We just came back from this new congee/wonton noodle house in San Bruno (millbrae border) and we had a terrific meal! I don't know where they got the "Fat Wong" name..I think it was a left over from the previous incarnation of this place. This place specializes in porridge (jook) and their jook base is great...not too runny and smooth. They are opened from 11:30 until midnight, which is great for us here in the peninsula. There is a general void of decent places to eat after 9:00 here. Anyway, we arrived a little after nine and we had to wait 20 minutes for our table (for 7 people). We weren't that hungry so we ordered:
1. House Special Porridge (Swallow Nest, Abalone, Prawn & Scallop) $28
This is a hugh pot of jook and is meant for 4 - 6 people. Everyone at the table had three little bowls. The jook base was wonderful..not too much msg. I can't say that there was noticable amount of bird's nest. There were about 4 slices of very thin abalone (canned) and an abundance of fresh tasting prawns and scallop. This jook was served with crunchies and green onions. In retrospect, I think I would rather order more of the other kinds of jooks (servings for 2) to get a variety. I didn't think the bird's nest crumbs in this jook contributed to the enjoyment of the jook. There are 14 varieties of other jooks, which include Fish head & bone porridge, pork & chicken ball p, abalone & bird nest P, etc.
2. We had the fried dough with the jook. On the menu, they called it "flour crisp". This is an interesting translation. This fried dough is one of the best I've had. Not bready at all, yeasty and chewy, with the crunch on the outside. Not too greasy. This was the best part of the meal, in my opionion. $1.25 each
3. We wanted to order rice noodle rolls with Flour crisp and other rice noodle rolls (Cheung Fun) but the lady who makes the rice noodles got off at 9:00. So we ordered the XO sauce sauteed rice noodle roll. It was ok. The rice noodle roll sections were a tat soft..but I think that is because this was made fresh in house. Flavor was a bit anemic. $3.50 (small plate)
4. Steamed rice w/meat wrapped in lotus leaf ($6.50)
This was highly recommended by a friend and it was my husband's favorite. For us hounds who were looking for good "joong", this is definitely one of the best. I personally don't like green beans in my joong but my hubby loves the beans. The rendition at Fat Wong's is a square creation filled with an overflow of ingredients. I didn't eat too much but I saw green beans, pork, egg yolk, chestnut, others which I didn't have a chance to check out. It was served with a thin soy sauce and a plate of sugar on the side. Very Hong Kong style. The price is a little high but well worth it.
5. Braised Fish Ball, Pork Skin & Turnip $4.25 (small plate)
This dish is standard stuff and was good if you are in the mood for it.
6. Blanched vegetable ($?) This was standard vegetable. We needed it to quelch our guilt and to cut the grease.
7. Chow Fun with Beef, dry style. ($5.95)
For what it is, it was good. Nothing special.
8. We tried one bowl of wonton noodle soup and one bowl of Shrimp dumpling noodle soup to gauge their quality and they are above average, with big chunks of shrimp in both. The noodles were not soggy and the soup had that wonton flavor. @$4.80
We ordered milk tea @$1..very reasonable price. Maybe they are trying to draw the crowd with this too.
Sorry this is so long...I definitely think this one is a keeper and we are so grateful that finally we have a wonton/congee destination place down here.
Fat Wong's Kitchen
1780 ElCamino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
(A little north of the old Flower Lounge, across the street...and they have a parking lot!)