HEY, FOOK YEW!

If it's your first time hearing the funky words, then no, it's NOT what you think. While it sounds and looks like a total slang of the 'F word', it actually has a great hidden meaning:  

‘FOOK’ means “FORTUNE” and ‘YEW’ means “FRIENDSHIP”.

Fook Yew: Shanghai Bistro and Bubble Tea Lab 
Fook Yew brings Chinese restaurant to a whole new level with its fun, new, and creative concept, reflected on both menu naming convention and interior design. It's full of bold and vibrant colors of red, blue, green, and yellow; from dozens of bright red  lanterns hanging from the ceiling, colorful sets of dining chairs & ceramics-tiled table, to some provocative proverbs at their wallpapers. Heck, they even have their own street-food carts, old traditional bike, and a jumbo Lucky Cat figurine in front of the store!  Kudos to the designers team, which is not surprising at all since Ismaya, as the operating company behind, always give their best when it comes to designing an eatery concept + full branding. Too eye-catchy that an UK-based online lifestyle & design magazine also cover them :)

 (click for larger images and use arrows to navigate)

What's also interesting is that Fook Yew does not want to be your ordinary Chinese bistro. They're aiming at something young-spirited, fun, unthinkable, like combining alcohol to your bubble tea; just because... alcohol pretty much describes the youngsters, right? They quite hit the market as one of the pioneers, and I'd say it's really unique. They have their mixologist-slash-chief of bartender did a demo in creating two of their favorite beverages: The Stubby Dog and The Dancing Pig.

The Stubby Dog (IDR 69k) - Coffee Caramel, Creme de Cacao, Bailey's, with Coffee Jelly, Tapioca Balls, and Grass Jelly. I personally liked this one better because creamy bubble tea has always been my favorite!

The Stubby Dog (IDR 69k) - Coffee Caramel, Creme de Cacao, Bailey's, with Coffee Jelly, Tapioca Balls, and Grass Jelly. I personally liked this one better because creamy bubble tea has always been my favorite!

The Dancing Pig (IDR 69k) - Cranberry Juice, Creme de Cassis, Fresh Lemon Juice, Absolut Vodka, with Tapioca Balls and Aloe Vera. Oh and basil leave on top! Refreshing, but a bit too bitter after-taste effect.

The Dancing Pig (IDR 69k) - Cranberry Juice, Creme de Cassis, Fresh Lemon Juice, Absolut Vodka, with Tapioca Balls and Aloe Vera. Oh and basil leave on top! Refreshing, but a bit too bitter after-taste effect.

Yes. Creative naming convention. They basically have two different category on the bubble-tea menu: Non Alcoholic and Alcoholic. For the alcoholic bubble-tea selection, they have 12 different kinds which is named after each of Chinese zodiac. There we have The Fire Dragon, The Golden Rabbit, The Choco Tiger, The Storming Ox, The Shiny Rat, The Dancing Pig, The Stubby Dog, The Gummy Rooster, The Metal Monkey, The Wooden Sheep, The White Horse, and The Nutty Snake. All priced at IDR 69k.

And as for the non-alcoholic version (IDR 35k each), they name it after some famous Kung Fu movie titles, say Shaolin Soccer, Ip Man, The Return of The Condor Heroes, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle, etc. I mean, it's good, it's unique, but imagine having options THAT much and maybe, like me, you'll end up admiring the menu instead and be overly confused on what to pick. Maybe should add 'Roulette' wheel and make the menu as board games, to help people decide randomly? You're welcome.

 (notice that on the Bubble Tea cover - 2nd image on the slider above - they strongly advise customers to pop our straw to one of the 3 holes at the bottom, signed "HEALTH, WEALTH, and FORTUNE". Nice little details but should be placed a bit center-stage and should give more space not too adjacent to each other. See, now we're talking UX!)  

WHAT WE ATE

So we got seated with an already decided menu on the table. It says "Uncle Zheng Choices". It goes by sequence:
(P.S: I'm not sure who Uncle Zheng is, but as far as I know their Chef Executive's name is Shifu Ahong)

  1. Spicy Beef BBQ Sheng Jian Bao  (at a glance I feel like eating the whole portion to myself, but it's actually a lot bigger than its cousin, the steamed version Xiao Long Bao)
  2. Chicken & Prawn SJB (savory bao)
  3. White Sesame SJB (sweet bao)
  4. White Sesame SJB (up close, you can see the oozy smooth filling, but a bit too sweet to my liking)  
  5. Salted Fish & Chicken Fried Rice (Tasty!)
  6. Macau Fried Seafood Noodle with Egg Sauce (generous soup & seafood)
  7. Go Hiong in Honey Sauce (MUST TRY)
  8. Two Flavor Hongkong Kailan (feels like eating both Kailan stir-fry and "Ayam Tangkap's" deep-fried greenies. Love the crunchy bites! 
  9. Forgot its name. Technically it's on Nat's table :p

Overall it's a nice gathering. I actually came as Icha's +1 and I'm glad I did came since I've been dying out of curiosity about the whole concept ever since it opened last year. If you just get lost and don't know where to go in Gandaria City, do give Fook Yew a try.  Heard that they're going to open another branch soon in Grand Indonesia, same funky Chinese concept, with a little bit more colossal twist. Let's wait and see. :) 

Fook Yew Shanghai Bistro & Bubble Tea Lab
Gandaria City - Mainstreet GF, Unit MG 25
Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda 5 No. 8 Jakarta Selatan 12240
For reservations, call: 021 29007897

Facebook: FOOKYEW | Twitter: @fook_yewWebsite on Ismaya's