Monday, February 27, 2012

Fu Kee Congee - Mong Kok, my old friend

Roast goose and beef congee
Congee and noodles - pretty regular Hong Kong stuff, eaten any time of day: breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When I was in high school, Mong Kok was only about 15 minutes walk away, and was where I'd catch the MTR to go home, so I knew it intimately, but that was embarrassingly long ago. These days, I don't get out to Mong Kok enough to know what's good, and meeting up with an old friend who needed to be in the area was just the excuse I needed to do a little digging, and voila, I found Fu Kee, next to a cha chaan teng I used to go to all the time (cheap egg tarts = excellent afternoon tea for a kid with a HK$20/week allowance).

Fu Kee has been around for ages; I don't know why I'd never been. If a full house for early Monday lunch is anything to go by, it's still as popular as ever.

They're known for their congee - a light rice porridge - as well as roast goose and fried rice noodles with beef "gon chau ngau hor" , a Cantonese staple. (The name means "dry-fried flat rice noodles with beef" - it's "dry" because it isn't finished with a sauce poured over. Whatever sauce is in the noodles is added while stir-frying, and it's usually not much). When I went, a lot of people were having a simple egg and pork (I think ?) fried rice too, which looked nice and fluffy - the grains of rice in a Cantonese-style fried rice should never stick together nor be greasy.

My friend chose congee with roast goose and sliced beef and I went with the beef noodles. I didn't really try the congee but it looked "meen", a Chinese word that translates to "cotton" - soft and light, with rice that looks like it's melted and inseparable from the liquid. We were sharing a table with other diners and one of the men opposite us actually ordered an extra serving of goose and tipped it right into his congee. I think I would have liked to do that too, so that the skin would stay relatively crisp.

Fried flat rice noodles with beef
My beef noodles were pretty decent. The portion was incredibly generous and could have fed three of me and for $34, is a bargain. They were a little too greasy but the balance of dark and light soy, and the touch of sugar were great, and I really appreciated the fact that the bean sprouts were still crunchy, but by no means undercooked.

While Fu Kee isn't a site for culinary pilgrimage, it's always good to know an old standby in MK, where things change before you can say, "Is that new?".

Fu Kee Congee (incorrectly spelled as "Fuk Kee" on Openrice, by the way)
104-106 Fa Yuen Street
Mong Kok
Hong Kong
+852 2385 1230
7.30am-11.30pm daily

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  1. I love congee, but have been unable to find crab congee in HK after Wong Chi Kee closed down in Central.

    Do you know of any? Much appreciated. :)

  2. Seems like a good place to go for the dried fried rice noodles beef. This is my area and I like to support old 'places'. Next lunch in Mongkok! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kelly,

    Try 老記粥麵 in Macau. Seriously never had better crab congee out of 3-4 places I've tried (read: not much lol!). As much as I want to discover an alternative option I haven't had any better in terms of overall crab sweetness and a tad tomalley plus crab roe influence. Oh so balanced!

    In HK the version at 陳漢記 is decent enough but still nowhere near matching the quality at Macau's 老記粥麵 due to different crabs used and formulae.

    Hard to explain in Chinese vs English but the watery structured Crabs, grown in a half rivery and half oceanic environment in Macau waters, have in general softer shells especially during typhoon seasons and swollen internals to ensure they are all plumped up and soft-shelled in a watery sweetish and less meaty state. Just very subtle differences separates them all!

  4. Thanks! Will try both. I love crab congee.

  5. Anonymous6:23 am

    I went to Fu Kee Congee with my boyfriend to try these rice noodles and congee.
    We had to sit upstairs cause it was full downstairs.
    It is a very tiny place so it's not surprising that it's full.
    The food was absolutely DISGUSTING!!!
    I had the congee with goose and chicken.
    My boyfriend had goose and chicken on rice,... we were going to order the noodles but decided to try the goose last minute.
    Let me tell you... The congee looked like old fermented milk.. was TOO SALTY.. AND THE GOOSE AND CHICKEN WERE ONLY SKIN (both of our dishes basically were skin and fat. NO MEAT!!! TASTE WAS TOTALLY GROSS!!!

    1. I've never known there to be an upstairs at Fu Kee, just side-by-side shops. In any case, I go by the theory that there is no such thing as a bad experience if you've never tried it before. And for 34 bucks, it wasn't an expensive blunder! Better luck next time, I hope!