"Fung Shing", Mong Kok - Surprisingly delectable 'Shun Tak' Meal.
- Charles Yu Mar 28, 2013 06:49 PM
My last dinner in Hong Kong was spend with my brother, his family and relatives. He proposed that we give Fung Shing's 'Shun Tak' style of cooking a try. Heard a lot about the restaurant but never eaten there, I was full of anticipation.
As for the cuisine, the region of Shun Tak is one of the founding places of authentic Cantonese cooking. A number of their famous classic dishes like the 'Stirred fry milk and egg white with crab meat' requires a high level of skill to execute it properly. For a restaurant to put some of the dishes on the menu is a reflection of the kitchen's competency! We'll see??!!!
Every person in our party was given the task of picking an individual dish based on one's own liking. Here are the results:
- Shrimp on Toast
- Fried minced Dace pom-pom with fermented salted
clams dipping sauce.
- Marinated pig's intestine and shredded Jelly
- Lettuce wrap with stirred fry minced Partridge
meat and crunchy vegetables. Hoi Sin Sauce
- Stirred fry Milk and Egg white with Crab meat.
- House special assorted mushrooms petite stirred
- Whole Crispy Skin Fried Chicken
- Stirred fru Gai-Lan with ginger and Chinese
- 'Fung Shing' Prawn Dumplings in Soup
Stand out dishes included the smokey wok-hay Partridge lettuce wrap, the silky smooth milk and egg, the ultra crunchy shrimp toast and the nicely seasoned and crispy skin chicken. However, IMO, the star of the evening definitely goes to the simply prepared but complex tasting and full of wok-hay mushroom dish! A rare 'wow'!!
Rest of the dishes were all more than acceptable.
Unfortunately, there was a surprising disappointment! The 'Fung Shing' Prawn Dumpling was a flop with one-dimensional tasting soup and uninteresting dumpling filling. May be they should take a page from CWB's Bamboo Room's excellent rendition.
All in all a very enjoyable meal featuring some famous yet becoming harder and harder to find dishes.
BTW, to those who devour the entire pig's intestine dish, I believe a cholesterol check is in order! Ha!
This chain is probably a good entry level into Shunde cuisine.
If you know someone who is a member, they say 順德聯誼總會Shun Tak Fraternal Association is very good. Probably a better dining experience and better service.
順德公漁村河鮮酒家Shun De Kung Seafood Restaurant might be a more authentic seafood experience. One of the dishes I want to try there is 龍吐珠釀魚肉. It's a dace like kind of dish, where they make delicate fish meatballs out of the body then rearrange it back on the plate with the carcass and the head. I believe Tung Po did something like that before (and they rest the fish meatballs on top of tofu that soaks up the steamed fish soy sauce), which is actually a Shunde style dish. Much more interesting than the version akin to a stuffed "fish meatloaf" where they take a whole dace, empty its body cavity, turn it into a fish paste with other ingredients and re-stuff its body cavity, then fry it.
Hard to go wrong with the Mong Kok or flagship North Point locations for this restaurant. Did you ever have shrimp toast at Luk Yu, curious how their rendition compares to Fung Shing. It is said that you could preorder a variant of the shrimp toast, but instead substituting for sturgeon.
I didn't eat here but did pass by the Causeway Bay branch, and noted a ton of fresh river fish and seafood imported from Shunde/Shun Tak, some too humongous to fit in the tank but I'm sure are quite delicious.
A book once showcased Fung Shing's famous shark fin soup dumpling, where they do it the old fashioned way of stuffing the shark fin soup inside the duck egg skin, all wrapped together. Wonder if they still serve that. It's a rendition I have not had in 30+ years. Apparently Fung Shing also does a good baked sago pudding, and whole winter melon soup.
re: Charles Yu
I see - a duck's egg skin variation on the 'Yu qi goon tong gao" (鱼翅灌汤饺). For some reason, I kept picturing a boneless whole duck stuffed with braised sharksfin. Probably because I once had the "whole boneless chicken stuffed with sharksfin" dish at the Golden Peony restaurant, Conrad Hotel Singapore - it serves 10 persons.
re: Charles Yu
The traditional Phoenix City Shui Gow receipe (not talking about the restaurant) 鳳城水餃 had a signature of using duck eggs for the dumpling skin that gave out its signature golden brown color. I am not clear if duck eggs are used for the Fung Shing shark fin dumpling skin, but it's dark golden brown enough that we can be inclined to conclude as such.
As far as noodles go, yes Hong Kong style bamboo noodles for the most part use duck eggs, which they say gives it a more "tooth bounce feel", aka 彈牙 which is sometimes said to be the Cantonese version of al dente....or I joke about local media overusing this term like Taiwanese using QQ to describe tapioca/boba milk tea (or even raw squid), and shorten it to "al 彈牙". Lau Sam Kee and I believe Wing Wah, and Ping Kee as covered by Josh Tse/Anthony Bourdain, use duck eggs in their noodles.
But if you go to Macau, the bamboo pole noodle restaurants use chicken eggs (I don't know about HK branch of Wong Chee Kee which is from Macau originally). Also 坤記竹昇麵 (Kwun Kee Bamboo Pole Noodle), in Cheung Sa Wan, reportedly uses chicken eggs, and does not have that "彈牙" feel to it.
As far as the non bamboo pole noodle shops (or shops that are not known as such) like the Maks and Ho's and Tasty's, I don't know what they use. But basically most noodles in HK, even the mediocre ones, taste so much better than in California and arguably other parts of the USA for sure (I cannot speak for Toronto since I have not visited since 2003...)
re: K K
Apart from a 'Mak An Kee' branch in Vancouver's Richmond district, I doubt there is any place in North America that churns out a decent bowl of the noodles?!
Here in Toronto, the best outfit has decent broth ( using roasted dried tile fish and shrimp eggs ) and fine thread ,al-dente noodles but the won-tons are 'golf ball' size ( to satisfy the looking for value-for-money customers ) and IMO, renders the product non authentic.
re: Charles Yu
Is Mak An Kee in Vancouver really an official/authorized branch of the one in Hong Kong, or just in name only? I doubly ask this because Toronto, San Francisco for example are famous for using known "brand names" from Hong Kong for eateries that have no affiliation whatsoever. For example where I live not too far away there is a Luk Yu seafood restaurant but of course it's just a name. And probably not too far from you is a Ding Tai Fung that is not an official branch of the Taipei global export (I noticed it's Ding Tai Fung, possibly to reflect the Cantonese enunciation and not Din Tai Fung). We had an official SF branch of Hui Lau Shan at one point, that also opened one in NY and I think LA, but HQ probably didn't feel the quality was up to snuff and disowned them, and finally there was another one in SF that did keep the name, but they changed owners, although kept the concept. Also, after having Master Hung beef noodles in Irvine Califonia (a North American branch of the Taiwanese export), I was doubly disappointed in the execution.