Tradition rules!

Updated: 2017-01-20 07:47

By maggie beale(HK Edition)

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At Fung Shing Chinese restaurant in Sheung Wan, the menu lists a range of Cantonese cuisine that my local friends assure me is notably authentic and true to traditional methods of preparation and cooking.

Having eaten often in this restaurant over the past 15 plus years, I've found the style and most of all the quality of the food to be to my liking. I like to enjoy the dim sum selections in the afternoon whenever I can, as well as dinner in the evenings, and I find it a safe bet when I entertain friends, especially those visiting from abroad.

As expected, the dim sum selection includes old favorites such as har kou shrimp dumpling, siu mai pork dumplings and steamed rice rolls with beef or shrimp etc and deep-fried fun gwo dumplings. The one "not to be missed" item is the shrimp toast with mayonnaise.

Among the "for sharing" platters offered at dinner times the star dishes include barbequed pork (cha siu), roast pork (siu yuk) with peanuts, which is served with a side of hot mustard. The exceptionally tender barbequed pork is cut thinly and has a good honey flavor. The roast pork has just the right amount of fat for maximum flavor, with a very crispy skin and the hot mustard dip adds to that experience.

During weekdays, there's often a seasonal soup on offer. Although not listed on the menu, it is well worth asking for. Tasty and warming, it is more of a broth than a soupy-stew, and will often include chicken feet straight from the pot!

The range of dishes on the menu covers a number of "expected" dishes including abalone (sourced from South Africa) in season, and braised goose with sea cucumber along with several delectable combinations of assorted seafood in casseroles.

The menu is also true to Cantonese traditions, featuring dishes such as deep-fried freshwater fish or fried grass carp in a pot. Depending on the season, other preparations of fish and/or eel are also offered.

But perhaps the best dish of all is the tasty crispy fried chicken, done to perfection. It is crisp and succulent with plenty of flavor. I'm told the chickens are sourced from a long-time supplier contracted exclusively to the group. The chicken is very popular and during busy festive periods it's probably best ordered ahead of time as supplies may be limited.

Adding to the authenticity and dating back to a time when refrigeration was almost non-existent, you may pick your favorite from the ones swimming around in the large live-fish tanks close to the kitchen.

Well-appointed and brightly lit, this is in fact a modest eatery where a practical approach to sourcing the ingredients with an emphasis on quality is the main criterion.

Food quality still holds sway here, although the new premises are perhaps not as glamorous as it used to be in its earlier location - right next to Western Market heritage building where they had some lovely "period" chandeliers as part of the decor!

Be that as it may, food sourcing and adhering to traditional preparation methods are still given top priority in a Fung Shing restaurant. And that is very welcome in this city where a lot of innovation in cooking is also attempted, and not always with the best success.

Tradition rules!

(HK Edition 01/20/2017 page8)