Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant - 7 Help Street, Chatswood

It was my Mum's birthday a few weeks ago and to keep it  traditional we went for Chinese at the long standing Fook Yuen restaurant.   We hadn't been here for quite a few years and thought we'd go there for a change.  It is a big restaurant and reminds me of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong.  They are decorated quite ornately in a deep red colour with dark wooden chairs and big tables with lazy susans on each.  The service is also reminiscent of those restaurants too as there is a waiter that brings the food to the table and another waiter to serve it individually for you.  It's great!  Dad gets a rest tonight! 

First up is the free pork soup.  A clear broth of pork bones and greens with some other Chinese herbs/berries that I don't know the name of.  All Chinese soups are supposed to be healthy and help some organ or function of your body.  This soup was really refreshing and just the right amount of saltiness.  Usually they can be a bit watery. 8/10.

First entree was deep fried school prawns.  I hadn't eaten prawns like this for a while and they were  just delicious.  The heads were crunchy but I did have to make sure I chewed very well before swallowing as I was scared to have some pointy prawn leg scratch my throat.  The chunks of garlic and chilli coated the prawns along with a really thin coating of batter.   It could've done with a another minute in the oil.  7.5/10.

Second entree was steamed scallops with ginger, shallots and coriander.  One of my all time seafood dish faves.  My two little round plump morsels of scallopy goodness are hidden somewhere under all that greenry and shreds of ginger.  I was hoping the scallops would be a bit bigger, but they still tasted amazing.  What makes everything work is the sweet light soy.  I love this entire combo.  I could eat a dozen!  7.5/10.

Pippis in XO sauce with vermicelli.  This is truly a delicious and hearty dish.  The pippis are in abundance and eating them with the soft and crispy bits of vermicelli and chilli makes it a dish I could eat every week.  This is when I actually like the consistency of "Chinese" gravy.  8/10. 

First part of this fresh fish dish.  It is coral trout stir-fired with sugar snap peas, Chinese chive, carrot and ginger.  The fish is quite a hard fish and has what I would say a medium strength of fishiness flavour.  This dish is served with oyster sauce on the side which you just spoon on a little at a time on the chunks of fish.  The sugar snaps are crunchy as and I love Chinese chive, it adds another level to the dish.  7.5/10.

The second part of the dish is all the yucky bits of the fish,  fish maw steamed, which are tasty but not my cup of tea.  This is mostly Dad's dish.  I did eat a piece of the tofu though, again this is a dish with the yummy sweet light soy sauce.  This, I spoon all over my white steamed rice which we are all eating with our dishes.  5/10.

Spinach and shitake mushrooms.  This is quite a generous sized vege dish.  The mushrooms are soft and intense with shitake flavour.  The spinach is quite light in taste but with the sauce it's a good version of a standard dish. 6/10.

This is deep fried tofu.  I would call it an Asian tofu fritter.  It has Chinese sausage inside and bits of mushroom and shallots.  The tofu is soft and fluffy inside and the batter is very very light and crispy on the outside.  Again this dish comes with dipping sauce which I forgot to take a pic of.  It is a gravy consistency mostly made of oyster sauce and cornflour.  My sister loves this dish and we always get it and this one is quite a good rendition of it.  I only had one, they went pretty quickly.  8.5/10.  

Black pepper stir fried beef.  Chunks of beef stir fried with lots and lots of black pepper, mushrooms and sugar snap peas.  The beef was nice and tender, I was getting pretty full but I ate quite a bit of this anyway as I love black pepper.  8/10.

Dessert is this sweet red bean soup.  A common dessert in Chinese restaurants, again this is free.  So all you non Chinese diners should always ask for the free soup and dessert at dinner time if you don't do so already.  This dessert was bordering on the watery side.  I like this red bean dessert when it's a bit thicker.  5.5/10.

We also got a plate of biscuits.  I didn't eat any as I was full and I find these a bit dry. 

You should definitely try Fook Yuen if you are on the North side to experience some fine Chinese fare with matching service that you don't usually find elsewhere.

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