Fortune's new, larger location on the Northwest Side has its growing pains.
The original Fortune Chinese, a no-frills strip mall hole-in-the-wall near Olentangy and Ackerman, has built a strong reputation as the first restaurant in Central Ohio to provide real-deal Sichuan Chinese. It has garnered a cult following among locals looking to take their taste buds to parts unknown, while also providing the comforting flavors of home for a large number of Chinese students living in the area.
Though the menu is large, the idea is simple: high quality Sichuan dishes prepared without a whit of concern for the average American's palate or culinary sensibilities. As the often full and diverse dining room attests, there's a market for that.
Fortune's new location on Dublin-Granville Road goes in a different direction, and it's not simple. It's as large as its counterpart is small, and its ambience is as lavish as the original's is nearly nonexistent.
Counting the menu board in the entry, there are four menus with distinct offerings, including dim sum, Chinese-American and Sichuan.Absorbing the plentiful options can be fatiguing for the customer and even seems to befuddle the unfailingly kind servers. The kitchen isn't faring much better—mix-ups were common on multiple visits and not a single dish exceeded levels of high quality found elsewhere. Cumin lamb is a staple of the Sichuan menu, and while the original location makes some of the best in town, this rendition needs a do-over.
Dim sum, a significant focus of Fortune's second location, is served on traditional carts on weekends and available on an a la carte basis at other times. Having another dim sum spot in Central Ohio is a good thing. But after trying the offerings here, I regretfully report disappointment, save for an enjoyable chive bun and the crispy fried taro dumpling called wu gok.
Fortune's newest endeavor is still in its early days, and given the owners' track record, improvements seem inevitable. Stay tuned.