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Wong's King Seafood Restaurant (Portland OR)
||8733 SE Division Street,|
Portland, OR 97266
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(4) page: 26 and 27
Visiting a father and son, both chefs who won medals in a competition in China brought us to Portland. While there, we visited theirs and other restaurants. Eating at their place is a must; eating at others in this Western state a good idea, as well.
Wong's King is a winning Chinese restaurant, and it does have two winning chefs at its helm, no exaggeration. We did review it in Volume 13(1) on page 15, but little did we know the depth of the expertise in the kitchen. That was before they won their gold medals. Like father like son, Wing Lay--the father, and Fulai--the son are both award-winning, and the products of their expertise show they both know what they are doing, with or without those medals won in China.
The awards are amazing as Fulai is only twenty-eight, has no formal culinary training, and learned his skills trying things out and by watching his Dad and the others in Wong's King kitchen. What he does have is tons of enthusiasm and mountains of motivation. His Dad trained in China at the Canton Travel Institute and clearly is proud that his son is a chip off the old block, as the expression goes.
Now, Dad is President of the corporation and Fulai its Vice-president. These titles did not come without effort. Fulai did not even became interested in cooking until about age seventeen. It was after some friends asked if they could come to eat at his dad's place. He made arrangements and once they were there, with no advance warning, they asked him to cook for them. He was honored and went directly into the kitchen to do so. He loved the positive feedback after they ate, and the rest is history.
Father and son, in addition to super talents in the kitchen, use excellent management skills in the front of the house. They do so in every aspect of this here and at their other three restaurants even though they change many menu items quarterly. They put heart and soul in, both literally and figuratively, and diners eat-in and take-out fine Chinese food.
Chinese Restaurant News has, for the last three years, has run a 'Top 100 Chinese Restaurant' competition; and this eatery has been one of the Top 100. This attests to the fact that they are winners on both sides of the ocean.
We wondered what are the three most popular dishes were among the two hundred plus on their menu. When enjoying great dim sum, we asked that very question. Dad jumped up, headed to the kitchen, and prepared them for us. One was called King's Deluxe Stir Fry. This was small yellow fish prepared with black Chinese mushrooms, Chinese celery, jelly fish, and deep-fried silver fish. Its textures and taste were outstanding. Never before have we had such crispy fried jelly fish and silver fish. We do now understand its popularity; what a winning dish!
Dad next sent out Steak with Enoki Mushrooms. The steak was rolled around the mushrooms. These rolls sat pointing upright on a pile of red vegetables. All pointed to heaven in this heavenly dish. It was so good we asked Fulai to provide the recipe for our readers, and he kindly did so. It appears at the end of this commentary about their restaurant. The third most popular item is simply called Deep Fried Tofu. Made with custard-looking silken tofu, each small piece comes crispy on the outside, soft and warm and wonderful within.
These three dishes are modern approaches to classical Chinese food. They enticed our taste buds and will do the same for yours. They are among the quarterly additions to the many classic Chinese dishes they prepare and serve. We suggest you head to Wong's King and appreciate an eatery that began in 2004, has chefs and customers devouring their great food, and one where folks wait for tables on week-ends because locals Chinese and non-Chinese know winning food when it is available
Wing Lai sets the tone and still inspires his son. They have many more modern ideas to share. For example, Fulai wants to influence young folk even earlier than he began cooking. He wants to visit local schools, talk to the students, invite them to taste foods in their restaurants, see if they can try their hands at cookery, and then win the hearts, minds, and stomachs of others.
Award-specific, these two chefs were among three hundred others from eighteen counties who competed in China. Dad, better known as Andy, won the silver medal for his Crispy Chicken recipe. Fulai won the gold for an abalone dish and another dish in Guangzhou. Both of these were at the 3rd World International Cooking Competition. Go there, and you can probably ask either of them to prepare one of these winning dishes for you.
With or without tasting these particular items, there is much good food that Fulai and Andy prepare. Plan to be delighted and enjoy all the dishes on their menu whether it is Chow Fun, Fried Rice, the dishes already discussed, or something fancier. Enjoy them at the above flagship restaurant, or any of their Oregon eateries. Their other restaurants are at: 388774 Proctor Boulevard, Sandy OR 97055; phone (503) 668-8889; 310 S Broadway, Estacada OR 97023; phone: (503) 630-2828 and at 1710 S.E. Tacoma Street, Portland-Sellwood OR; phone (503) 237-8899.
The recipe Fulai sent follows, the picture is of his Dad and himself, the other is of one of his other awards.
|Steak with Enokii Mushrooms|
12 ounces New York steak, sliced one-quarter-inch thick, and cut into pieces about three by five inches
8 ounces fresh enoki mushrooms
1 red onion, thin sliced
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup beef stock
1 Tablespoon red cooking wine
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon chicken broth powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with one teaspoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1. Roll one ounce of the mushrooms with one piece of the steak. Repeat making eight rolls.
2. In a wok or fry pan, cook the onion and the butter until quite soft; then remove and put this in a pile in the center of a flat serving plate.
3. In the same wok or pan, brown the steak rolls on medium heat on all sides.
4. Mix stock, wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken powder, and the sugar and pour over the steak rolls. Let this simmer about half minute, then put them in a circle on top of and around the onions.
5. Mix the cornstarch and water, bring to the boil, and pour over the steak rolls.
6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on this, and serve.