Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How I ate The Queen of Jellyfish in Queens

If you’ve tried jellyfish once, you’re a newbie. If you’ve tried jellyfish in three different dishes in one evening, that’s what I call a real accomplishment.

And that’s what we did at the last Gastronauts outing at Waterfront International Enterprises, Inc. (A.K.A. Fu Run) @ 40-09 Prince Street, Flushing, Queens. Do you need any more reason than Jellyfish Three Ways to spend 2.5 hours in the subway? Nope, you really don’t.

Fu Run was packed with roughly 60 gastronauts by the time Kevin, his girlfriend Jess and I arrived. We started with bottles of Tsingtao (the restaurant quickly ran out of them, and we had to make do with pitchers of Bud Light) and skin jelly (we still have no idea what that is).

The menu was shockingly long (16 courses), and not a single item could have been considered usual fare by any means. A few things on there were downright mysterious – is tiger vegetable a piece of a tiger? what is blotch soup?

The star of the evening, of course, was the jellyfish. Crunchy and absolutely tasteless, jellyfish is like tofu – it will taste like anything you put on it. Jellyfish with hot sauce tasted like crunchy noodles of hot sauce, jellyfish with scallion mostly tasted like crunchy scallion.

The Prom Queen of Jellyfish Dishes was Jellyfish Leg – gorgeous to the sight and completely vapid on the inside. I took many photos of this beautiful thing but got absolutely nothing out of it when I actually stuffed it in my mouth.

My favorite item on the menu was stew of miscellaneous fish with home style cookies. This dish was delicious, beautifully presented and filling. It really felt like a friend’s grandma made this stuff. On the other side of the spectrum, the least tasty dish on the menu was lamb stomach - it felt like a sheep was hanging under my nose while I was eating a goopy piece of meat.

Highlight of the outing: pics of me eating agaric ended up on the Gastronauts website and I got an email from Gastronauts founder Curtiss letting me know that I looked like his high school sweetheart.... maybe next time dinner will be on him? I'll make sure not to bring my boyfriend ;-)

Rating (1-10)
Presentation: 8 (Jellyfish legs are sexy)
Taste: 4 (It is absolutely tasteless!)
Texture: 7 (Crunchy!)
Price: Jellyfish on its own is probably a pretty cheap thing to eat (just go to Brighton Beach, catch some and cook it at home), but the overall 16-course meal was $50.
Will I ever go back to Flushing again? Only for live baby octopus.

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