If you’ve ever wanted to do something badly enough that you’re prepared to go it alone, then you must know how badly I wanted to try Su-Yen’s Asian fusion feast at Chez Fong.
I couldn’t find a buddy to join me for a last minute cancellation (she has a four month wait for bookings) for her kinda intimate (25 people or less) and eclectic 11 (plus) course meals, so I went solo rather than miss out (one acronym- FOMO).
The first two courses of fancy shiitake mushroom dumplings on a bed of glass noodles served with magic soy (?) were evidence enough I had made the right decision.
I had a little table of my own in the sun, covered in bright schweschwe fabric with just the basics – chopsticks, a fork for the faint hearted and a jug of water. Next came crunchy light battered beans – yum. Not sure what was in the batter but it was light, garlicky and delicious.
This was followed by light and crisp crunchy mini squid head calamari pieces, served hot on a little plate. Delicious (x 11).
A meaty crispy crab claw on a fresh and flavorsome salad (I love coriander) followed.
Slices of moist duck with hot streamed buns, circles of cucumber and sweet plum sauce were up next and were equally delicious. The idea was to make your own duck sandwich.
Tuna sashimi on a bed a buckwheat noodles with avo and pickles and a spicy mayo came next and if I had to rate the plates, this was probably my least favorite but still tasty.
Juicy prawns and another delicious and fresh flavored salad were followed by a duck curry with fried rice.
At that point the energetic and effervescent Su Yen came around with the pot dispensing more curry and rice and asking if we wanted more prawns…. and were nine courses in! She fired up the wok and cooked the prawns while everyone topped up their byo drinks
The setting for this feast is an old stone mansion in Houghton with a view to die for. The tables (for about 25 peeps) are sprinkled around the balcony and Su Yen cooks everything fresh from a cooking counter in an alcove, while bouncing around chatting to everyone and energetically cooking on all burners – literally and figuratively! (Its not hard to believe she was on the SA version of Come Dine with Me). Anyway, now she’s a fitness fanatic and charming chef at her own pop up place called Chez Fong.
No one said no to more prawns… so they were stir fried up in a wok with a different flavor and served hot and yummy straight from the wok.
Dessert #1 was a delicious sago soup with toffee and cream flavors (no spoon required) followed by maccha chai icecream.
What lead me to this three hour, 11 course culinary Asian delight (the food and the chef) – an online article that had me determined to eat here before I head back to Slaapstad. Cost: R600 and byo drink. Totally worth it. Next time I’ll take a friend too!
Read more about the enthusiastic and interesting Su-Yen at http://expatwomenafrica.com/2017/11/07/su-yen/ or visit her Facebook page Chez Fong for recipes and more.