Saturday was Taiwanese comfort food day, so today ended up being Hong Kong comfort food day :-)
I've only been to Fat Wong's in San Bruno (just a wee bit north of Millbrae) once for dinner and was not terribly impressed. Also I remember older reports where some reported that the lunch staff did a better job on the food, so decided to make a trip there during lunch to find out the real deal. So it seems that this observation does appear to hold true, though I am not going to go back again for dinner to prove this!
Bottom line is that today's lunch trip was a much better and more successful experience than dinner (although that was sometime late last year).
Even Sunday at 1 pm the restaurant was packed with people waiting. They had a few specials and I ordered one of them; the chiew chow style fish ball ho fun soup. This one was done very nicely, and I haven't had this type of fishball ho fun in a while so I don't have any basis of comparison. The fish balls were small, but good portions and each one was soft, on the airy side, and good flavor.
Their cheung fun (rice noodle rolls) were freshly made to order (you can see the guy in the kitchen doing the steamer for this), and I remember during the last dinner this was not good. Today was a completely different story; the consistency was nailed down quite nicely (not dry and not overcooked) and the soy based sauce was perfect as well (not too sweet and not heavy or salty) and complemented the cheung fun. The beef inside the cheung fun that I ordered seemed a bit stingy on the portion side, but it was cooked to perfection. At $3 a plate, this is still a fairly good deal (some dim sum houses might charge more).
The missus had the birds nest with chicken congee, which tasted great but it was pretty obvious there was MSG in it (the thirsty throat gave it away when we got home). With that aside, the consistency is still better than Ming Tai down the street or most places in the area. It would be pretty bad if Fat Wong's didn't get congee down right, considering that's what they are supposed to specialize in (after all their Chinese name translates to "fantastic" congee for a lifetime).
Maybe I might try the shui gow next time I go, though it will be pretty hard to beat Ming Tai's version with the chunks of pork fat inside to make it extra tasty ;-)
The key with Fat Wong's on the weekends is to get there early or past 1 pm where the wait might be not as long, and make sure you are not in a hurry.
Is it me or did the owner or larger sized kitchen staff fellow lose weight? ;-)
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