It’s been less than six months since Corina Wang opened Fortune BBQ Noodle House in a strip mall at the corner of Southeast 82nd Avenue and East Burnside Street, and the place is thriving.
On weekends, expect a line, sometimes out the door, of people waiting to get their mitts on Fortune’s delectably juicy roasted meats—duck, pork, chicken—hung displaying all of their splendor by the register. Forget trying to wedge a Subaru into the little parking lot out front during peak hours.
We love to see it.
Wang, a longtime server at Kenny’s Noodle House, opened her own business last September, bringing along the savory congee and soups her previous employer is famous for, and joining them with Cantonese barbecue classics, all for super reasonable prices.
If your order starts with barbecue and ends with more barbecue, I’m not going to blame you. The roasted pork belly is as uniformly delicious as any—super crispy and crackly skin atop a salty, well-rendered portion of pig. Often, char siu barbecue pork arrives an unnatural shade of red, dry and way too sweet; Fortune’s version is lacquered up to attain just the right balance of savory and sweet. It’s also addictingly succulent.
The roasted duck is a fine example of the dish—rich with soy flavor and served chopped by cleaver on the bone, but it doesn’t stand out as much as the pork here. A ginger-marinated chicken is a quiet but confident addition, and sometimes on special as a Hainan chicken and rice plate.
You can order a combo plate of any two meats for $15 over rice or egg noodles with oyster sauce and bok choy—I like the noodles. But truly, I say order them as a two-meat combo plate to share and get yourself a personal bowl of wonton noodle soup.
Fortune’s wontons are plump and filled with pork and shrimp, served in a broth that’s unlike most any I’ve had in town. My gold standard of wonton soup is at Zien Hong on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, a garlic-blasted chicken broth that never fails to cheer me up. At Fortune, the broth’s notes are almost herbal, with a strong dried scallop or fish element; eating it feels like drinking a potion.
There are super-huge fluffy pork bao buns that are priced at four for $8, and the congee is everything a porridge should be (don’t forget to add a youtiao doughnut for dipping).
On a few visits, the popular meats have run out, that pork belly in particular. One way to make sure you get your protein haul is to arrive near opening and order by the pound. Like many Chinese barbecue spots, you can also order a whole roasted pig with advance notice. I’ll make my intentions clear: My birthday is in October and there is going to be a Fortune BBQ pig on my table.
EAT: Fortune BBQ Noodle House, 18 SE 82nd Ave., 503-265-8378. 9:30 am-7 pm Wednesday-Monday.