Fook Lam Moon in Hong Kong is one of oldest & most famous Cantonese fine-dining restaurants in the former British colony, renowned for its pricey sharksfin, birds' nest & abalone dishes. New Fook Lam Moon in London Chinatown, obviously named after that famous HK icon, turned out, surpisingly, to be a Chinese-Malaysian restaurant. Granted, it had the requisite roast meats (char-siu, siu-yoke, roast ducks, etc.) window display, New FLM's Cantonese owners also churned out some pretty spicy stuff.
Unfortunately, stink-beans, or "buah petai" were out-of-stock in Chinatown this week, so I wasn't able to order New FLM's stink-beans with minced pork stir-fried with sambal belachan (drool!). Instead, I had to settle for:
- Nyonya chicken curry. Not really the best i had in London (that honor still goes to the incomparable Sedap in Old Street) but still quite good - the large potato cubes had the perfect texture - maintaining their shape but breaking apart at the merest pry of a fork. The chicken pieces were cooked just right. I didn't like the brand of Indian curry powder they used to flavor their curry, though - but that's just my personal preference - I only liked Alagappa's, a brand which is perhaps not obtainable in London but used widely in Malaysia & Singapore, especially for our piquant Nyonya curries. The spice-chilli level at New FLM really packed an oomph on the Scoville scale, testimony to its Chinese-Malaysian pedigree obviously;
- Mixed vegetables with sambal belachan. This ubiquitous Chinese-Malaysian dish usually contained long beans, aubergines, stink-beans and wing-beans, with loads of onions, chilli paste and fermented shrimp paste (belachan) thrown in. The endorphin-inducing dish at New FLM was done to perfection - the belachan's assertive scent assailed my nostrils the moment the dish was laid down on the table!The stink-bean component was missing this evening, understandably - pity, that was my favorite vegetable item actually, but the dish remained enjoyable. It came topped with ultra-crisp fried "ikan bilis" or tiny Malaysian anchovies.
- Egg fried rice. I simply LOVED New FLM's version - again, personal taste here: I liked my fried rice relatively moist, with the grains ever-so-slightly sticky, but not risotto-like. New FLM's egg-fried rice was the best I'd gotten from any Chinatown restaurant here. I really needed to come back here to try their Yangzhou fried rice and see if the chef can replicate the texture but made tastier with the addition of shrimps & BBQ pork.
Definitely a restaurant worth checking out if one's in Chinatown, especially if one is looking for spicy Chinese food but without the tongue-numbing "Sichuan peppercorn" effect which one gets from Sichuanese or Hunanese restaurants.
New Fook Lam Moon
10 Gerrard St, London W1D, GB
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