Few things have that uneasy mixture of luxury, guilt, and controversy as king crab does. Like spot prawns now, there used to be a mad king crab season rush in the Lower Mainland. But because we can’t have nice things, king crab prices are high and supply has become questionable (and possible illegal). So on that note, we recently celebrated a family reunion of sorts with king crab. I didn’t even see a menu during this dinner. My dad and relatives ordered, my dad paid, and I ate and appreciated like a number one son.
The majority of reviews for Fortune Terrace complain about the expensive and mediocre dim sum, but very few talk about the dinner. So this post is all about dinner, which was very, very good. Like the best Cantonese cooking, it’s all about showcasing the flavour of the ingredients without being too heavy-handed with the seasoning.
Fortune Terrace is definitely a high-end restaurant. How do you know you’re at a high-end restaurant? If your eating plate is on top of another larger plate, chances are you’re at a higher-end Chinese restaurant 😉
This place is across the street from the Richmond Oval. It was a busy Sunday, with a noisy kids party booked in one of the private rooms, and a banquet in another room. We had a room for ourselves to celebrate a reunion of some relatives, our common ancestor being my great-great grandfather — or something like that. Things get fuzzy when you’re dealing with people who had multiple wives, as was common back then.
As good as the dinner was, I can’t picture myself coming here if it wasn’t for older Chinese person instigating it.
NOTE: since I didn’t see a menu, I’m just making up the dish names and I’m not specifying prices. Safe to say that I’m not inviting you here any time soon.
The XO sauce was jam-packed and bottomless. Mini freak-out.
I hardly ever touch the peanuts.
Today’s alternative drink was watermelon juice. Tasted like what watermelon whipped up in a blender would taste like, unstrained.
Truffle Chicken. I’ve only had this dish maybe a couple times in the past, once at Chef Tony for sure. That version had the pungency of truffle oil. This version was actually pleasantly subtle and rounded flavour and aroma, with specks of black truffle. I have no idea what grade or origin of truffles are used in Chinese restaurants. I really doubt it’s the best or even “real”. But as a dish, this ate very well.
Seafood in a Basket Thingy. Sea cucumber meat, scallops, snap peas, etc in a fried lacy basket thing that tasted like rice vermicelli fried up. Subtle seasoning. It’s all about the natural sweetness of the seafood, which was cooked just right. The sea cucumber meat had a nice crunchy chew.
Butterflied Prawns and Vermicelli Hot Pot. The glass noodles soaked up some great flavour. The prawns weren’t as bouncy and juicy as I’d like, but overall ok.
One of our relatives is a huge fan of siu yuk (Chinese roast pork), so my parents and I went on a quest beforehand to find some good stuff to bring. Landmark and Parker Place were both sold out, but luckily our third stop had it:
So in some weird arrangement with the restaurant, we were able to bring in a big slap of roast pork and they cut it up and served it for us:
All the layers of skin, fat, and meat accounted for. If you’ve had HK BBQ Master before, you know about that crispy skin! You just need to deal with the half an hour lineup!
Tender Beef Cubes with Eggplant. This dish looks and almost tastes like Vietnamese Bo Luc Lac. Wicca said that it looked like some Vietnamese chef invaded the kitchen. Really tender meat. It’s probably tenderloin. I don’t recall getting that “tenderizer” feeling from it.
Yu Choy in Broth. Simple and clean. I’m not sure what those slivers on top were.
Yes, Asians love taking pictures of their food. So very celebratory. This king crab was probably 10 pounds and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the heartstopping $40+ per pound range.
King Crab Legs Steamed with Garlic. Served atop fresh rice noodles and a clear light broth.
This was damn good. Sweet crab meat. Copious garlic surprisingly enhanced rather than masked. The silky fresh rice noodles were a very nice subtle foil for the crab, having taken on the sweet, clean flavour of the broth and garlic.
Deep Fried King Crab Knuckles. Thin, crisp, flavourful coating. Meat still sweet and succulent inside. Plenty of fried garlic underneath there. Pretty easy to get at the meat inside every piece, with the provided fork.
Kang Kong with Fermented Tofu. Done well. No complaints. Stems still crunchy and good amount of fermented tofu (fuyu) flavour.
[ imagine a steamed fish dish here ]
If you’re not quick with the camera, the lazy susan gets whipped around and you miss your photo 🙁
We think the fish was a grey mullet. The flesh was moist and flaky, simply steamed and seasoned with soy sauce and scallion oil.
As per Chinese tradition, you will have already hit the wall a couple dishes before the fried rice arrives. This was their Truffle Fried Rice that smelled mostly of ginger rather than truffle, which took a distant back seat. Technically a great fried rice with discreet separated grains and a fluffy texture.
Fancy carved fruit.
Red Bean Soup to finish off. Wicca said it looks like they use Japanese adzuki beans to make this because they beans were smaller and had a smoother texture. Flavourwise it was standard.
On the whole, dinner was great. No obvious mistakes or overseasoning. Service was great (possibly due to having a private room). I’d say you have to be rich to eat here though…the clientelle feels as such. Is this better than other high-end Chinese restaurants? I have no idea (other than it’s definitely better than Bandao Pearl).