Downtown Lunch: Getting the “Chicken” at Fuleen Seafood

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (ensuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)

Downtown Lunch: Fuleen Seafood

Fuleen Seafood is located on Division street, in the heart of Chinatown. Upon entering you’ll usually find the place packed- people love the food here, from the locals to the adventurous tourist. I used to eat here every once in awhile because I loved the chicken curry… that and a few of the shrimp dishes. They have 70 lunch specials for $5.50. I think if the price has changed in the past few years it’s only gone up 50 cents or so.

For lunch you get an extremely generous serving of your main dish, rice, and the complimentary “house” soup. I always try to eat the soup (it’s free after all), but I just can’t get myself to like it. It has a very potent taste and a bit of rank odor if you ask me. I believe when I asked about it they said there was pork, vegetables, and a cantonese herb called Harbor? Never heard of it… and I probably misunderstood. Maybe she was just saying “herbs”??

Downtown Lunch: Fuleen Seafood

Anyway the soup is not my favorite thing there- but the shrimp in garlic sauce with peanuts is another story. You get an enormous portion and it’s quite tasty, so who really needs the soup.

Downtown Lunch: Fuleen Seafood

But shrimp in garlic sauce is not my go to dish. In fact, I used to go to Fuleen pretty often and ordered the chicken curry almost exclusively. This when on for awhile, until one day the chicken just tasted strange. It didn’t taste bad or gross… just strange. And it didn’t taste like chicken. It had a spongy, chewy consistency almost like some kind of pressed soy product they were trying to pass off as chicken. So I stopped going. But this week I went back to try the chicken curry one more time.

Downtown Lunch: Fuleen Seafood

It wasn’t on the menu, but the lady said they could make it for me. It comes in a well balanced smooth curry, not too spicy and loaded with onions, scallions, and some shavings of jalepeno peppers. A tasty curry indeed… but what about the chicken? Well I have to say that it tasted the same way I remembered it (from the bad times.) I even had a friend try it, who agreed that this was not chicken. So I double dog dare you (bad choice of words?) to go there and check it out. Let me know what you think…

Or just go and get one of the shrimp dishes. The shrimp with chili is also quite good, and I like how they give you some pineapple and a fortune cookie after your meal.

Fuleen Seafood, 11 Division Street, 212-941-6888

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • Tofu? Tofu Curry? That shrimp in garlic sauce is making me hungry.

  • That’s $5.50? That’s ridiculously cheap.

  • I don’t understand: you order chicken, you receive something other than chicken, and you don’t say a word.
    You then ask other people to go there and endure the same experience so they can “let you know” what they think.

    Here’s a gem of an idea: why not just ask them what happened to the chicken while it’s still in front of you?

  • DDR you’re full of gem ideas I’m sure. It was a joke relax..

    I did ask in an innocent way to the waiter (she may have been the manager) “Is this tofu?” and she said “uhh no chicken curry”.

  • the dog joke was also in poor taste.

  • That’s the beef curry. It’s on the menu. The reason it has that texture is because of a pretty standard “velvetting” process that involves coating the meat in corn starch before it gets put in the wok (this is also the reason why their shrimp is usually nicely cooked yet never over dried).

    Other things on the menu there that are worth getting (as lunch specials) are the broiled tunny (small fish), the ma po tofu (tofu with pickled root vegetables and black bean sauce… and peas), the clams in black bean sauce (might be off the menu).

    It’s even better for dinner, though slightly more expensive. The fried rice with dried scallops is amazing, as are the whole fish and the crab. It’s basically the most authentic “Hong Kong-style” seafood restaurant in the city that I’ve been to (I was born in and have lived in HK).

  • DC – it definitely does look authentic and I’ve always seen a lot of people eating the clams..and some other Cantonese food that I’m probably not adventurous enough to order.

    The photo there is actually chicken curry, not beef curry..I ordered it off the menu.. but that’s interesting to hear about the corn starch coating, which might explain the texture and flavor.

  • There’s a thousand of these restaurants in chinatown… There are better picks than restaurants on division st.

  • Actually Ryuri this is one of the most popular Chinatown restaurants and you’ll even find some of the bigger name NYC chefs chowing down here. So I’m guessing you’ve either never eaten there.

  • Daniel – I hadn’t noticed that they have a chicken curry. Live and learn…

    I’ve always wanted to get the raw Geoduck platter, but haven’t mustered the courage for it. It looks amazing.

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