The Boston Phoenix
September 7 - 14, 2000

[Food Reviews]

| by restaurant | by cuisine | by location | hot links | food home |
| dining out archive | on the cheap archive | noshing & sipping archive | uncorked archive |

Fusion Express

A little marinara with your pad Thai?

by Steve Almond

on the cheap
  • Pemberton Farms, August 31
  • Herrera's Mexican Grill, August 24
  • The Seasonal Table, August 17
  • Giordani's Muffin Shoppe, August 10
  • Although Davis Square has experienced something of a restaurant boom, Asian cuisine has until recently been represented in the neighborhood only by cheap-and-greasy Chinese dives. That must help explain why Fusion Express is already packing in patrons after just a month in business.

    To start, try the shrimp rolls ($5.95), which are five succulent jumbos encased in a lightly fried wrapper and served with a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce. Other surefire openers: pan-fried dumplings stuffed with pork and vegetables, or pillowy shumai ($4.50). The "fusion" in the name is no joke: entrées include "cod fish lemon" on angel-hair pasta and "green-leaf mussel" in spicy

    But it's probably best to start off with a more orthodox selection. The shrimp in basil sauce ($7.95), an utterly delectable platter, emphasizes variety and freshness in a dizzying blend of vegetables. In addition to the standard peppers, onions, and mushrooms, you'll find tender zucchini, string beans, purple cabbage, and spinach swimming in a delicately flavored reduction. The beef with Korean sauce ($7.95) is served over a bed of chewy whole-wheat noodles and carries a nice kick, although the menu doesn't describe the dish as hot. And it boasts the same panoply of seasonal veggies, this time adding baby corn and broccoli to the mix. To wash down the hot stuff, try a glass of sweet, refreshing Thai iced tea ($1.50).

    Add in the friendly wait staff and elegant, if slightly cramped, dining room, and Fusion Express feels very much like a bargain. If this joint were across the river, you'd pay twice the price.

    Fusion Express, located at 195 Elm Street in Somerville, is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner daily from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Call (617) 623-3354.

    The On the Cheap archive