Furongji: Playful Dim Sum with a Twist

There is something different about the dim sum by Furongji.

Some might ask if it’s fusion, but for someone who’s a fanatic when it comes to her dim sum, I like to call this a fun and creative twist on a cuisine that is so often trying way too hard to be traditional and authentic. While you can certainly find some classic dim sum options on Furongji’s menu, the style and recipes behind many of the new and unique creations on Furongji’s menu are far from traditional, and that makes this place stand apart from every other dim sum joint in town, which is just pure genius.

“Furongji is a reinterpretation of what makes a ‘modern’ dim sum restaurant. For the founders, it wasn’t about simply changing the colour of the dumpling skins or adding truffles. Their research into the heartlands of dimsum in Guangdong province showed them that actually, while the rest of the world seems to think there is a fixed way of how dimsum ‘should’ be done in both the classic and modern sense, they discovered that people in places like Shunde didn’t feel so restricted or bothered by these notions and instead cooked with more freedom and fun. So Furongji has recreated their favorite dim sum dishes – from the flavors and recipes to the styling and garnishes – to enhance each dish in a cool, fun and delicious way.” – Furongji Team

Furongji is brought to you by Joel Shuchat and Youngcall, owner/operator extraordinaires of the gorgeous Orchid boutique hotel who have enlisted the talents of chef-consultant-about-town, Sue Zhou. Located just in front of the Orchid hotel on Baochao Hutong, this clever and crafty dim sum joint is officially the only dim sum restaurant in the hutongs of old Beijing (as of now) and that also gives them a few extra bonus cool points.

LDS Snapshots of the Crazy Cool Furongji:

Over the course of their soft opening phase, we have had the privilege and honor of sampling a LOT of dishes, so don’t be scared by the extensive list of dish photos featured below – I didn’t eat it all in one sitting! And you’ll find that I’ve organized the dish photos in the order of Furongji’s menu categories starting with their Steamed/Boiled Dim Sum Dishes followed by their Soups/Congee, Signature Rice Rolls, Fried/Roasted Dim Sum, Steamed Rice Pots, and Desserts.

With over 30+ dim sum dishes to choose from, you’ll want to come prepared – not only with an empty stomach, but ideally with a handful of other hungry friends so that you can feast together and sample as much as your stomachs can handle.

Stand-outs worth noting are their signature rice rolls, which are unique in that their rice sheets are made with rice ground in the stone mill (the authentic, giant ones). Both the egg and mushroom and the stewed beef are excellent and the beef ones are even steamed twice for an even more delicate texture. Their version of Jin Dui (麻团) or Sesame Balls (which is traditionally a dessert filled with red bean paste) is transformed into a savory dish with a chicken curry filling with melted cheese. Totally unconventional, totally unexpected and, at the same time, totally a slam dunk.

So long as you don’t come in looking for a very traditional Cantonese dim sum experience, you’re going to love Furongji!

Red Tea Gin & Tonic (RMB 60)

I highly recommend starting your dim sum experience with one of their crafty tea-infused cocktails like this twist on a traditional Gin & Tonic with Red Tea! It leads you on a merry journey through the initial sweetness to the slight bitter tea aftertaste.

Furongji’s Steamed/Boiled Dim Sum:

Chicken Feet with Dried Scallops (RMB 22)

A defining dish of many dim sum joints, the chicken feet here is fall-off-the bone tender and full of flavor. Here is a classic dish, done very well.

 

Steamed Taro & Pork MeatBalls (RMB 22)

Not a lot of dim sum restaurants will actually serve this dish, but I’ll always get it if it’s available. While the flavor is subtle, the combination of taro and pork creates a lovely texture.

Vegetarian Red Oil Dumplings (RMB 28)

This is the vegetarian version of the House Wontons featured above. This one is just as hearty and different enough from the meat-filled ones (with a bit of extra spice) that you can most certainly justify ordering both!

Chaozhou Fenguo Dumplings (RMB 28)

Another vegetarian option on their menu, these beauties taste as good as they look. Filled to the brim with mushrooms, water chestnuts and other veggies, they’re generous in portion size.

XO Lotus Leaf Chicken Rice (RMB 28)

Careful not to fill up too much on this sticky rice so I recommend ordering 1 to share between 3 or 4 as you can open up the lotus leaves to reveal a big portion of the steamed, sticky rice with chicken. I love the flavorful slices of Cantonese sausage (aka lap cheong) in this sticky rice!

Unwrap the Lotus Leaves for the Chicken Rice Treasure

Crystal Shrimp Dumplings (RMB 28)

Another classic dim sum dish that Furongji has kept more traditional. Just make sure you have some of their homemade XO sauce to smother over these!

Sauna Chicken (RMB 22)

There are two dishes that are similar on the menu so you might want to choose just one out of the two – either the Sauna Chicken (above) or this chicken topped on their steamed rice pot (see that category below). We opted to order their other two steamed rice pot dishes, so you’ll just find this one version featured here. Why is it called sauna chicken? It’s always cooked with the chicken soup underneath. Genius. Definitely a stand-out in tenderness and the mushrooms add a lot of fragrance to complement the chicken.

Furongji’s Soups/Congee:

Coconut Chicken Soup (RMB 22)

There is something magical about Cantonese soup that seems to be a cure-all for any ailment and will certainly warm you up on a cold day. This version is unique in that it features coconut water and generous portions of coconut meat, which gives this broth an added touch of sweetness to the savory chicken.

Furongji’s Specialty Rice Rolls:

Rice Rolls with Egg and Wild Mushroom (RMB 14)

Rice Rolls with Stewed Beef (RMB 22)

As mentioned above, both types of rice rolls are made with rice ground in real stone mills. The result is pillow-y soft cheung fung and one topped with stewed beef is gorgeous – meaty with a hint of sweetness to it and tender as anything (twice steamed)!

Furongji’s Fried/Roasted Dim Sum:

Baked Chashaobao (RMB 28)

Not your typical BBQ buns, these are a mini version of the baked variety with a slice of melted Mozzarella cheese for added savory to the sweet filling.

BBQ’d Crispy Pork Ribs (RMB 28)

Another win with the perfect balance of fatty and meat, smoky and sweet, crispy and tender. And this is a higher grade cut of pork meat, which is also going to make a big difference.

Shrimp Spring Rolls (RMB 38)

Their prawn spring rolls with wasabi mayo dip are so moreish. Crunchy, crispy and with enough tang from the mayo to keep you going back for more!

Pan-Fried Radish Cakes (RMB 22)

While this one is a classic version, those with a good eye and attention for detail might notice that this dish happens to have 3 boxes to tick next to its name…(read onwards!)

Specialty Pan-Fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce and Poached Egg

To order this hidden gem, guests will have to check the 3rd box on the menu! This one comes topped with an oozing poached egg (our toppled to the side of the dish) and fragrant XO sauce spread all over. Definitely a step above the classic version!

Eggplant Samosas (RMB 22)

A nod to another one of their favorite Sichuan dishes 凉拌茄子, this trio of crispy-fried dumplings are filled with garlicy eggplant. Because they can.

Chicken Curry Sesame Balls (RMB 38)

The dish I described as a slam dunk, this is so crazy good and I have mad respect for the team to have created this masterpiece. It might look like a classic dim sum dessert called Jin Dui, but this one is savory and filled with chicken curry and melted cheese!! Absolutely incredible!

Furongji’s Steamed Rice Pots:

Chicken Feet and Ribs Steamed Rice Pots (RMB 28)

Beef-Cake and Egg Steamed Rice Pot (RMB 28)

Anything with an oozing poached egg is always going to be a draw for me. This one is on top of a thick sheet of minced beef and water chestnut over rice. A meal in itself, this one is really hearty and satisfying, but also very filling!

Furongji’s Delectable Dim Sum Desserts:

Finally, onto their desserts! I think that one area of dim sum that is massively underrated are the desserts. They can hold their own with the heavyweights of the industry and Fu Rong Ji has managed to preserve that reputation admirably. I actually think that each dessert is incredible and I leave happy every time in spite of the lack of egg tarts on their dessert menu (my all-time favorite dim sum/dessert ever).

Lychee Black Tea Ice Cream (RMB 22)

A beautiful combination of texture and flavor, this dessert gets it right. In case you can’t see them on the bottom there, the lychee black tea ice cream is on a bed of black, sticky boba beads.

Crystal Pears (RMB 22)

Break it Open for a Zesty Orange Citrus Jelly Filling

Surprisingly refreshing, this poached pear dessert with osmanthus and goji berries has a lovely orange jelly filling inside! How they managed to get that inside the pear will remain a mystery.

Mochi Filled with Durian + Mochi with Raspberry & Shaved White Chocolate 

(each order comes with 4 Mochi, RMB 14)

Bite-sized mochi with either Durian and Coconut or Raspberry and White Chocolate Shavings, each order comes with 4 mochi balls which certainly won’t be enough but wash it down with some almond milk and you’ll be ready for your dim sum food coma.

Almond Milk (RMB 28)

Whether or not you have already ordered other desserts, you must also get an almond milk for every person at your table. Even if they resist and complain that their too full, don’t listen. This is mandatory and you will thank me for your persistence. Subtle (not too sweet) and served warm, this is just the perfect ending to a delicious dim sum feast.

Furongji’s Contact Details:

  • Address: (Outside the Orchid Boutique Hotel) 63 Baochao Hutong, Dongcheng District
  • 地址:东城区宝钞胡同63号
  • Tel: 5394 5228
  • Opening Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays (Closed on Mondays) from 11AM-10PM

About Kristen
Kristen Lum has an accomplished background in PR, communications and events in China. Born and raised in California, Kristen has been based in Beijing since 2006 and is founder of the lifestyle blog called LumDimSum, covering mostly restaurant news and reviews alongside upcoming events around town that relate to Beijing’s muti-faceted, quickly-developing creative industries like art, music, film, health and fitness, fashion, nightlife, charity events, and travel tips.

Mio is Reborn

That’s right, Mio Italian Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel is being awarded recognition left and right with the recent honor of being listed as ...