As I rode around my old stomping grounds on the Southwest side of town (59 South), a large plaza, which seems to be comprised solely of Fung's Kitchen, caught my eye. I had been craving dumplings for about a week and had heard pretty good things about Fung's Kitchen. My interest peaked when I recalled reading that their dim sum was full service on Saturdays and Sundays. What a treat, I thought, as I drove into the parking lot grabbing an ideal spot right in front. The hubby was in tow which made this visit even more exciting.
He was a virgin to dim sum. I am not a pro by any right, but I have been known to get my "dim sum" on every now and then. I wanted to see how he would react to the experience and how someone who has never been exposed to full service dim sum would embrace it. Many dishes are familiar and can be recognized by just the name, but many are not. I was also interested in how his palate would enjoy this Cantonese style cuisine.
As we were seated at a fairly large table, within seconds, the perfectly orchestrated steam carts headed our way offering up traditional bite-sized delicacies. The service was tableside and is what is considered the "full service" offering. The serving sizes for dim sum kind of remind me of Spanish tapas; the dishes are small and typically served with no more than four pieces per plate. Depending on the dish, they will be served in a metal or bamboo "steamer basket" or on a small saucer. Items are ordered family style and the purpose is to share. I love this part because you can try a ton of different things and don’t feel obligated to go at it solo.
One thing to note...this is NOT an all-you-can-eat buffet! Don’t start going crazy, grabbing plates from every passing cart. You may not like the bill when you get it. Each dish, although not that expensive, is priced individually, so the costs can add up. However, they are categorized into small, medium, and large, superior/super, or special, which is noted by your server with a rubber stamp each time you order something. And since your bill remains on your table, you can get an idea of your damage and get a heads up on how much you have ordered. The Fung's Kitchen full menu and price list are available here.
My recommendation is to maybe order more than you normally would your first time, and when you go back, focus on those items you really enjoyed. The experience is very exciting and one can get overwhelmed with the choices. If you prefer a la carte, you have the option of ordering from the menu as well, but that's no fun. I personally enjoy having food come to me, pointing at the food that I want (or politely say no thank you), and having it placed in front of me like a present or something.
Image via Mostly Harmless
I can't tell you how many dishes are presented during your meal, but there are quite a bit. If you have your dim sum choices down, then you are good to go. If not, here are a few of my favorites: Har gau (steamed shrimp dumplings), Siu mai (open-topped steamed pork dumplings), Cha siu bao (steamed barbecue pork buns), and Pai gwut (steamed ribs). I am still trying to gather up enough nerve to have the Fung zao (fried steamed chicken feet)! That is the best part of dim sum - if a dish is new to you, just try it. You will invest a few bucks in something you may grow to crave. And if a cart carrying that dish you loved just a few minutes ago is missing in action, just ask. With that said, start with lighter dishes and make your way to the heavy or fried items. Your stomach will thank you later.
After an hour and a half or so of indulging, we were both satisfied and had enjoyed our early afternoon at Fung's Kitchen. And yes, the hubby is now a fan and is already compiling his list of faves for the second go round.
Fung's Kitchen offers traditional dim sum that is a must try destination in Houston. If you are new to dim sum, hopefully I have provided enough information to get you going on your fist time out. For those that are on the hunt for a really great dim sum option, then Fung's Kitchen is the place for you. The food is great, the servers are amazing, the ambiance is both welcoming and comfortable, and the experience is one of the best hands down. Full service dim sum is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
7320 Southwest Fwy #115
Houston, TX 77074