After hours: HK Fusion
January 7, 2009
CAMBRIDGE — If you’re craving Chinese but looking for something a little unusual, HK Fusion might be just the ticket.
Like many of the more popular Asian eateries in and around East Anglia, HK Fusion serves a pan-Asian menu. HK stands for Hong Kong, the former British-controlled metropolis and hometown of the restaurant’s owner. And like the bustling city itself, the menu at HK Fusion has a unique, somewhat Westernized, feel.
But unless you’ve been to China, it’s hard to start talking authenticity, so we’ll just focus on what’s good. And that does not seem to be in short supply at this little restaurant on Burleigh Street near the Grafton Center shopping mall.
With bubble milk tea, Peking duck pancakes and its signature "Hong Kong hot pot" — an infused rice-and-meat dish — there’s sure to be something that strikes your fusion fancy.
What’s bubble milk tea? Oh dear friends, it’s something worth trying. Originating in Taiwan in the 1980s, it’s also called "Boba." It’s an iced tea-based drink with a little cream, sugar and tapioca "pearls" mixed in. It sounds weird and is weird, but it’s delicious if you give it a try.
Bubble milk tea is served with an extra-fat straw to suck up the tapioca balls, which settle near the bottom of the glass in all their gelatinous glory. It’s a little unconventional to plan a dining experience around a drink, but it’s that good. And bubble milk tea is hard to find, so the fact that HK Fusion has it on tap is a definite plus. At only 2.50 pounds, the investment won’t break you if you happen not to like it.
On to the food! The duck pancakes (4.95 pounds) are on the starter menu but can easily work as a main dish. The pancakes (of the Chinese, not American, persuasion) are served in a bamboo basket to preserve their delicately thin makeup and keep them warm. A plate of crisp spring onion-and-cucumber strips comes on the side with a dish of hoisan sauce. At the center of it all is a plate of crispy fried duck that is taken off the bone and shredded for easy assembly of what is essentially a Chinese duck fajita.
The pork and fried noodles (6.95 pounds) is a hearty portion of meat, Chinese noodles, vegetables and a hoisan-based sauce, which was maybe served with a heavy hand on a recent night. Still, it was a tasty plate, which left the table empty.
They also serve dim sum, small appetizer-like servings of dumplings and other savory and sweet dishes. And there’s a unique dessert menu worth perusing, though I was too full to order anything from it.
Dishes range from 4 and 8 pounds, so try a few things if you fancy. And don’t be afraid of the bubble milk tea. If you’re like me, that’ll be what brings you back.
Location: 21 Burleigh St., Cambridge, CB1 1DG
Phone: 01223 355 909
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday noon – 8 p.m.