The kids and I were near Highland Park tonight at dinner time so we headed over to Hong Fu (formerly Shanghai Park) to find out if their food is as good as people say. We were between ping pong sessions and only had time for a quick bite so we ordered two dishes and some rice, which turned out to be the exact right quantity of food to fill us up but not slow us down. Kind of amazing considering these boys are in their late teens and can eat like soldiers on campaign.
This is the second meal I’ve had out recently that I would have liked to capture some fotos of. Aside from being tasty the dishes were pretty too. I should get used to packing my camera more often.
We ordered Beef and Scallions and House Style Nian Gao (mixed meats in a light brown sauce). The Nian Gao had a beautiful, rice wine bouquet to it that gave the dish a heavenly, rich aroma and a fantastic explosion of taste. The beef dish had both scallions and lightly sautéed globe onions, so it had crunch as well as onion flavor. The beef was precisely prepared – meltingly yielding to the bite and tender in the mouth but with the fiber still intact enough to require chewing, which of course is the best part of eating a piece of meat.
The decor in this place is beautiful and relaxing. A juice bar has replaced the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) making area that used to be in the front; the owner said it was much too messy. He also said that customers say the xiao bao they currently make is better than before. We didn’t try them this time so the jury’s still out on just how good they are. Gives us something to look forward to.
The service was fantastic. The owner took our order personally, answered lots of questions I put to him and the waiter kept my boys’ ice water glasses speedily replenished and removed plates as soon as we were finished with them. The boys ordered extra rice and we didn’t receive a charge for it on our bill, which came to $20.95 including tax.
I didn’t win any games of table tennis tonight, but the meal was a big hit.
Hong Fu (formerly Shanghai Park)
239 Raritan Ave
Highland Park, NJ 08904