A little marinara with your pad Thai?
by Steve Almond
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
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