Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Hon Fusion

After a few fabulous cocktails with good friends on a night out, I realised that I was getting tremendously hungry so me and my friends went to Hon Fusion for a late night Chinese meal. This place is basically my local- opened up a couple of years ago and I have been there many times since. The d├ęcor is quite dark, but very comforting, with lots of Asian decorations on the walls, and a big specials board (written in both Chinese and English). As I have been here a few times (sit-in and take away) I have realised that the food here IS GOOD, but only if you know what to order (if you know what I mean). Starter-wise their soups are very nice (my boyfriend always gets the veggie hot and sour soup, says it’s amazing- bit too hot for me though!) as are their ribs, spring rolls, and salt and pepper tofu. This time I went for their “aromatic duck roll”- which is basically the duck you would normally get with pancakes, stuffed into a spring roll and then deep fried. Sounds a bit weird but it’s very nice, and served with a sweet and sticky hoisin sauce. It was really nice, but this time it was served lukewarm- I hate when food isn’t served hot enough! Would have asked for them to serve me the food hot and all that but didn’t want to be a pain.

I feel that because we were there fairly late, we got rubbish service, which I thought was a bit lame, because it’s not as if we turned up 5 minutes before they closed (I get that all the time at Cosy Club- literally we get food orders 1 minute before closing it’s so annoying), we ordered at 10:20 and they stop serving food at 11, which is acceptable as far as I’m concerned. Mains were delivered before the starters had been cleared, which I think was either A) because it was fairly late and they wanted to rush us out (which I find unacceptable- because if I go for a meal at a restaurant, it doesn’t matter what time it is, I expect to take my time over a meal and not feel like I’m being forced to eat everything really quickly) or B) They didn’t understand us when we said we wanted the starters first and then the mains. I don’t mean to sound bad, but when ordering in Hon Fusion, it’s a good idea to just stick to the numbers on the menu, and not to try and ask for anything special to be made for you, as some (not all) of the staff don’t speak much English. One time I wanted to try something on their menu “Thai red duck curry”, but I wanted it with chicken instead of duck, and the waitress just looked blank at me whilst I tried explaining to her what I wanted and then said it couldn’t be done, which I reckon it could easily have been. In the end I don’t mind because the menu is great and the food is nice, but it’s just something to keep in mind (especially when ordering a takeaway over the phone and all that).

For mains I had the sizzling black pepper beef, my boyfriend had the fragrant chilli chicken (he orders it every time actually- it’s REALLY nice, a bit too spicy for me but it’s got such great flavour) and we shared some steamed rice and some noodles with beansprouts and spring onions (as side dishes). My main course was scrummy, and Nick’s main was cooked well. There are a few main courses I would recommend in Hon Fusion: their “chicken curry”, chicken in black bean sauce with green peppers, ooh and their courgettes in honey black pepper sauce. The courgettes actually I would say is the nicest thing on the menu- but I found myself stopping ordering them lately because they charge £8 for it, and I just think it’s ridiculous to be given a small amount of fried courgettes in sauce and be charged that much for it. I would expect that price if it had meat in it, but without it’s a bit of a rip-off really- I know how much courgettes cost.

Had a bit of an issue re-service during our mains though. On the table next to us all the staff came out (kitchen and front of house I’m guessing) and they all sat down and started eating and chatting. It was 10:45 (again, stops servind at 11pm- not closes at 11pm!), and I’m just thinking I don’t want to spend loads of money on a meal to feel like I was having dinner at some random person’s living room. In a restaurant you pay for the service as well as the food, and I felt like we were ignored because they all fancied finishing early. I would go out in my restaurant after we closed the kitchen and sit on a table and eat random food next to people. I don’t think it’s suitable.
Overall it came to about £22 each, which is the usual price for when you get a meal there. Seems like it doesn’t matter if I go there on my own or part of a big group and have loads of beers- it always ends up about £20-£25, which is fair enough. I feel like this review has sounded fairly negative, but it’s still quite a nice restaurant, and a great place to have only a couple of doors down from me. It’s just this visit was particularly rubbish on the service side I suppose. I would mark is 8/10 for the food (1 off for being served cold food, and 1 off because I feel that with their menu, there are some amazingly scrummy dishes on it, but also some really rubbish ones. You need to find out what you like if you know what I mean) and 4/10 for the service (based mainly on what it is like on this occasion, normally the service is all right).

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