Saturday, February 18, 2012

Point Zero Four Fusion 零點串吧


Despite the name Point Zero Four Fusion, there is no fusion cuisine here. The place is actually a Beijing style hot pot restaurant, but they have recently started to offer lunch from 11 am to 3 pm every day. Although the food was not bad, there were a number of things that would prevent me from coming back:

1) dirty and cheap cutlery:
The bowls and spoons were made of plastic and they were completely stained. One of the bowls was actually leaking. There was no visible hole, but the soup in the bowl leaked onto the table as I was eating.
2) general hygiene:
The table was sticky and the hot pot stove in the centre was crusted with food dregs in the cracks. I even saw a couple of eyelashes on the table. And I saw the chef picking his teeth with his fingers.
3) slow and inattentive service:
There was only one waitress working the floor and the restaurant was pretty big. Even though there weren't a lot of customers, there were still too many tables for one person to handle. She never came by our table unless we waved her over, and every time it took a few minutes to get her attention.

Now on to the food. The menu consisted of cold dishes, noodles, and typical Beijing dim sum. We chose cooked sliced beef (醬牛肉) ($5.99) as our cold appetizer. The beef was supposed to be marinated, but it was simply soaked in a load of black vinegar with a little bit of garlic. At least the meat was tender enough and tasted alright.


We also got a seafood salad (海鮮沙拉) ($6.99) from the cold dish section. The strange thing about this salad was that it was served slightly warm. Apart from the 2 mussels, 1 squid, 1 small octopus and 1 tiny shrimp, seafood apparently meant imitation crab meat and fish cake. That was fine as I didn't expect much for $7, but warm salad with mayo was just too weird for me.


The noodle soup with cooked beef and vegetables (紅燒牛腩湯麵) ($7.95) came with... no soup. The chef must have forgotten to put it in. Funny how that could happen. In any case, it wasn't possible to eat the noodles without soup because they were stuck together in a clump, so we asked the waitress to add soup for us. The noodles turned out to be really soft and bordering on mushy — definitely not the texture I liked. I didn't appreciate the raw Chinese radish either. But the beef was very soft and well-marinated.


One of the better dishes was the wonton soup with seaweed (北方餛飩) ($5.95). Both the wontons and soup were mild in flavour, but not bland at all. This dish was a satisfying comfort food.


The steamed buns with pork and leek (豬肉大蔥包子) ($5.95) were also quite nice. The bread was bouncy with a soft and airy texture, while the pork filling was juicy and savoury.


The beef roll with green onion pancake (牛肉卷餅) ($5.95) was a lot milder than I had expected. In fact, the pancake was rather bland and there was a lack of sauce. I felt like I was chewing on a piece of dough with beef and cucumber filling.


As mentioned earlier, I won't come back again despite the tasty steamed buns and wontons. The meal wasn't very enjoyable because of the cleanliness issue, and we didn't feel very welcome due to the spotty service. The food wasn't spectacular enough for me to overlook these flaws, so I'll stay away unless there's significant improvement.

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