Tuesday 10 June 2008

**sigh** I think it might be over....

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?

New management?

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.


stickyfingers said...

There's nothing like a cold, gluggy Yum Cha to dampen the spirits.

The deep fried glutinous pastry footballs stuffed with water chestnut, shitake & minced pork are called Ham Sui Gok (Ham is pronounced 'harm'). As for the other quezzies NFI.

Go to New Royal Garden in Syndal instead, it's consistent and always full of Chinkies like my father and his Tai Chi group. They also like the one in Springvale upstairs in the Mall for Dim Sum - Gold Leaf, I think...

thanh7580 said...

Your yum cha experience didn't sound so good Ella. Maybe it was because you weren't with your Asian friends and they didn't think you would want any of those food. Reverse racism hehehe. Normally, even if you're at the end of the run, the food is still piping hot. I'm not sure what's going on there.

If you want your food the freshest it can get, you can place an order with the waiter for all the stuff you know you want. They will then go to the kitchen and grab all those things for you.

As Sticky said, New Royal Garden is quite good. They are cheap too, a bonus. Gold Leaf is Springvale is also very cheap and not too bad. But I really like East Dynasty in Eastland shopping centre, opposite the cinema on the third level. I reckon they make some of the best things. Their chicken feet, ham sui gok, hu tou gok (taro crusted dumplings), har cheung, har gow and ngou jarp (mixed cow offal) is the best out of the many yum cha's I have tried.

Brandi Reynolds said...

okay all that stuff sounds disgusting to me (ha!), but I totally understand the disappointment. It's like one of my fave restaurants here in Dallas-as soon as I find my favorite dish-the thing I always want to order, they take it off teh menu. Geez.

Jazz said...

Yum Cha? Is that what they call Dim Sum here?

Chicken feet are faves of yours? You'll have to explain why to me some day.

purple goddess said...

Jazz and Dallas, I can't even begin to explain to you the sheer unctuous artistry, the orgasmic mouth bliss, that are chicken's feet.

If you can get past the fact that they look pretty much juuuuuuuust like the sound, then you are in for one of the great taste/texture combos in THE WORLD. They are chewystickycrispy chicken-y goodness. You suck all the meat off the bones, and delicately spit out the bones (and there are plenty of them!)

My kids grew up on them.. The don't even flinch anymore when I pick one up in my chopstick and make it wave at them, while exclaiming "It's da CRAW!"

We're heading back this Sat with Asian friends, and I'll give it another shot.. but if it's crap, that's it.. New Royal Garden will be my new love.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Thanh regarding East Dynasty. Pretty good.

grocer said...

I feel your pain.

grocer said...

I feel your pain.

grocer said...

I feel your pain.

grocer said...

I feel your pain.

grocer said...

I feel your pain.