My love affair with Fu Long. I took Mme Mouse and her partner there, on Sunday. I have blogged often about his place, both here and Chowhound. I was even considering a review on Food Buzz, and thus, had my camera at the ready.
Fu Long and I have had a deeply intimate relationship for over 2 years now. I truly believe(d) it was one of the great Yum Cha experiences in Melbourne.
Except for last Sunday.
This is the first time I have been to Fu Long without one of our Asian friends. As such, we were not even offered my usual faves of chicken's feet, or duck tongue and jelly fish salad. The congee trolley just rolled on past.
(and yes, I could have hailed them, but I didn't, You'll see why soon)
The other thing was that we went to the later sitting (1pm).
The trolleys were only moving in one direction, so by the time they came to us (seated at the very end of their run, down by the fish tank), the food was cold. Even in the steam carts.
The gyoza were room temperature and overtly chewy, due to having congealed. The tofu stuffed with eggplant and prawns, which normally comes with a delicious light gravy, had turned into a congealed mess, the gravy looking like Clag. Even the shiew mai had gone rubbery by the time it came around.
Fried items, while never really high on our list were revolting. Those lovely brown crusty oval shaped thingies, stuffed with minced pork (I have no idea what they're called, but their coating is almost burnt, like an Asian version of kataifi pastry) were wilted, soggy and the congealed oil just dripped down your chin.
Fu Long changes its Yum Cha menu regularly, but I was loathe to try some of the dishes I haven't seen before, due to the quality of the preceding dishes.
And firm faves like salt and pepper calamari, chilli octopus legs, yam cakes and mango mousse were nowhere to be seen.
We off-ordered some calamari and when it arrived it was rubbery and nasty.
Anyone shed any light on this?? Was it because we went to the second sitting, so things weren't as fresh?
Is there any way to ensure we're near the beginning of the cart's run?
And oddly, as we left at about 2.45, new dishes were coming out that we hadn't seen before FROM OUR SIDE OF THE RUN... I thought a Yum Cha sitting was from 11-1 and 1-3 (at least that's what we were told when I made the booking)
I'll give it one more go, at the earlier sitting, because.. like any long-term relationship, I am prepared to turn a blind eye to a grumpy "off" day. Otherwise, I'll be in the market for a new Yum Cha relationship.