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Opened in late December 2019 in West Kowloon Cultural District, just before COVID-19 hit, FAM (an acronym for food, art and music) is a cool modern Chinese restaurant that gets packed with day trippers come the weekend. It’s a relaxing spot for a meal, facing both the harbour and an expansive grass lawn. The bright colour scheme creates a really fun, cheerful vibe.
We returned recently to FAM to check out their new offerings for dim sum, along with their menu masterpiece – smoked roasted whole duck ($688). Take a gander at this gloriously lacquered bird! Each duck is freshly roasted before serving (this normally takes about an hour, so dig into some dim sum while you wait). The roasted duck must be pre-ordered at least one day in advance.
The duck has some of crunchiest skin we’ve ever tasted – it literally shatters upon first bite – and it’s thicker than usual. The meat has quite a robust, gamy flavour, overshadowing the tea with which the bird is smoked. For us, the glistening, fatty skin (dipped in sugar because, why not?) is the star of this show. It’s served with traditional pancakes, hoisin sauce and finely chopped cucumber and spring onion.
FAM’s elevated dim sum is available daily from 12– 5:30pm, perfect for late risers. It’s pricier than many other spots around town, but it’s also much more creative and plated beautifully. Our fave of the bunch was the steamed red vermicelli roll with shrimp ($88). The sticky red rice used to make the casing ups the wow factor, but it’s beat by the flavour of the crispy, shrimp-filled spring roll within – a great marriage of different textures.
Another beauty is the smoked bean curd sheets with assorted vegetables ($88), similar to what’s known as “mock goose” at Cantonese restaurants. The knife work here is very impressive, and we enjoyed the smoky flavour of the bean curd in contrast to the freshness of the teeny-tiny veggie dices.
Kids in particular will get a kick out of the baked turnip cake ($78 for 3), flaky, orange-hued pastries shaped like carrots and filled with gooey shredded Chinese turnip. The “soil” is actually biscuit crumbs, a winner for any little ones dining with you.
On the menu, these newly launched cute mini pumpkins are referred to by the rather boring name of deep-fried mixed puff with pork ($68 for 3). The pastry is made from chewy, sweet glutinous rice, which works well to complement the savoury pork mince mixture within. This one is strangely addictive!
In terms of classics with a twist, we have quite a few recommendations. At top, the steamed lychee and shrimp dumpling with scallop ($88 for 3) is a glam little number. The aromatic lychee accentuates the natural sweetness of the shrimp, and the dumpling is upgraded even further by the addition of a plump scallop atop.
At bottom, there’s the new shrimp dumpling and wild chicken stuffed with pork dumpling duo ($58 for 1 of each). The shrimp dumpling topped with gold leaf is a next-level take on traditional har gow, while the juicy, super-flavourful pork dumpling is amongst the best riffs on classic shumai that we’ve ever tried (special shout-out to the caviar garnish).
This is a great place to go with the fam (pun intended) for some deliciously innovative dim sum, though you’ll pay for the privilege of the eatery’s location in West Kowloon. The beautiful smoked roasted duck is also highly recommended.
FAM is always mixing it up with new items and promotions. Last summer, we enjoyed their takeaway dim sum picnic, and this time around, they’re offering “chick‘n pop” ( a cross between popcorn chicken and nuggets) in special takeaway combos that would also be ideal picnic fare.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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