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.)
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”??
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.
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.
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