terrif but sometimes too sweet
Traditional green beans w/o pork ( not on menu)
*Mandarin cabbage with spicy and sour (vinegar)
Cold tofu app. Simple, Very refreshing

Fine but not our favs:
Kung pao chicken
Bang bang chicken- nothing special

Nays:
crab rangoon- odd flavor
* “Traditional” Gen’l gau chicken (small cubes chicken, too tough/overcooked) (not on menu)
fried chicken wings- no flavor
homestyle bean curd
ma pa tofu
sai woo beef soup- bland
watercress and pork soup- bland
watercress with garlic- bland

p.s. i finally found out a bit about Fuloon's history. Turns out the owner and the chef used to work at Yenching in Harv. Square. They are both from Beijing and they are now 5 yrs as partners in Fuloon.

Know you'll have a great time Wed.

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  1. I dined at Fuloon last night for the first time. I found it to be an excellent Chinese restaurant. The staff was wonderful. The hostess taught my friend's son how to remove the bones from a whole fish without turning it over... quite interesting... now for the food report.

    The Wok Baked Beef was great. If you don't like cilantro this dish is not for you as it came loaded with whole cilantro sprigs.

    The Jing Du Pork Pancake was unique. It was a Scallion Pancake stuffed with pork that would usually be used in a Peking Dumpling. It also was very good.

    One of my DCs considers herself a General Gau connoisseur and proclaimed Fuloon's one of the best she has ever had (she usually goes to Chilli Garden in Medford so I respect her opinion).

    My wife ordered the Chicken with Dates and Chestnuts. It was very good as well as being unique (for me at least).

    The Sizzling Beef was good but I did have one piece of green bell pepper that was almost raw.

    The only disappointment was the Szechuan Style Whole fish. It tasted like dirt! I'm serious... it tasted like a mouth full of the Charles River. The hostess told us it was Tilapia and was alive yesterday morning. Since Tilapia is not native to New England I assume the taste came from the tank the fish was kept in. We didn't bother complaining as my DC's sixteen year old son thought it was delicious and the staff was so nice.

    9 Replies
    1. re: NorthShoreFoodie

      I had the same problem with that whole fish a few months ago. One of my DC's loved it, though. I don't believe that dirty taste is because of the fish tank - Tilapia often tastes that way to me, no matter from where I purchase it. For that reason, if I'm doing the ordering, I avoid it.

      1. re: mirage

        I'll second the thoughts on tilapia. It often tastes muddy to me, so I skip it even if the overall dish sounds great. Lots of people love it, though.

        1. re: bear

          it has nothing to do with fuloon's tanks. tilapia is farmed and that muddy flavor is because of the pellet diet the fish are fed. modern catfish has the same problem. they can be killed in front of me and i know it couldn't be fresher, but the flavor now is crap.

        2. re: mirage

          Like Carp, Tilapia can taste muddy. Depending on how it is farm that taste can be stronger, or not at all present.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            If you don't like Tilapia, Fuloon will also do an excellent baked da4 tou2 yu2 (big head fish) with a sauce similar to their terrific duo4 jiao1 bai2 cai4 (chopped pepper spicy cabbage). Big-head fish not only has a big head but a large body, so this is a dish that has to be ordered in advance and consumed by many people. Just watch out for the many small intramuscular bones in that fish, but it's really excellent, and also rather rarely seen in the US.

            Incidentally, the spicy cabbage is one of my favourite dishes at Fuloon (along with the special jiang4 bao4, the baked beef, and their scallion pancake) albeit perhaps the simplest.

            1. re: lipoff

              No, the simplest is the cold tofu app, which is also one of my favorites: it's pretty much literally just cold tofu, sesame oil and I think a pinch of salt. Mid-Chowdown, when we realized we'd gone heavier than anticipated on the fiery dishes, I ordered a round of the cold tofu for the table and it did a wonderful job of taming the other dishes.

            2. re: StriperGuy

              I do wonder if, culturally, the Chinese, being used to the muddiness of carp, don't find the very frequent muddiness of tilapia objectionable. I, personally, avoid tilapia assiduously because of this issue - it's very high on my list of Fish To Avoid.

          2. re: NorthShoreFoodie

            Thanks for the explanation on the Tilapia. The Tilapia I have had in the past must have been non-farm raised frozen fillets.

            1. re: NorthShoreFoodie

              All Tilapia in the U.S., frozen or fresh, is farm raised. Some is just muddier tasting then others.

          3. Never heard a report from that chowdown; I got lost on the way and missed it!

            1 Reply
            1. re: galleygirl

              Ah, that was you. It was kind of a greatest-hits meal, nothing really to add to the database. (Also meat-centric--steamed pork was a big hit.)

            2. I've thought their ma pa tofu is very good.

              I also prefer the wok baked chicken to the beef. Try that.