Monday, November 3, 2008

Ooo Ooo Fu Fu

Hello, my friends, we meet again. Sorry for the delay in updates. Thanks to everyone who's been hanging in there.

The wife and I visited one of Houston's Bellaire Chinatown's fine dining establishments. I specify Bellaire Chinatown because according to the highway signs, the traffic officials still think Houston's Chinatown is near downtown. Despite being out of touch, I'm sure they're good people and they mean well. Any how, the wife had been here with a coworker, liked it and here we are interacting via a food blog.

I entered this dinner with high hopes since Fu Fu Cafe is situated in a strip mall and for those of you who don't already know, I'm a big fan of strip mall eateries. Though they're not always good, more likely than not they are enjoyable and occasionally exceptional. My theory is because these establishments spend their resources on the food and not the appearance or rent of stand-alone structures. Fu Fu is somewhere in between good and exceptional. Through the glass door you step directly into the dinning area which accommodates 40 diners, maybe 50 if the guests can tolerate little table area. Even with limited eating real estate, you would have to pass through a crowd of waiting famished as you put your name on the waiting "list," i.e., the server's/hostess' memory.

For our meal, we got soup dumplings and beef tendons with scallions. The dumplings I liked though they weren't as good as the ones I've had in NYC. The wrapping was overly thick and doughy for my tastes. The broth and pork filling inside was warm and flavorful. For those you haven't had soup dumplings, imagine a French-dip sandwich that, instead of dipping the sandwich, the au jus and meat were encased inside a water-proof bread crust. Like it sounds, not only would it be incredibly delicious, you would also have to eat it with extreme caution. Wow...I might have just come up with a great new food item. I'll have to experiment and get back to you. Oh, and for those of you who haven't had soup dumplings or a French dip, pat yourselves on the back for being cruel and negligent to your taste buds. Unfortunately, the yummy dumplings made for a poor foto.

Scallions & Beef Tendons
For our main dish, we ordered the "beef tendons with scallions." What's funny is that I quoted the actual English menu entry but the Chinese version had about 20 characters. Just goes to show this place caters to Asians and Chinese illiteracy just means your dinner is like a box of chocolates. The beef tendons seem to have been slow simmered in broth and then flash stir-fried with fresh green onions when ordered. There's really no consistency with tendons since they can come from many joint of the cow. So some pieces were firm and chewy while other pieces were soft and edible sans teeth but all pieces of tendon had the subtle tendon flavor infused with the salty brown broth. The flash frying merely softened the onions, leaving a nice pungency to cut through the oily broth and gelatinous tendons. We ate this with white rice and smiled the whole time.

Since our first visit together, we've revisited Fu Fu, reordered these same dishes and received the same smiles.

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