We've recently had a Taiwanese lady staying with us - she was travelling with a party of Taiwanese schoolkids as the group leader. The company organising the trip arranged an evening out in Norwich and took them all to Hong Kong Fusion. As it's located in the hell-hole of Prince of Wales Road, the heart (if you can use the term for such a clearly heartless dump of an area) of Norwich's nightclub scene, I thought it would be pretty dire. However, on her return our guest was raving about the place, saying it was better than any Chinese restaurant in Soho's Chinatown, London - and she is much and widely travelled, so should know.
Intrigued, we therefore thought we'd give it a go and since the lady was with us for another week, suggested we take her there again so she could steer us through the menu and suggest some of her favourite dishes.
As most people know, what passes for Chinese food outside China and the Far East often bears little resemblance to the home-produced stuff, but it seems the difference isn't so great, at least if our Taiwanese connoisseur was to be believed. The menu at Hong Kong Fusion comes in several parts, one of which is only in Chinese (Cantonese, rather than Mandarin) script. I think there were three different menus, which was a bit mind-blowing. One of them was devoted to Dim Sum as I recall and we started with pork dumplings, which were delicious.
The staff were young and funky - our cheerful Anglo-Chinese waitress listened to our Taiwanese guest gabbling away to her in Mandarin, but I got the impression she wasn't getting it all. She admitted that she speaks Cantonese and only a little Mandarin, so my impression was correct. Another waiter/barman appeared to understand Mandarin a little better, but given the origins of Chinese restaurants in the UK - ie mostly started by immigrants from Hong Kong, where the first language was Cantonese, at least until HK was handed back to China, this isn't surprising.
An encouraging sign was that the place was well-patronised by Chinese people, who were chomping and slurping away happily enough.
Another dish we really enjoyed was based on spicey bean curd, while another we chose after spotting it on another party's table was some exotic-looking greens known colloquially as 'empty hearts', since they had hollow stems but were a little bit like purple sprouting broccoli. It was good to have some vegetables, as they offset the slightly unhealthy feeling you can get after eating Chinese good, which is big on meat, carbs and sticky sauces, but often short on nutritional balance, especially fibre.
Our Taiwanese visitor had ordered a duck dish next, which certainly had a good flavour, but which was way too fatty and boney., at least for my taste and diet. It's basically the whole side of a duck, hacked into small pieces on the bone, then cooked. Our guest sucked the fatty meat off the pieces of bone enthusiastically and I managed a couple of morsels just to keep her happy, but it really wasn't my thing and even my wife, whose gastronomic tastes are much more catholic than mine, didn't rate it very highly either.
The usual range of quaff-able Chinese beers was available and there were soft drinks too. Didn't try the wine list so can't comment on what other reviewers have said.
Was HK Fusion exceptional? Hmmm - not sure. Certainly there were some very good flavours in the food but if my wife and I had been on our own, we would probably have made a different selection. Given the location I would recommend visiting the restaurant well before the nightclubs get going - I imagine it can get a bit grim once the lagered-up clubbers emerge from their Dantean frolics and start looking for something to eat.
My initial inclination was to give the place a 'very good' rating, because I think it was better than average - I wish Trip Advisor would create a 'good' category, as it's too big a drop from 'very good' to 'average' and 'very good' is too close to 'excellent' in my view, but I wouldn't give HK Fusion a 'very good' rating, so it'll just have to be average. Friends who've been there have also commented that the food is expensive for what it is. I didn't really consider that on this occasion as we weren't paying, but the bill came to about £80 for the three of us and we didn't have wine or puddings.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.