A few days before New Year’s, my mom and I went to our favorite place to get a nice pre-fixe meal for a decent price. Mulan is a Eastern/Western fusion restaurant in Queens Crossing, a sort-of half-Asian / half-American shopping center smack dab in Flushing. We first came to this place to have a meal after I took my SATs in junior year approximately three and a half years ago. At that time, it was brand new and seemed like a good alternative to the crowded dim sum place across the street. Their pre-fixe lunch exceeded our expectations and we’ve been coming here for a cheap “fancy” lunch ever since. Their regular menu isn’t anything special to scream about but having paid less than $20 for an appetizer, soup, entree and small dessert per person after tax and tip, their pre-fixe is a pretty decent meal.
Their menu changes seasonally but I somehow always end up choosing similar items (what can I say, I love beef). I chose the Thai jellyfish salad, the seafood pumpkin soup and the wok fried beef with mushroom. My mom ordered the Vietnamese crab roll, the Tuscan bean soup and the light spicy wok fried fish filet.
Our soups came out first and shortly after our appetizers came out.
The Tuscan bean soup tasted like a minestrone, with the usual ingredients such as carrots, celery and beans. My mom isn’t exactly fond of Western-type soups so she didn’t really like it but I thought it was pretty good.
My seafood pumpkin soup was an interesting kind of soup, definitely a fusion soup. The soup was sort of a light pumpkin puree with tofu, shrimp, scallops and corn. The soup was nice and light and I enjoyed the ingredients in it but I couldn’t really taste any pumpkin. Although, that might just be because most of my experiences with pumpkin includes a lot of cinnamon and I might just be confusing the two tastes.
My Thai jellyfish salad came out and was as cold and refreshing as it always is. The salad is a combination of jellyfish, cucumber strips, tomatoes and red onions in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce plated on a lettuce leaf. The jellyfish and cucumbers had a nice crunch to them and the sauce was a good dressing.
The Vietnamese crab roll was absolutely fantastic. The outside “skin” was a crisscrossing net of batter and was fried to crispy perfection. I don’t even know how they could have made the outside that way but I really loved the presentation. I’m not even really sure what was on the inside since I pretty much devoured the roll but I definitely tasted crab so that’s a good sign. There was a sort of mayo dressing on the roll, which gave a nice contrast to the crispy skin but I probably would’ve like the roll alone as well.
At this point, our complementary fruit drinks came around. These are always one of my favorite parts of the meal. It’s a juice drink made of apples and strawberries and it is fantastic. They give you a cute mini bubble tea straw to suck the pieces of apples out and I always find it fun to do when they’ve all bunched up at the bottom after you finish the juice. What can I say? The child in me loves it!
The spicy fish filet came out and was served in a very red sauce with scallions, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo and fried garlic. Despite it’s color, it wasn’t very spicy but had a bit of a nice kick to it. The fish was very tender and the mushrooms were incredibly juicy. My mom would’ve preferred something a lot spicier but I liked it well enough. There was a lot of sauce in the dish and it gave the bowl of rice the entree comes with a nice flavor.
My beef with mushrooms was fantastic. It was cooked in a soy-based sauce with copious amounts of white mushrooms and Chinese celery. The beef was tender and the mushrooms were also juicy. I was actually surprised at how much mushrooms I got; every time I went to get more, there was still more spoonfuls waiting to be eaten. A great dish with good portions and I would definitely get this again in the future.
The end of the pre-fixe meals always come with a sort of gelatin-like dessert. It comes in different flavors depending on the months and this one was coconut flavored. I’m not fond of coconut flavoring but the portion of this is small enough that it’s still pleasant to eat without becoming too much. They once had red-bean chocolate though and I thought that was really well done. Hopefully it’ll be put back on rotation the next time I go there!
Overall, it was a nice, quiet meal in a nice restaurant for a good price. It’s got a nice variety of different dishes that touch upon mostly Eastern but also a little Western characteristics and makes for an enjoyable afternoon.
Rating: 4.2 / 5.0