Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant open
Fortune is the new restaurant in the former Kim Son location at the Chinatown Center. The menu seems to embrace authentic Cantonese dishes as well as other favorites including American Chinese standards. For example, a very good fragrantly peppery hot-and-sour soup preceded a lunch portion of the best salt-and-pepper shrimp I've had in town in years. They were very lightly battered. The shells were so thin and crisp, you could eat the entire shrimp from head to tail. They were not oily, not too salty, no trace of coconut anything. It would have been nice to use some black and/or white pepper for spice instead of relying on jalapeno.
The menu includes some high-dollar "wedding banquet" items, like shark's fin soup.
At the listed prices ($40-$50 per serving), I would assume that it's the real deal.
I went there for dim sum today. They were busy as could be. Went at 12:30 and waited 25 minutes to be seated even though their dining area is so huge. They were packed. The dim sum was very good, but I would say Shang Hai dim sum is better in quality and Shang Hai has the dim sum service down to a T---service is good there. (I also like T.S. but they sometimes have a greasy spoon join quality about them, so my point of reference for great dim sum is Shang Hai for now)
The waiters at Fortune were all nice but the carts didn't make the rounds well enough, we saw some carts skipping us and we and the table sitting next to us kept having to call them over. So even though the people were nice, we had to wait a long time for the carts to come around and some of them skipped us. We had Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, curry squid, fried tofu stuffed with prawn, prawn crystal dumpling, prawn roll in tofu wrapper skin, black Chinese mushroom cheung fun, stir fried banh cuon/cheung fun noodle with dried shrimp (freakin fabulous dish!), seasoned beef tripe, green colored sesame ball, taro bun, and I can't remember if there was anything else. Everything was good, really good. With the exception of the curried squid, which was over cooked but seasoned well, and the seasoned beef tripe which was too bland. Also, the sesame ball was completely cold and so its oilyness was apparent. They do have 3 kinds of sesame balls with 3 types of fillings, though. But the rest was quite good, high quality dim sum items. They definately need to expand their dim sum offerings, though. A lot of my fave dim sum dishes were not available there.
They are owned by the same family who own the market there and own Pho Saigon (if I am not mistaken they also own the shopping center), and they have been running businesses in Austin for years and have good business sense, so I am sure that they will improve as the growing pains of opening smooth out. The Kim Son venture was a big disaster and not run well, and the owners did not pay attention to quality despite criticisms they recieved, that is why the place was not successful, so I don't think the location itself is bad luck...Fortune is sure to have good Fortune and become a staple dim sum place. I know I'll be back there.