The Fortune Five Chinese restaurant is not particularly prepossessing either from the street front or inside – the decor is typically suburban, but with the addition of a tank of fish and lobsters in the window to attract customers. The food is, on the other hand judging by our recent visit, somewhat more pleasant.
We dropped by early one evening and at the time were one of only two tables of customers – by the time we left an hour or two later, that had changed and many tables were full of couples, groups, families out for an early dinner with the kids and generally people having a good time.
We were seated quickly, and menus and drinks list brought to the table. Then we waited…and waited…the waiter was deep in conversation with someone at the counter, then as that person left knocked over a bowl which broke – he then spent an inordinate amount of time sweeping it up – never has such dedication to a simple task been more on display. When eventually he glanced up I was able to catch his eye and over he came to take our order.
The drinks list isn’t all that bad – a little better than some restaurants of this cuisine that we have visited but still no doubt a wine reps list. Mainly wines from Three Oceans at Margaret River, but also Devils Lair, Houghtons and interestingly enough Penfolds Bin 389 and Bin 407. A few beers and spirits completed the list. We set our sights on the Three Oceans rosé which is a pleasant enough wine of the sweeter finishing style.
The menu is, as is usually the case, pretty large – encompassing a variety of dishes and ingredients. Starters include spring rolls, won ton, san choy bao, jelly fish in chilli sauce and various soups. The mains emphasise seafood, but also have pork, chicken and beef dishes, and many of vegetable and tofu.
We decided on a couple of mains – king prawns with cashews in a Szechuan chilli sauce and steamed tofu with seafood stuffing. With this we ordered steamed rice and a pot of tea was also delivered to the table. The food, once ordered came quickly, and by this time the place was filling up so that was some evidence of good planning in the kitchen.
Both dishes were generously sized – the prawns came with cashews as described and dried chilli, a spicy sauce with onion, capsicum and other vegetables. The sauce was quite zesty, but lacked the distinctive Szechuan pepper spice that we had expected – but for all that it was an enjoyable meal. The prawns were well cooked retaining a nice bite and the vegetables and nuts crunchy and crisp.
The tofu dish was served in a large flat bowl and had the look and consistency of blanc mange, interspersed with little cubes of firmer tofu and slivers of prawn and other seafood. It was different, but had good taste and the seafood flavour was noticeable. It appealed to me more as a breakfast dish, in the congee style, perhaps with some chilli sprinkled over it. However we both thought it quite agreeable.
Once we had finished eating the waiter brought over a plate of sliced orange to refresh our palate and aid digestion no doubt – we thought that a nice touch. The service was friendly and, after the initial delay, was prompt. The food was tasty and well cooked and the family atmosphere of the place indicates that it is hitting its target market. While Fortune Five cannot claim to be at the forefront of Chinese food in Perth it has its place and is worth at least dropping by to sample the food on offer.