Ordering Cantonese Food for Westerners 鬼佬食中菜 – Fu Lam Mum Restaurant 山景城富臨門

It’s Christmas again and most of our nephews and nieces in the U.S. have come to the Bay area. This year, the Xmas/New Year dinner was held at Fu Lam Mum Restaurant 富臨門 in nearby Mountain View 山景城. Since most of the guests have grown up in the States who would prefer Sweet and Sour Pork over abalone, the normally bland Cantonese food probably would not work. On this kind of occasions, it is better to order fried dishes with heavy flavor and not to waste money on steamed seafood. Here’s what we had for 14 big-eaters.

BBQ Platter is a must for Westerners; the BBQ Pork and Roast Duck were gone in no time. Chinese Style Sauteed Beef was specifically ordered for Christopher who likes beef but nothing else. He promptly took a quarter of the beef before anybody else had a chance. I tried a piece of the beef strip and found it to be tender and moist; the sauce was delicious too.

Roasted Squabs were a little bit disappointing. They were too lean and obviously overcooked – dry and tough. Prawns with Cashew Nuts were not bad but the taste was probably a little too bland for westerners.

As expected, Sweet and Sour Pork was well received. A few guests liked the ox tail for the flavor but others who would like to have a lot of meat (啖啖肉) would not take the trouble to get small pieces of delicious meat out of the bone .

A dinner for ABCs is not complete unless there is plenty of fried rice and we had enough for everybody.

The crab dish was ordered for my mother-in-law and myself and we had no problem finishing it. I always like crab with ginger and scallion which is more moist than the pepper and salt version. Instead of ordering Bean Sprout (豆苗) as we usually do, we had Chinese Broccoli (芥蘭) and it was better than expected – very fresh 幼嫩.

Peking Duck is another must-have and we were lucky that this restaurant has a US$15 for Tuesdays. By this time, most of the food were gone and I sensed that not everybody was full yet. Asked the waitress what dishes would be quick to prepare; she suggested Stir Fried Crab Meat and Beef Steak Cubes and Tofu. Glad that I listened to her; these dishes were pretty good and I would probably order them again next time.

We have been here a few times before and had mixed experience. Whenever we came on Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year when the restaurant was crowded, service and food were bad. Today was our lucky day that we had good food and decent service.

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