Fortune8 Chinese Restaurant

January 22, 2016

Cabramatta is home to quite a handful of yum cha restaurants and I usually alternate between Vinh Phat and Fortune8 and occasionally Iron Chef. If you want a nicer and more refined ambience and fairly modern decor then hit up Vinh Phat or Iron Chef, they also cart around your typical steel trolleys to each table. Fortune8 definitely needs an interior revamp and the fact that the space it occupies is relatively smaller means no room for trolleys so expect staff to carry out dishes by hand which does slow down service. In regards to food though, I feel that Fortune8 has a wider range and slightly tastier than its competitors. 

Wu gok (taro puffs)
A popular deep fried dim sum which I always order at yum cha. The outer shell was super flaky and crumbly and just so enticing with a second layer of soft and creamy mashed taro encasing perfectly seasoned ground minced pork. The different textures throughout make this dumpling very unique and Fortune8's one didn't taste too rich because it wasn't overloaded with taro but the fragrance of taro was still apparent. Other yum cha places I have visited are more heavy-handed with the taro which may be preferable to some but for me, too much of it makes it a bit sickening.

Ham sui gok (fried pork dumpling)
Another classic dim sum that I get all the time. These had a crisp exterior combined with a soft and slightly chewy inner wall which was of a good thickness. The use of glutinous rice flour in the dough gives it its characteristic bouncy and chewy texture. Fortune8 packed in the right amount of minced pork filling and had a good saltiness to it which contrasted well with the sweetness of the shell.

With the deep-fried dim sum arriving to our table first, mum and I were eagerly awaiting some steamed ones. We commented that the food was coming out quite slowly, but to be fair we did arrive at 10am and they were probably in the middle of prepping all the food. 

Mushroom and prawn ball
Finally, some interesting looking siu mai came around which was comprised of a super juicy shiitake mushroom at the bottom with a prawn and pork mince ball and a sliver of lap cheong on top. This was so tasty and full of umami due to the spongy shiitake mushroom which had a really pungent aroma. I liked that the prawns were largely visible and not completely minced which helped add extra texture. The addition of lap cheong elevated the presentation and taste and overall, it was a well-executed dim sum dish and something I would happily have again.

Braised chicken feet
This is one of those dishes where you wouldn't judge the taste from appearance alone. The very thought of devouring chicken feet would make most people shudder but when we're on the topic of yum cha, this dish is pretty much a staple, as intimidating as it looks. While I'm not one to be particularly keen on getting the chicken feet (as they are messy to eat) I can't say that they're not tasty because they really are quite the opposite. There's also no elegant method to eat chicken feet because you're basically required to suck the skin off the bone but that's also how you extract all the amazing flavour. The sheer amount of a flavour comes as a result of the chicken feet first being deep-fried, then braised and finally steamed until the skin literally falls of the bone. The marinade itself is a complex mixture but predominantly consists of black bean sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar and the combination is so addictive with its finger-licking goodness.

Fortune8 delivered a solid braised chicken feet dim sum with plenty of that signature black bean flavour absorbed in to the soft skin which was also easily pried away.

Pork and prawn siu mai
I can't decide whether I love ham sui gok or siu mai more but they would make my top two favourite dim sum of all time. I've found Fortun8's variation of siu mai to be the best so far as it's not full of sinew. Too much sinew peeves me because I hate the feeling when it gets wedged between my teeth and it's such a pain to remove. The texture of the siu mai was also on point as it was firm and not too mushy, the wonton wrapper wasn't stuck to the bamboo steamer either. I love piling on that chilli sauce on most dim sum and it goes especially well with siu mai and har gao.

Har gow
I can pretty safely declare that har gow and siu mai are the two dim sum synonymous with yum cha. Sadly, har gao is not a favourite of mine as I'm not a fan of prawns which I'm certain is a well-established fact. I couldn't leave Fortune8 without giving them a shot though and came as a shock to my mum because she's well aware I despise prawns. I do try to make them more palatable by slathering on a lot of a chilli sauce and it works. The har gow was pretty standard to me with a translucent skin and of a decent thickness, albeit on the stickier side. A thinner skin would have worked in its favour. Inside was a sizeable whole prawn and the ones used were fresh gauging from its bounciness and crunchiness.

You can see how much I love my chilli.

Char siu cheong (BBQ pork rice noodle)
Yet another favourite of mine and I always try to get the char siu variation instead of the prawn one as the BBQ pork lends its delicious salty sweetness to the cheong fun (rice noodle). While it was really tasty, it was somewhat let down by the cheong fun. They were nice and thin but too sticky so the rolls adhered to each other and hence would break apart upon picking them up with my chopsticks. Due to the stickiness, it wasn't also as slippery as I would have liked but the flavoursome char siu mostly made up for it.

Kai lan (Chinese broccoli) 
Nothing much to say other than that continuous dim sum consumption can quickly become very heavy on the palate so a plate of kai lan drizzled with oyster sauce does well to break it up. Side note: oyster sauce can potentially make any vegetable taste good.

As you can probably gather from the post so far, my mum and I had a lot of food between us. We managed to clean up the majority of the dim sum on our table except for one har gao and one third of the dish pictured below. It's extremely easy to go overboard with the food as there will constantly be a variety of dim sum brought out and since it's fair to say we eat with our eyes first it's certainly difficult to resist having more dishes added to the table unless you're really bursting at the seams.

Chinese doughnut wrapped in cheong fun
I love Chinese doughnut (youtiao) and especially when eaten with a hearty bowl of congee. Despite how full I was I had to get it because doughnut wrapped with cheong fun, why not? A soy-based sauce for dipping was provided in a separate bowl. Unfortunately, the Chinese doughnut didn't have the crispy exterior I was hoping for which was probably attributed to the cheong fun making it a little soggy but I expected the doughnut to retain some of the crunch. Overall, it was enjoyable however we had to resort to taking it away as there was too much.

If you're looking for an affordable and quick yum cha fix and don't mind a relatively cramped restaurant to do so then Fortune8 would be an enticing option. The dim sum are prepared fresh and there are plenty of unique ones to choose from on their menu. One that I particularly like from Fortune8 is the minced pork with fried eggplant which I didn't get to have on this occasion as it came out too late and my mum and I were pretty stuffed at that point in time.

Fortune8 Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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