I'm of Chinese heritage, but being born in the US, I can't order what my parents can. They order food you have to know about before you can order it, which is why whenever I go to Houston, I tell them, "Let's get special Chinese food -- the GOOD stuff!" (My wallet is prepared.) So they take me to Fung's, where they have live seafood in fishtanks.
My stepmom is a Foodie (capital F) from Taiwan. She knows Chinese food like no one's business. This weekend (Chinese New Year's), here's what she ordered for the 4 of us: (in no particular order)
- sauteed snow-pea greens
- fresh pork with the thinnest crispiest crust of fat or skin-- the ultra-thin ultra-crunchy crust was to die for!! a cross between juicy pork chop and a hint of bacon
- 2 lobsters cantonese style
- salted abalone w/baby bok choy (the dried preserved abalone is soaked for a day, sliced thin, and sauteed w/the veggie)...
- fresh abalone w/baby greens. not as good as I remembered abalone being when I last had it many many years ago. my dad explained that abalone nowadays is just not as good because it's impossible to get the big ones anymore, and it's the big ones that have the most flavor.
- live shrimp, parboiled. for those who have never had this, this is one of my favorite dishes. it highlights the fresh sweet flavor of shrimp. served whole (w/head on), you break the head off like a whole lobster, and taste the juicy sweet flavor of shrimp that you only get when they swimming 5 minutes earlier. (ask my gringo BF who agreed it was the best seafood he'd ever eaten.)
Of course, this sumptuous feast was not cheap, nor did I expect it to be. The tab came to $303 before tip, with only had one glass of wine on the tab for $7.50. The salted abalone was $116; the fresh abalone was $26, and the live boiled shrimp was $68. I don't mind paying this much because I don't get to Houston often enough to eat this great quality Chinese food. In case you didn't know, Houston now has a tremendous Chinese immigrant population-- new immigrants as opposed to 2nd and 3rd generation. Unlike San Francisco, these newer immigrants mean better Chinese food, because it's more authentic.
So if you want authentic Chinese food, go to Fung's, ask the owners to order for you, and don't expect the food to be any cheaper than fine French cuisine. Do be prepared for some of the finest Chinese food in the US.
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