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A feast at Fuloon in Malden

Dave MP | Feb 12, 201208:35 AM

I am getting ready to leave Boston, and had a big quasi-farewell dinner at Fuloon the other night. There were a lot of us, so we had the back room (which I booked in advance), and it was great. Lots of food at an affordable price. Everything was good, and some things were GREAT. Here's the rundown, roughly in the order that things arrived at the table:

Cold appetizer platter - Very nice presentation of 5 cold dishes: jellyfish, tofu with shrimp, cucumber, tripe and bang-bang chicken. All were very good, and several non-tripe-fans enjoyed the tripe. The jellyfish was particularly good I thought, with a strong sesame flavor and a nice bite to the strips of jellyfish, and the bang bang chicken had a big kick.

Pork pancake - Also really good, somewhat reminiscent of the beef scallion pancakes at Taiwan Cafe or JoJo, but a bit thicker. These disappeared quickly.

Scallion pancake - Many dining companions liked these, but I personally didn't think they were that special. Perfectly fine though.

Hot & spicy wonton - Very spicy, with lots of chili oil and chili flakes and sichuan peppercorn. Wontons themselves were not too special, and were a bit on the firm-flavorless side. But the sauce was great, so this dish was also a hit. Not as good as the version at Sichuan Gourmet, but not far off.

Peking Duck - This came with pancakes (enough for everyone to have one), hoisin sauce, cucumber, scallion and the duck itself. I planned on one duck being enough for 12 people, but it really isn't. In the future, I would order 1 duck for every 8 people (even if it's just an appetizer), since everyone only ended up with a small amount of duck. And it was very good, especially the crispy pieces of skin.

Chili Pepper Fish - This dish was a whole steamed tilapia, with a slightly spicy sauce. I didn't try too much of this one, but people seemed to like it.

Sichuan Fish - A fried whole tilapia in a spicy sauce. This was good, although I thought the tilapia tasted a bit muddy. I wasn't wowed by it compared to some other things we tried, but it was a nice presentation and people enjoyed it.

Diced chicken w/ dates and chestnuts - I personally find this dish a little too sweet, but others liked it. Definitely different than what you see on most Chinese menus in the area, so it was nice to include this dish.

Starch noodles w/ pork - Wide bean starch noodles with a slightly sour, spicy sauce made with ground pork. I thought this was excellent, and unlike most noodle dishes you can get in the area. The combination of flavors somehow tasted light to me - this reminded me of noodle dishes I ate in Southern China.

Pork with bean curd ribbons (bean curd leaf with pork) - This was another favorite of mine. Sweet sauce over braised pork belly and tofu ribbons. I like this dish in general, and thought this version was quite good - I love the chewy textures of the tofu bowties.

Kung Pao Shrimp - This was made with very small shrimp, which I thought were fine. Nothing too special about this dish for me, but it was nicely made. The kung pao sauce was on the sweet side.

Wok baked beef - Nice presentation in the sizzling wok, and a rich savory flavor to the beef. Lots of scallions as well. Very rich and delicious, but maybe not worth *that* much hype.

Chicken with broccoli - Plain and nothing special.

Watercress - Simple stir-fried vegetable. I thought this was good.

Sichuan beef - Huge hotpot filled with beef, cabbage, celery in a broth with TONS of chili and Sichuan peppercorn. It was very spicy, even compared to versions of this dish elsewhere (Sichuan Gourmet, Gourmet Dumpling House, New Shanghai). The piece of beef I had was slightly tough, so I wasn't super impressed, but others seemed to really be enjoying this.

Garlic Eggplant - This was my favorite dish of the evening, and I think several others agreed. Eggplant was tender and soft, with a rich flavor (sort of like the braised eggplant at cantonese dim sum), and then was topped with loads of garlic. This dish was described in the Chowdown thread from a while back: (and that meal was part of the inspiration for my meal). So I'm glad people talked about that eggplant, which is now on the menu...seems like it wasn't back in 2010.

Sour Spicy cabbage - I liked this, but I think I would have preferred a dryer version. This version had a fair amount of sauce (which was more sour than spicy). But still good.

Tofu with special sauce - This dish consisted of soft tofu (in a bowl) with a spicy Sichuan chili sauce. I liked this more than I expected to, and was nice that it was vegetarian (for some reason it seemed like it might have pork in it, but didn't).

Homestyle tofu - Good rendition, but nothing too special.

Pork with bean sprouts - Simple preparation, tasty but nothing too exciting.

Overall, a very good meal. Staff were helpful and friendly, and I would definitely bring a big group back here again. If I were to go with a smaller group (say, 4 people), I think I would order my favorite things: pork pancakes, jellyfish, bean starch noodles w/ pork, pork with tofu, eggplant with garlic and sauteed greens. While a bit pork heavy, this would be an excellent meal I think. And also, I would definitely recommend the Peking duck for those who are looking for a good place to have this.

A great last big Chinese meal in Boston with good friends and good food!

Dave MP

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