The Tiger In the Kitchen
Could The Demon Chef – the culinary rebel behind ‘X-treme Chinese’ cuisine and that infamous Sex on the Beach dish, complete with an edible condom – finally be mellowing? At the opening of FUHU Restaurant and Bar, Zouk Group’s first-ever dining outlet at Resorts World Genting, Alvin Leung freely admits that his wild nights out are now a thing of the past.
“Do I enjoy drinking myself silly until three in the morning? No, I’m over that stage – and besides, my wife won’t let me anyway!" laughs the chef and owner of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, which holds three Michelin stars. Still, he’s a long way off from espousing an ascetic lifestyle: his partnership with Zouk Group has tasked him with the responsibility of bringing the flair to FUHU Restaurant’s contemporary Chinese menu, and he’s more than delivered.
“FUHU is the perfect melting pot of all the wow-factor experiences that Zouk has created over the past three decades," comments Joseph Ryan, General Manager of Zouk Genting. “The atmospheric music curation, the creative cocktails, the personable service, and now bringing the entertainment and fun to dining with a modern twist to authentic Asian cuisine."
The 750 sq m venue, which features a faux-Chinese apothecary at the entrance, striking tiger murals by graffiti artist Kenji Chai, and an upside-down cherry blossom tree hanging above the bar, feels very much like a restaurant-club hybrid. As it’s right next the Empire by Zouk superclub, FUHU (meaning ‘lucky tiger’ in Mandarin) is likely to be favoured by hardcore partygoers who want a satisfying pre- or post-club meal – and indeed, Leung knows exactly what they need.
“I wanted to create this for the youth, and to do something I’d never done that would make me feel young again," he says. “There’s an emphasis on table service – dishes arrive with smoke and gongs, for instance – but this is not molecular cuisine. Nowadays, people forget that food has to taste good, and to me, making food fun also involves making a tasty dish." As a result, the menu leans unapologetically towards comfort food – the sort of dishes you’d happily guzzle down in the throes of making merry.
Who could resist FUHU’s aromatic crispy duck, Boston lobster noodles with ginger and scallions, or jasmine tea-smoked soya chicken rolls, especially after several Drunken Tigers (a signature cocktail with gin, Campari, and Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa herbal cough syrup)? There’s also a nod to Leung’s own favourite ‘drunk food’ – congee – in the form of duck porridge, where hot duck soup is poured over a bowl of white rice, chopped scallops, spring onions, and toasted rice.