Sacramento, CA 95818
Since we were feeling dim sum today, we decided to revisit Fortune House on Broadway since we have been going to King Palace for a while now. Upon entering the restaurant, we were quickly greeted by staff in the restaurant and were directed to a table near the back center of the restaurant near the kitchen. As we sat, we ordered our usual dim sum tea, Chrysanthemum/Pu-Erh (Gook-Bo in Cantonese). The restaurant was less than a quarter full at this time right before noon. There seemed to be plenty of staff available to push the dim sum carts around. After our tea order, an idle cart was pushed towards us for our first orders.
Today, we decided to order the Har Gow, Siu Mai, Chicken Sticky Rice, BBQ Pork Cheung Fun, Fried Shrimp Balls, Fried Pork Turnovers, and Egg Custards. The Siu Mai, BBQ Pork Cheung Fun, Fried Shrimp Balls, and Fried Pork Turnovers were not available on the carts at the time, so the staff took my order to the kitchen and provided a 5-minute estimate. In the meantime, we were able to start our meal with the items that were ready to go.
The first dishes we tried today were the Har Gow and the Chicken Sticky Rice. The Har Gow tasted very fresh and had a good ratio of shrimp to wrapper. I liked how there was no bamboo in the dumpling. The outside wrapper held up and did not tear. The Chicken Sticky Rice had the usual steamed sticky rice, pork, and Chinese sausage, but also had egg yolk, small shrimp, and mushrooms. I did not really like the yolk because it was quite hard and tasted chalky. I did not mind the small shrimp and sliced mushrooms because they added a more mixed flavors to the filling of the sticky rice. Soon, the Siu Mai showed up at the table fresh from the kitchen. The inside was extremely hot and had quite a bit of meat. The dumpling was definitely more savory than at other restaurants. However, I did find what looked to be a hair on top of the Siu Mai, which I took off and put on the plate.
Next, the remaining dishes started to come out from the kitchen. The BBQ Pork Cheung Fun came with a thicker rice wrap than at King Palace, but the wrap seemed shorter because the wrap was just cut in two, but at other restaurants the wrap is cut in three. Although the Cheung Fun is shorter, there was quite a bit of meat filling in each piece. Each bite came with a tasty amount of sweet soy sauce, but after eating one piece, I found the dish to be overly salty. The Fried Shrimp Balls came with a side of sweet and sour sauce. The crispy outside and crispy pieces coming off the balls were very crispy. The shrimp filling was a bit softer than I would like, but still tasted delicious. The sweet and sour sauce had the consistency of jam, rather than sauce. Also, the sauce had an odd flavor, which was off-putting. After dipping one piece into the sauce, I refrained from doing so for the remainder of the meal. After eating a few pieces, I noticed the plate was drenched in oil, which made this decision to eat the shrimp balls that much worse.
The Fried Pork Turnover arrived last from the kitchen. The Turnovers were larger than King Palace and were stuffed with bits of pork, cilantro, and mushroom. The difference in stuffing created a great tasting filling, but the actual Fried Turnover itself was not crispy at all. I expect the inside to be mushy, but the outside needs some crispiness that this particular turnover was missing. After taking a few more bites of the heavy Turnover, I realized that the outside did not even taste fresh even though the filling tasted good. To finish off the meal, I ate the egg custards. At first glance, they looked pretty good, but I would have to say that this is the worst egg custard that I have ever had at a dim sum restaurant. The crust was not flaky and each bite just fell flat. The crust was quite soft and each bite just tasted mushy.
Overall, I received great service at Fortune House with various staff pushing carts around offering us more food. Although there were a few good tasting dishes, flaws existed in over half of them. The tea tasted great with the whole meal, but that is expected since the tea helps wash down all the oiliness. After leaving the restaurant, I was left thirsty, which leads me to believe an overuse of mono-sodium glutamate. If you are looking for dim sum, and you don’t want to go down to Stockton Boulevard for King Palace, then Fortune House would be OK, but don’t expect to eat amazing dim sum. Compared to my last visit a few years ago, I can definitely say that there was some improvement, but with the tacky chairs and mediocre food, I would have expected Fortune House to have made some more changes by now.