Review of dinner at Fortune Palace in Carlingford Village.
This canto restaurant would be considered by some to be an institution for yum cha and great family gatherings. It gets really busy on Friday to Sunday nights and you’ll often see 3 generations of a family around a big round table.
The most popular dinner orders here will include seafood – crab, lobster, fish – for example, this ginger and shallot lobster with e-noodle base:
It’s a centre piece for the table and will definitely feed many people. I personally always prefer crab to lobster because crab is generally more tender. A few of the lobster pieces I ate were really tough and chewy, which was very disappointing. However, I did love the noodle base and could not fault the flavour of the dish.
Another favourite is the steamed ginger and shallot (again) barramundi or whole fish:
It’s a very light dish, with the only source of salt being the soy sauce. Again, could not fault the flavour but thought the fish was a big overcooked. I had this dish twice, and the second visit confirmed my initial thoughts.
Some other noteworthy dishes at this restaurant include their hot pots, especially the eggplant and the crab and vermicelli. A family favourite of ours is the salt and pepper fried pork ribs, which are amazingly addictive to eat. The prawns were great in the prawn and snow pea dish, and the sautéed garlic spinach was delicious, especially because they used baby spinach with minimal stalk.
Some of the negatives I experienced from this restaurant was the general inconsistency of service and management. I can’t fault the waiters and waitresses – they are hardworking people and try their best to attend to very high maintenance tables. However, I thought the layout of the restaurant was a bit crammed, which made it difficult to get a staff’s attention and difficult still for the staff member to make their way over. When the restaurant is at its peak capacity in the evening, walking through tables is a nightmare as you push, struggle and suck your belly in to brush past other people.
Secondly, I love their little additions to the meal – including prawn crackers, peanuts, pickled vegetables, starter soup to start; and fruit, biscuits and sweet soup to end the meal. However, I found these benefits to be inconsistent depending on the busy-ness of the night and at times honestly forgotten or to busy to attend to.
All in all, I thought the food here was great but the experience you have at this restaurant will largely depend on how busy the restaurant is on the night you go.