Sherman's Food Adventures: Kung Fu Fish

Kung Fu Fish

Yes, I chuckled a bit when I first heard about Kung Fu Fish.  The name can easily be mistaken for something found at a mall food court serving up North American Chinese fare.  However, that couldn't be further from the truth.  In fact, with over 51 locations worldwide, they served up grilled deep-water fish that comes with a kick (get it?  kick???).  They already have 2 stores in the Toronto area and the first one to venture in the British Columbia is of course located in Richmond, specifically Aberdeen Centre.  I was invited along with Diana for a small ChineseBites dinner to give the place a try where we had all of the available fish options.

Prior to that, we started with some appies including the Kungfu Peanuts.  Initially, I wasn't super excited to order this but in reality, they were pretty tasty.  Freshly fried and then wok-tossed with red chilis, green onion, salt and Szechuan peppercorns, the peanuts exhibited a progressive heat.  There was a roasted aroma that gave way to some spice and finally a touch of numbing from the peppercorns.  Loved the warm crunch of the nuts as the temperature activated the flavours.  Next, the Bobo Chicken turned out to be a familiar dish in the mouth-watering chicken.  Despite the visuals, it was not that spicy.  Rather, there was an aromatic nuttiness accented by a small amount of heat.  The free-range chicken was tender and gelatinized including the skin.

Then we had a trio of dishes including the Garlic Grilled Scallops, Garlic Grilled Prawns and Garlic Grilled Eggplant.  Yes, there was a theme here and when they put garlic into the menu description, they weren't messing around.  Let's just say one should bring mouthwash.  In terms of texture, the scallops were buttery with a nice rebound while the prawns were unexpectedly tender and buttery.  I was expecting more chew, but I enjoyed the sweet delicate prawns.  The eggplant was also tender and very soft.  It was completely covered in garlic.  Our last small dish was the Kung Fu Sausage which was sliced razor thin.  These were meaty and fairly lean with a caramelized sweetness and considerable spiciness.

Onto the main event, I tackled the Madam Halibut in Szechuan peppercorn soup base with  lobster ball, glass noodles, sprouts and squid rings.  For $59.90, we got 5 slices of halibut that was slightly over 2lbs in total.  Personally, that is a reasonable price for the amount of fish.  Of course, the additional ingredients were a surcharge of $3.99 for non-meat items and $4.99 for meat items.  The fish was soft and flaky with slightly crispy skin.  It wasn't as spicy as it appeared, but there was definitely a kick from the peppercorns.  This portion could easily feed 3-4 people dependent on how many appies are ordered.

Next, I sampled some of the Professor Swai (Basa) in pickled cabbage soup base with fish balls, quail eggs, imitation crab stick, rice cake and lotus root.  This was the least costly being only $39.90 for 3 large fillets.  Say what you want about Basa, but this was prepared expertly being soft, flaky and almost buttery.  Since Basa can be lacking in flavour, the pickled cabbage was a good match since it added a salty sourness.  I was pretty impressed with the infusion of flavours where it penetrated not only the fish, but the other ingredients as well including the rice cake.

The last option was our absolute favourite being the Top Secret Sea Cod in Chopped Chili soup base with bean curd skin, konjak, luncheon meat and fish tofu.  There was 6 slices of fish that equated to over 2lbs.  This was the priciest at $89.90, but seeing how it was black cod and being the tastiest, it was worth it.  The butteriness of the fish really came through with a robust flavour that stood up well to the soup base.  It wasn't spicy though.  Instead it was well-balanced with a certain umaminess. Overall, I enjoyed the offerings from Kung Fu Fish and although the pricing is on the higher side, it can feed many people.  Starting tomorrow on Feb 7th to the 12th, they are offering a Free Signature Fish Pot (up to $70.00 and with a group of 4) at both lunch and dinner to the first 8 tables.  Otherwise, everyone else can enjoy 10% off.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- On point execution
- Large portions
- Impactful and balanced flavours

The Bad:
- Even though the portion size does justify the price, some might be scared off at the initial sticker shock
- Personally, I thought the prices were fair, but maybe one free ingredient would've been nice

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