Dinner With The Family At 86 Fu Kee Restaurant in Brooklyn
My constant search for delicious eats in NYC is a daunting task often times travelling far and wide for a meal to enjoy. Sometimes the actual journey can be a determining factor on whether or not that meal is actually enjoyable but certainly doesn't deter me from doing what I love. So when my wife told me we would be dining with the In-Laws in Brooklyn the other night I thought...what a great opportunity to blog about a traditional Chinese restaurant. What I mean by traditional is that it hasn't been Americanized for the general public and caters mostly to the Chinese people in that area. Usually they have terrible service, overcrowded dining areas, little to no English is spoken and often they push you out the door when it's time to go. It's not all that bad, especially since my In-Laws are Chinese making it ok for me to eat there. On this particular night I hopped on the N train after work, headed out to Bay Ridge and was told by my wife to get off at Bay Parkway because the restaurant was nearby. As I was crossing the Manhattan Bridge on the train a message popped up on my phone telling me that the restaurant was at 86th Street and that it was just a short walk to meet them. Little did I know that the short little walk turned out to be 20 blocks (which for the layman is about 1 mile, give or take) and when I arrived nearly everyone had finished their meal! Fortunately there was plenty left for me to eat, so after drinking a tall glass of water and a spot of tea, I dug in.
What's always amusing about eating with the In-Laws is that no matter what restaurant we go to, no matter where it is, whether it's in Brooklyn or Manhattan, they always order the same dishes. Lobster, Fried Pork Chops, Shrimp in Sauce with Broccoli, Sauteed Eggplant, Shark Fin Soup and a Cold Roasted Chicken. Sounds like a lot but usually there's enough people at the table to finish it all. These restaurants also prefer to serve large groups or parties over six, so plan on a long wait if you show up with less. Now to the food. Other than the Soup and the Eggplant, I very much enjoyed the other dishes. The Lobster was my favorite with it's distinct seasoning and flavor but was also the most messy. The Pork Chops were very crunchy and delicious but had almost been finished before I got there, so there were only a couple of pieces for me. The Shrimp and Broccoli was a little rich with it's creamy white sauce but as usual that didn't stop me. I also love the sugary walnuts that accompany this dish and so do my kids. One good thing about me not being able to understand Chinese is that I don't have to listen to all the complaints at the table and believe me there's always complaints. They always complain about the service and yet still tip fairly well. Usually there's a discussion about one of the dishes being subpar, at least to them and they say have had better. My question is why not go to the place where it is better? Funny thing is there is a great restaurant pretty much down the block from where they live and yet we travelled across the borough just to come to this place....to eat the same damn dishes we always get. Makes no sense to me but my wife says that's the way it's always been. I also very much enjoy when the check arrives to watch as everyone fights over who is going to pay, except me of course because I don't speak Cantonese. Whew!