Even since my last visit to Fortune House located in Metropolis, I swore never to return. The reason for this was a combination of factors including the ridiculous lineup (even if we had a reservation). One could wait nearly 2 hours for a table and "only" an hour if a reservation was made. Second, the cramped seating inside made it uncomfortable, especially at the price point. Lastly and most importantly, the food was okay, but hardly something worth waiting for. So why the heck did we come back??? Well, let's just say we were already in the mall and we were with my Mother-in-Law... The fact we weren't going to eat at Tung Sing Chin (now closed) was a victory in itself...
Since I was treating, I did most of the ordering and naturally got way too much food (the only way it should be...). We began with... you guessed it, dessert. Ah yes, the wonderful world of Chinese restaurants where whatever is available hits the table first. At the very least, the Egg Tarts were pretty good with a golden brown puff pastry shell that was flaky and buttery. Inside, the egg custard had sunk a bit, but it was still light and semi-sweet. The kids were delighted with sweets first and happily helped themselves to the Pineapple BBQ Pork Buns. These were also pretty good with lots of lean BBQ pork dressed in a salty-sweet glaze. Extra sugar was added in the form of the crumbly crust on top. The bun itself was a tad dense though.
Up next, we had the Four Seasons Beans which were prepared a bit differently with the addition of olives. As a result, the dish had an alternative salty flavour which was more aromatic than just plain salty. Although the beans were plenty crunchy and vibrant, we felt the dish need more wok heat to further caramelize the flavours. For some reason or another, we used to order Fried Chicken Knees whenever it was available, but more recently, we've not done so. Well, with more people to share with, we went ahead and got an order. It turned out to be a good idea as they were big and meaty. The exterior was lightly crispy while being juicy inside. The dish was not longing for flavour as the fermented tofu seasoning really came through.
Onto some more familiar items, we had the essential Dim Sum dishes being the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Sui Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings). Initially, I was concerned with the wet and broken dumpling skin of the haw gow. However, inside, there were big whole pieces of shrimp that exhibited a moist snap. There was ample seasoning albeit heavy on the sesame oil. As for the sui mai, there was also a moist rebound texture that was complimented by the well-hidden pork fat. The nuggets of shrimp were a touch overdone, but not rubbery. I found the dumpling to be on the sweeter side though and the modest amount of shiitake didn't help matters as the Earthiness would've helped provide balance.
We ended up with 2 types of rice noodle rolls in the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll and Ja Leun (Salty Donut Rice Noodle Roll). As you can probably glean from the picture, the rice noodle was a bit stiff and chewy. Now with that being said, it didn't really make or break the dish because it was still soft enough. Inside, the shrimp was well-seasoned with quite a bit of sesame oil. There was a meaty snap in this case, rather than the moist snap in the haw gow. Moving onto the salty donut rice noodle roll, the donut itself was dense while still crispy. Similarly to the other rice noodle roll, the noodle was a bit dense and doughy. We appreciated the copious amount of rehydrated dried scallop on top, but it was a bit lifeless. They should've either stir-fried it or deep fried it for both texture and caramelization.
For the kiddies, or more specifically my son, we got an order of the Shrimp Spring Rolls. These were served hot with a crunchy exterior that was easy on the grease. Inside, the big pieces of shrimp had a buttery snap which was accented by chewy mung bean noodles. In addition to sesame oil, there was a good amount of salt. We ended off the meal with an order of the Lo Mei Gai (sticky rice) that wasn't short of filling including moist ground pork and Chinese sausage. Hence, the rice was rather moist, yet still glutinous and moist at the same time. Overall, the Dim Sum service at Fortune House was decent and better than the last time I had visited. However, prices are on the higher side and the lineup is a good enough reason to go somewhere else.
- Decent eats
- Conveniently located with plenty of parking
- On the pricier side
- Even with a reservation, you'll be waiting... for a long time