Friday, July 23, 2010

Fu 1088 - Review

Fu 1088 - Highly Recommended
375 Zhenning Lu, Changning District, Shanghai
Phone: 86-21-5239-7878

Our friend Joyce hooked us up with this recommendation in Shanghai and it rocked. Funny thing in Shanghai is there are a ton of fancy restaurants in these old ars mansions. This place is straight out of a time warp, but the quality of food is very good and the food is supposedly Shanghainese but it seems like there's a modern twist to everything. Either way the food tastes great!

When you first walk in, it literally looks like someone's old house but it feels like it could be straight out of Ghost Hunters since it has that creepy feel to it. Then you're brought into your own private dining room - all tables are in their own closed rooms. The only problem is it smells slightly moldy which seem to be a problem all over Asia because of the humidity. Not god awful, but slightly noticeable. Service is excellent and they are rocking the tuxes there, but there is no dress code for the customers. Any who - solid place, but be sure to go with a big group since they require each person to spend at least $45 USD which is a lot of food.

Our Menu

Tea Egg with Caviar **
Such a delicate flavor with a slight smokiness to the egg. Add the bright caviar and it was such a nice balance and a great way to start the meal.

Drunken Chicken with Xiao Xing Wine Ice *
Chicken had great wine flavor, though the texture was a tad tough. The xiao xing wine ice was a bit too gimicky for me and didn't really add much to the dish. It actually messed with the texture to as the icey texture made the meat seem slightly tougher.

Fried Smoked River Fish ***
These were a definite wtf dish - amazing balance. Crispy, smoky, slightly sweet and surprisingly tender fish. It was sooo good, but I wish we had more people to share this dish since they gave a bunch and although balance - that much sweet food is hard to eat after a while.

Marinated Soy Fish *
These seemed so similar to the miso cod at Nobu, but less sweet and also less tender. Still tasty though.

Pork Belly in Red Sauce ***
I don't believe these were labeled as dong po rou, but they tasted very similar and this might be the best rendition I've had of this dish. Again, the word balance is key here as the meat was completely tender with the fat rendering perfectly. The sauce was slightly sweet, but not grossly so and as usual this was ridiculous with rice. The complexity of the five spice was evident to as this wasn't just sweetness here. Again, I wish I had more people here since there are 9 pieces of belly and I ate 6 of them...I know a bit gross, but I do dig me some pork belly.

Prawns in Tomato Sauce ---
Pretty disappointing considering how great everything else was. Prawn had no flavor and was not very tender and the sauce was completely overpowering. My favorite part of whole prawns is sucking the brains out and sadly there was not that much flavor as it was masked by this ketchup based sauce.

Shanghai Vegetables **
Nice delicate balance of textures and flavors. A great vegetable dish that was nice and crisp, but still soft enough. Flavor was almost like a mix of water crest, spinach, and snow pea tips.

Vegetable and Truffle Dumplings **
Another gimicky dish, but still incredibly delicious. The vegetable was similar to the shanghai vegetable, but you don't really sense the truffles in the dish. Still really fun to eat though and a great dumpling - perfectly folded and the texture of the skin was phenomenal.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

Closing Comments
A great place to eat, but I wouldn't go if it were just two people. There is way too much food and would be best shared with a lot of people. This place was much more refined than Xi Garden, but I kinda dug Xi Garden more from a flavor perspective.

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