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Feb 14, 2012 09:56 AM

Mulan take out: need recommendations

I'm headed there after work tonight to get some take out. I hear portions are large. I was going to order 3 or 4 items. Can you all steer me in the right direction? What have you had there recently that is good?

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    1. re: emannths

      Yeah....I see that. I'm wondering if some of these travel better than others for the take-out aspect of this. It seems most of the folks were dining in.

      1. re: uman

        I love the salted crispy chicken, but like most fried things, it does not travel well.

        1. re: uman

          the cold smoked duck travels well. Braised beef shin also (good winter dish, if you call what we're going through "winter"); if you put some rice in it to sop up the gravy, it's almost like an osso buco w/ risotto. I also like the fish filet w/ jellyfish.

      2. Was just there very recently. I had gotten some ideas for dishes to try based on the threads on here.

        Ordered the salted crispy chicken, beef and leeks wrapped in pancakes, house special fish, fried dumplings, and bean curd in dry bean curd.

        The chicken was delicious, lightly crispy, small stringy pieces of chicken with also fried basil leaves on top. Definitely a winner. The beef and leeks wrapped in pancakes tasted almost like a burrito with the cilantro in there. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro but it was a tasty dish nonetheless. The bean curd was surprisingly good. I'm a neophyte when it comes to tofu and usually envision the firm chunks, but this was silky smooth with little salty, slightly sweet bits all over it with some broccoli on top. The house special fish was decently spicy, but with good flavor. It was kind of oily but the sauce made a good topping for white rice. The fried dumplings were decent, but they weren't fried enough on the fried side for me. Also the dipping sauce was vinegary and sweet whereas I tend to prefer the soy-ginger-scallion sauce.

        Overall me and the gf were very pleased with the meal. Here's a picture of the leftovers I had the next morning:

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mr. Mack

          I love all their eggplant dishes, particularly eggplant and basil, most of the spicy tofu dishes, their eel and sticky rice, and the dried chicken, salt and pepper pork chop - nothing fried travels well, though at the restaurant they do a fine job of frying I think.

        2. We just finished House Special Spicy Fish and pan-fried pork dumplings tonight. I asked what kind of fish they use before I ordered since I'm not a tilapia fan, and the young woman said sole fish. It was indeed delicate, fresh sole in a flavorful and moderately spicy sauce. I definitely enjoyed it and would order it again. Dumplings were stellar as usual.

          I'll have to have Formosa Taipei's Szechuan Fish Fillets again soon while the Mulan memory is fresh. I remember loving that dish and it would be fun to compare.

          11 Replies
          1. re: bear

            For the location are you referring to Cambridge or Waltham with the visit of tonight?

            1. re: Walthamfoodman

              Oh, sorry. I should have included that basic info! It was the Waltham location.

            2. re: bear

              bear, maybe it was another thread where you were saying that you would have to try Taipei Grmt. But i just wanted to let you know that (I haven't written it up yet) I did a large takeout from TG yesterday before the storn,and, at least for what I ordered) I would say- don't bother looking at the other grass. As nice as is the TG woman owner/sister of the chef, Mulan has a FAR more talented chef than TG.But i will still try TG again and that szechuan flounder is one i want to try as well!

              p.s. i think it likely that these places switch fish depending on availability, so always good to ask "do you have other fish than tilapia today?"

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Thanks, oc. I did end up trying a small order from Taipei Gourmet a while back and was underwhelmed. As you said, the woman who seemed to be the manager was as warm and helpful as could be. The food just seemed bland. I can't even remember everything we got, but I agree about the dumplings. The wrappers seemed to be wonton wrappers, which is fine since it is how I sometimes make them at home, but the texture was dry and undercooked. The hot and spicy minced chicken was also bland, and not spicy enough for our taste.

                Hearing your experience, and also remembering Chris VR's thoughts, I guess I'll stick with Mulan. Which reminds me, we haven't gotten Chinese takeout in a while...

                1. re: bear

                  bear, this is so perplexing to hear you say that about their szechuan minced chicken. I had a fun long conversation w/ a chinese guy when we were awaiting our orders the other day. HE said he loves the spiciness of that dish there! and his daughter loves the spiciness of their gen gao's("sweet AND spicy" he said)

                  SOOO, maybe the woman mentions to her brother that the customer is chinese and he makes the dishes spicier??
                  The fellow was from Beijing (Northern city, not spicy food)and he doesn't know from spicy? (i just can't imagine this; he mentioned having gone to univ. in Hunan
                  and having lived in shanghai awhile, so he seemed well travelled.) But then again, maybe it's just his taste. He mentioned liking that signature fried whole fish dish at Beijing in Lex Ctr, and mine was both too sweet, and tilapia(yech.)
                  I don't get it.!

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Who knows. Could be a miscommunication or an assumption. I like a good but of heat but not insanity, but this definitely lacked much heat. Anyway, the food was okay but I'll stick with Mulan. I do want to give Beijing a try, too, though.

                    1. re: bear

                      hmmmm just wait til you try those halfway-between-a-crescent-and-a-tube, open at both ends, pan fried Beijing dumplings with their handmade wrappers. Man o man, gives you a major understanding of the value of hand made wrappers....paradise!

                    2. re: opinionatedchef

                      There are over a billion chinese people, it would make sense that there's not one singular set of chinese taste buds.

                      Look at how much disagreement there is on this board, and there are only a couple of dozen regular posters here. Extrapolate that out several orders of magnitude.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          A while back I went to Mulan on a slow sunday night and our food was "eh". I was hugely disappointed and thought maybe the place was going into the tank.

                          Went back a few weeks ago, during the week and BOOM, dumplings were better, shredded potato cleared my sinuses, fish was not tilapia and was possibly even better the next day cold.

                          Maybe the main chef can not be there 7 days a week?
                          It was a clear difference.
                          maybe its just luck and timing like a lot of things in life.

                          1. re: hyde

                            That is my EXACT wondering when I have a bad/meh experience at a Chinese place that gets alot of CH raves. Even my cherished Fuloon has had a bad night in the years we've been going.

              2. Take out 4/23/2013:

                menu 3: Pan fried meat raviloli: I could eat these until i exploded.

                house made, 10 to an order, dipping sauce is a golden vinegar based sauce that really worked, splendid brown bits.

                menu 20: Salted crispy chicken:

                probably better right out of the fryer but that did not keep from eating the rest of them for breakfast this morning, tasty dish

                Menu 53: House special fish:

                Maginally hotter than the fish fillets at Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham and a bit much for my companions but loaded with flavor, scallins and basil bits

                Menu 119: bean curd with dry bean sauce

                Didnt get much of this as it was quickly consumed by the group. excellent vegetarian dish and an overall hit.

                Menu 120: Eggplant with basil

                Silky smooth prep with solid basil overtones, again, big with the vegetarians, solid choice

                Menu 136:: stir fried pea pod stems with garlic

                nice side dish, solid but a bit dull. Too many big flavors elsewhere?

                Brown rice: competent

                Total 80 usd with a 5% discount (why, not sure) : about
                75USD.out of pocket.

                Three healthy eaters ate until bursting, breakfast for all and still some in the fridge

                Impressed. Did not eat as much as i did at Winsor last weekend, but there were 9 of us for that meal (and still the check only came to 120usd) but top notch food REALLY worth checking out.

                6 Replies
                1. re: hyde

                  When you say "House Special Fish", do you mean "Mulan Fish" on the menu. #53 is "Fish Filet in Spicy Bean Sauce" on the menu and there is nothing that technically says House Special Fish, but that could be inferred with Mulan Fish. I am thinking of going there tonight and would like to make sure I get the right dish. Thanks.


                  1. re: ebone

                    Hi there. I order this dish (#53) every other week for my group at work. It's delicious. It's number 53 on the takeout menu. Enjoy!

                    1. re: kdemayo

                      Thanks. Interesting the takeout menu is different.

                      1. re: ebone

                        yeah, not sure what thats about but the dish i was writing about was indeed the "house special fish" from the takeout menu, as kdemayo said.

                        1. re: hyde

                          So, I went to Mulan last night and it appears they have changed the name on the menu from "House Special Fish" to "Mulan Fish". After going once and ending up with the wrong dish, I can confirm, after last night's meal, that those two items are the same dish. I am not sure what numbers they correspond with on takeout versus in-house menu, but they are the same. For whatever that is worth. I may have been the only one confused by this, but if not, here you go.

                      2. re: kdemayo

                        k, is it usually tilapia or does that matter to your group? i just wondered if it changes based on market availability.

                  2. Eel with sticky rice is the bomb! even though your post is over a year old.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Prav

                      I still haven't had that eel. :-(

                      1. re: KWagle

                        it was $27 last time I ordered the eel!

                        1. re: Trumpetguy

                          That's a lot. Is the eel live? Is the portion reasonable for $27? (I think the live eel from the tank at Peach Farm was only $35 or so, for a whole eel salt and pepper style, but that was many years ago.)

                            1. re: Prav

                              Seems to fluxuate a bit... market price?

                              It was delicious and I would order it again!