Decent Chinese food is a dime a dozen in North Texas. But real Shanghai-style cuisine, cooked in a family kitchen -- that’s something special.
It all starts with the name. ‘Yao’ is the restaurant owner’s surname and ‘Fuzi’ means father and son.
On any given day, owner Chris Yao’s father is working the woks in the kitchen and Mom is in the back rolling out up to three hundred dumplings a day.
The Fuzi family immigrated to the states so that their son could pursue an education and experience all the opportunities offered in the United States.
“My family sacrificed a lot so that I could come here and carve out a successful life for myself,” explained Yao.
He is soft-spoken, humble and polite. His passion and pride for what he and his family have to offer in their restaurant is readily apparent.
In a city where really good Chinese food is hard to find, Yao Fuzi delivers both traditional Chinese-American fare (lo mein, fried rice, orange beef, Kung Pao chicken and beef with broccoli) and other lesser-known dishes that are common in Asia.
Jellyfish tops their list of more adventurous options. The flotilla is a common appetizer at most restaurants in Shanghai, said to cleanse the palate.
If jellyfish is bit much for diners to stomach, the “Xiang Long Bao” soup dumplings have regulars singing Yao Fuzi’s praises.
The bite-sized dumplings have a thin, steamed, unleavened outer skin that holds in the meat filling (most often ground pork, sometimes pork with crab) and the savory broth.
The slow braised bacon cut pork belly beckons any diner who finds pleasure in all things piggy. The fall-off-the-bone sweet meat is shelacked in a fresh, ginger herb soy sauce. The dish satisfies any savory or sweet craving.
Adventurous diners should ask for the "real deal" menu, which is printed in Chinese (with English explanations). That's where the jellyfish, "Lion Head" meat ball and Fuzi crispy beef entrees are waiting.
Go ahead, give it a try. Moo goo gai pan is for amateurs.