Zouk Genting's first-ever vibe-dining restaurant is now open—here's what you need to know!
Dinner in the skies
Opened late last month at Resorts World Genting in Pahang is Fuhu Restaurant & Bar, a new vibe-dining concept by Asia's top nightclub brand, Zouk Group, in partnership with the London-born, Toronto-bred chef.
Turns out, if it wasn't for Fuhu (which stands for 'Lucky Tiger' in Mandarin btw), Chef Alvin would've opened a restaurant in Malaysia eventually too. "I've always wanted to start something here. So it was an easy decision when Zouk approached me about this sometime last year," he told us in an exclusive interview. "It was pitched to me as a game-changer that would complement their clubs and that intrigued me because as a 58-year-old, I really wanted to find my youth again and what better way than this opportunity to create something fun for today's millennials. This restaurant definitely represents who I am because it's based on a myth, a tiger—something people see as threatening but in reality is not."
Known by his nickname "The Demon Chef", Chef Alvin is one of the biggest personalities in the Asian culinary scene. The self-taught chef was awarded two Michelin stars in 2009 for Bo Innovation, his restaurant in Hong Kong. Four years later, it was elevated to a three Michelin star restaurant, and has retained its ranking 'till today. A firm believer that taste is governed by memories, Chef Alvin hopes that FUHU will be the next trending pre-club dining destination that people wouldn't mind travelling a long way for.
Seating up to 150 diners, the 8,000 sq. ft. space promises to take experiential dining to a heightened sensory level. Designed to visually excite by Malaysian interior design stalwarts, Designstream, Fuhu takes diners through a Chinese apothecary shop-themed entrance, onward along to a hidden garden corridor through the restaurant, with a life-sized Sakura tree in the main dining area. Celebrated graffiti artist, Kenji Chai (who signs his work Chaigo), brought to life the tale of Lady Meng and the Tiger in a floor-to-ceiling mural, while elements of traditional Chinese culture such as rosewood chairs and Ming-dynasty blue and white porcelain motifs transport guests into the story.
One thing Chef Alvin was quick to highlight during our chat was that Fuhu serves modern Chinese dishes. He emphasised that his menu should not be confused with molecular cuisine and that his dishes are, in fact, a blend of unique yet nostalgic creations that fuses east and west.
If those names sound familiar to you, that's because it should. Chef Alvin explained that while his inspiration came from the top 10 Chinese dishes in the United States and United Kingdom, the items on the menu mainly consist of dishes he enjoyed eating most. For example, the General's Fried Chicken & Waffle was inspired by the famous General Tso's Chicken, a classic Chinese takeout in the US; the Aromatic Crispy Duck on the other hand, is a famed London Chinatown dish that was originated in China but reinvented in the British city.
We had the opportunity to be one of the first groups to dine at Fuhu and we're glad to report that they taste as good as they look! Our personal favourites (not pictured) were the Duck Essence Porridge (because who doesn't love a warm bowl of comfort food after walking in the cold all day) and Coconut Affogato (you know you need those espresso shots if you want to party all night).
What's a pre-club destination without drinks? Fuhu's resident Chief Mixologist, Saam Pranill, informed us that the drinks served at the bar were purely created to help enhance the flavours of the food. So while there are your usual spirits, champagnes and wine on the menu, we highly recommend giving the restaurant's signature cocktails a try instead! Here are four that we found interesting:
Tiffined Gin Tonic — Served in a Tiffin container that was used in the olden days by the Chinese to store their herbs, this is one drink you can either buy per cup or to share amongst others. Made with an artisanal tonic from Greece that contains Mediterranean herbs, a grapefruit soda that uses 80% natural ingredients and Beefeater, this drink pairs well with seafood and white meat (duck and poultry).
Lazy Lemon Drop — This drink was born when the bosses from Zouk were searching for something to wake them up from a tiring day one evening (hence the name 'lazy'). Given that it's served in a glass container that's usually used to store sour candies at the doctor's office, rest assured you'll also be getting some sour candy when you order this drink.
Drunken Tiger — A fusion of Gin, Martini Rosso, Campari and a tiny portion of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (traditional Chinese herbal cough syrup) for that added minty-ness, this drink is served in a dried bottle gourd that's traditionally used by the Chinese to carry medicine or alcohol.
The Reunion — This unique cocktail comes in a Chinese tea set (originally sourced from the Nyonya community in Malacca) as pictured above and it contains a concoction of bourbon, honey, calamansi lime juice, cinnamon, orange slices, hot water and hong zao (aka red dates).
As you can see, there's obviously a recurring theme when it comes to Fuhu's curated cocktail menu. Most of them are made for sharing and they all have a special backstory (usually involving a specific traditional Chinese origin) of how it came about. So if you ever spot Saam at the bar, make sure to give him a wave as he'll surely be glad to tell you all about his creations or his journey of hand-picking each vessel from all over Southeast Asia!
"The ultimate goal of Fuhu is to present a new way of seeing and tasting," says Andrew Li, Chief Executive Officer of Zouk Group. During our media review session, we were entertained with magic tricks in between meals by Acker Kwan from The MADgicians. When asked whether this form of entertainment will continue after the grand launch, Andrew assured that they aim to provide an experience guests won't forget so soon. Also, they have a gong.
Address: Level G, SkyAvenue (right next to the Zouk Club and RedTail Bar)
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, from 6pm to 1am