Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fu Rong 映水芙蓉 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Spicy Joint (辛香匯), the famous spicy Szechuan cuisine brand from Shanghai, who operates no less than a dozen branches across China and Sydney, has quietly opened a new flagship restaurant at Harbour City late last year. 

Like all restaurants at OTE (Ocean Terminal Extension), this flagship restaurant Fu Rong (映水芙蓉) boasts a stunning harbour view. Too bad we picked the wrong week to come and check this place out.

Anyone who thinks Fu Rong is going to be another typical traditional Sichuan restaurant would be very disappointed because not every dish here is fiery hot and there are a lot of clever, contemporary touches added to the classic recipes.

Personally, I am not particularly fond of spicy food although I eat them occasionally. So, I'm trying to figure out how to strike a balance (of spicy and non-spicy food) when I place the order.

Stuffed cherry tomato, walnut, mayo (核桃沙律釀小蕃茄) - I didn't expect a welcome dish from the kitchen so this was a pleasant surprise. The cherry tomato stuffed with a small walnut salad, did exactly what an amuse bouche should do - to stimulate one's appetite and it did exactly that. Very nice start.

Thin-sliced pork belly, cucumber, garlic marmalade (蒜泥白肉) ($118) - Jelloman's favorite appetizer so I knew I had to order this.

Slices of cucumber were wrapped inside the pork belly topped with radish and garlic marmalade. I think there's a bit of peanut flavors in there too. Not bad and surprisingly, not spicy at all.

Bon bon chicken, chili oil, handmade sugar mold (敲糖棒棒雞) ($88) - I saw this on almost every ad and review about this restaurant so I would assume it's a signature dish. Of course, there's really nothing special about this chicken dish if it's not for the handmade sugar mold sitting on top.

As soon as I finished taking photos, our server crashed the sugar mold and started mixing everything together. Even with the sugar, I thought it was pretty spicy. Decent but not sure if it could be classified as a signature dish.

Kung Bao shrimps, cashew nuts, chili (宮保大蝦球) ($268) - They did a poor job stir-frying the shrimps and because of that, they were not crispy enough on the outside.

Poached sweet potato shoots, fried sakura shrimps, rice soup (櫻花蝦米湯蕃薯苗) ($138) - Since none of us was a big fan of spicy food, we were all quite happy to see this dish arrive. Because we all knew the poached veggies won't be spicy!!!

The poached sweet potato shoots were served with sakura shrimps and something like a light rice porridge.

Cheng du dan dan noodles, ground pork, bean sprouts (成都擔擔麵) ($48) - Pretty tasty although I did enjoy the local twist with peanut sauce a little more.

Squid ink dumplings, pork (山水墨魚餃) ($138) - The Chinese name suggested the resemblance to Chinese painting (drawn with ink?) but I just don't see the connection there.

And I don't see how these dumplings worth $138 either.

A lot of dishes with fancy names and "over-the-moon" presentations (that's what they think!) but ultimately, it's the taste that really counts. In that case, this is just an average modern Sichuan restaurant with a view. That's all I can say.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop OTE 201, 2/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2388-2008

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