Fung’s Kitchen: Chinese, dim sum, BBQ and seafood in a new locale
In the search for the best Chinese food in town, I think I’ve narrowed my choice down to three restaurants: Chow’s, Golden Phoenix and the newly reopened and relocated Fung’s Kitchen.
In what was last Crawdaddy’s and before that Pizza Hut, Fung’s Kitchen has done a fine job of renovating the interior, but they still need to do something about the out-of-place pier decking in front. Perhaps they can expand to have some outdoor dining when the weather is nicer.
As one of our readers mentioned in our comments section on another post, you can tell a good Chinese restaurant by the quality of its chopsticks. I’m glad to report that Fung’s Kitchen has nice chopsticks and even goes so far as to include a ceramic stand for the spoon and chopsticks.
Before I go any further in this review, I must mention that the best way to truly enjoy restaurants like this is by coming with your entire family or a large group of friends. I made the mistake of ordering just the Bitter Melon Spare Ribs Hot Pot ($9.95) for dinner the other day. It was served with a bowl of rice and was good up until I was halfway done when the bitterness really started to shine through. If this were shared along with 4-6 other dishes I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the same flavors stagnating in my mouth. The dish is made of slow-cooked pork spare ribs in a black bean sauce with ginger and an herb garnish and the pork was quite tasty. I also liked how the ginger helped break up some of the bitterness towards the end.
Another time I went to Fung’s I was with just one friend. We ordered the Crab Meat and Asparagus Soup ($7.95) to start and had the Roast Duck and Roast Chicken 2 Choice BBQ Combo ($9.95) and Soft Shell Crab in Salt and Hot Pepper ($12.95). I’m not sure if the chef had a cold that day or something, but all the food seemed really bland. What made things worse is that the salt and pepper shakers have such miniscule holes that I had to literally use my entire body to get a few crystals of salt and specks of pepper out of them. Being a somewhat sodium-conscious person, I like how the food wasn’t overly salted and that I can flavor my food to taste. However, for my own sanity, I hope my next visit doesn’t require me to look like I’m having convulsions to add salt and pepper to my food.
Even with the two of us, I felt that we didn’t have the variety of dishes I typically enjoy at family-style places like Fung’s. The soup was large enough to feed at least four people. The asparagus in it isn’t your typical grocery store variety. This is the more yellowish variety and is more bitter in flavor. I’m hoping to try the West Lake Beef and Egg Swirl Soup ($6.95) the next time I visit.
The BBQ combo comes out as a plate of just meat. No sauces or garnishes, just straight meat. While on the topic of BBQ meats, this place is similar to Golden Phoenix where they have a glass display showing off the hanging cuts of pig, duck and chicken. Some might be turned off by it, but it makes me salivate every time I pass by the display.
I was really looking forward to the soft shell crab, but was a bit disappointed because it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. I was hoping for the dish to be a like a saucy-spicy garlic mixture with salted and fried crabs like I’ve had before in San Francisco and L.A. Instead, it was just salted and fried soft shell crab with slivers of hot chili peppers. Despite my failed expectations, this was by far the most flavorful of the dishes I had that day.
Now, the biggest treat is that Fung’s also offers Dim Sum on the weekends. To get in the mood for dim sum, I like to play this song on my way to eating it. It’s really all about the dim sum carts if you’re going to eat dim sum. Not only do those carts help keep the food warm, but they also keep the food moist. At Grand House, servers bring the plates out directly from the kitchen, and if they’re walking around the whole place with no interested diners, the food gets old and stale — not very appetizing. Because of this, I never even bothered eating dim sum in OKC because it tended to be cold, dry and way too salty. Now that Fung’s Kitchen is offering a dim sum alternative with carts, I’m pretty sure I’ll be eating it more often.
If you’re not into the whole dim sum thing and you decide to crave some food here, don’t worry, you can order off the regular menu as well.
Well, that’s my Fung’s experience. In spite of a few disappointments here and there, I still consider it one of my favorites for authentic Chinese in OKC. I look forward to returning with a larger group to experience a larger sharing of different tastes. Have you been to Fung’s? How was your experience? Tell us what you’ve tried and what you thought about it in the comment below.