Review: Hong Kong - Fook Lam Moon

Shark's fin soup with crab meat

The famous Fook Lam Moon shark's fin 
One of my most treasured food memories has to be dinner at Fook Lam Moon in Hong Kong. Back in the booming 1980-90s, when Fook Lam Moon was at its pinnacle, dinner reservations at their Wan Chai main branch had to be made weeks in advance (unless you are their VIP customer, of course). A meal at Fook Lam Moon was such a treat! How times have changed. The restaurant was eerily quiet on my Tuesday night visit and more importantly, the food was a complete letdown. Perhaps, I was expecting too much ....the shark's fin soup while rich and perfumed with their signature kim wa ham seems flat and uninspiring. So much so that i was compelled to add red vinegar to the soup - something i wouldn't do with quality shark's fin soup as it masks the subtle flavour. The actual shark's fin was a tad too soft (over-boiled?) and missing the slightly crunchy texture. Finally, I think the chef could have been more generous with the crab meat and give the dish a much need lift with some crab roe. 

Signature crispy skin chicken

Ahh, the famous Fook Lam Moon crispy skin chicken was supposed to knock my socks off. The skin was paper-thin and fried to superb crispiness but sadly the flesh was dry and bland. Another disappointment

Nam yu vegetable claypot
Our favourite dish of the night was totally unexpected - the simple cantonese staple - Nam yu vegetable claypot. Good nam yu is not easy to find this days and Fook Lam Moon's was wine-y, deeply salty and rich like good stilton cheese. The soft white cabbage, vermicelli and wood fungus soaked up the nam yu flavour beautifully and mparts a wonderful sweetness to the dish at the same time. Best vegetarian dish I have had! 

I will always have fond memories of Fook Lam Moon, the grand old dame of fine cantonese cuisine, but I will probably give the restaurant a miss next time.  

~ Sharon

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