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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 10:00am–2:00am

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Bellaire Chinatown
9889 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX
(713) 981-8818
FuFu Café
It’s worth the wait for good soup dumplings; seems that everyone else agrees

Pint-sized FuFu Café wins admirers where perhaps its fussier, pricier restaurant does not, mostly because of its adept soup dumplings (the skins of which actually stay intact but aren’t too gummy) and terrific congee. Sure, the service is often overwhelmed and slow, and there isn’t much to look at while you’re waiting to be acknowledged, but to be fair, the management probably never imagined it would come to be considered Houston’s leading provider of xiao long bao (which the menu calls, confusingly, “steamed pork buns”).

Once you finally do get your food, FuFu is easy to like. It’s equally well suited to a simple lunch or a late-late-night alcohol-sopper. Ma po tofu is fiery and flavorful, and full of mouth-trippy Szechuan peppercorns. Noodle soups are also reliable: spicy beef noodle soup is bracing and redolent of a broth long simmered with bones and fat, served with generous helpings of pickled mustard greens and bok choy. Mushroom soup is not quite so complex in flavor, but it is mushroomy. Pan-fried pork dumplings are just right, salted liberally and with a crusty, seared underbelly. When in season, razor clams are delicious. Skip most of the lunch specials, as they’re normally run-of-the-mill dishes that are only there for the looks. And no matter how busy it is, don’t run for shelter to FuFu Restaurant.

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