Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hong Kong - Loong Yat Heen 龙逸轩

It would be appropriate to do at least one yum-cha review given the many I had this week. So the destination of mention for the week is Loong Yat Heen at The Kowloon Hotel. This was also where I had my winner of Thursday.

The Kobe beef pau was juicy, succulent and tender beef bits interspersed with Sichuan vegetables in a hearty gravy captured in a skin that had bite. All 5 of us bit into it had the same wondrous look - ok, maybe I exaggerate a little but it was the most outstanding dim sum item I had all week.

Others of mention to not miss is the carrot cake, sealed well to retain its creamy moisture on the inside and made fragant with better quality lap cheong, and not the usual fatty bits other lesser places use.

The scrambled eggs with seafood on a pan fried vermicelli was tasty enough and worth an order although there wasn't enough wok hei for my liking. But it was a healthier option and did not leave a greasy aftertaste.

The Ma Lai Go was pretty good with a nice variation of 2 thin layers of custard in between. Not quite Lin Heung standard though although this is probably healthier - the fragrance of lard wasn't as apparent!
Here's to a healthier week for all!

The Kowloon Hotel
19-21 Nathan Road
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2734 3722

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hong Kong - Typhoon Tea

When typhoons visit on the weekend dumping any outdoor plans in the bin, what does one do? Ladies have High Tea. Loose-leaved Earl Grey, with lovely scones from Il Bel Paese, accompanied by clotted cream and rose petal preserve from the Mandarin Oriental. Simply a match made in heaven.

Other highlights were the Quiche Lorraine, Chocolate truffle cake and Hazelnut cake from the patisserie at Agnes B le pain grille.

What a decadent afternoon, tucked in air-conditioned indoors, drowning in sugar, caffeine and great conversation. Just perfect... even Jack the Sheltie agreed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hong Kong - Yung Kee

I know, I know... review on Yung Kee... how passe can I possibly be?? But when you have visitors in town, and they request it, it is the best place to bring them to sample one of the best roasts in Hong Kong. And I was game to try it, after a long while, especially in the wake of their recent one-star Michelin accolade.
The quintessential Yung Kee starter of the century egg with preserved ginger is still wonderfully runny and fragrant but without that overwhelming mercuric fume with lesser quality eggs.
The Special Roast Goose Leg was superb. My recommendation is to just order that instead of the whole goose even if you're in a large group. Just order more of the same! The leg is tender, fall-off-the-bone, juiciness and covered in a perfectly crisp skin. You could eat this with ease even if you only had dentures. This alone is worth the one Michelin star.

The Chopped Garoupa and Tofu in Hotpot was surprisingly good. The fish was catch-of-the-day standard which is most unusual for most hotpots and the tofu was obviouly home-made and extremely smooth. Perfect wtih that steaming bowl of rice which by the way, was individually grained, as I like it.
Still a good place to go to for traditional Cantonese cuisine despite the Michelin prices and long queues at meal times.
32-40 Wellington Street,
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2522 1624

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hong Kong - OVOlogue

In the interests of preserving heritage buildings, it is a wonderful thing. Taking a 120-year old pawnshop which is an institution in the Wanchai neighbourhood and turning it into a trendy F&B building. The exterior has been given a new life but the interior is what actually turns heads. A lot of attention to detail and a trendy place to dine in.

Given the amount of effort they put into the ambience and decor, I was actually surprised that the food was decent enough to match and not pass as just another great spot to entertain corporate clients!

My reservations host had specifically asked if I would reserve their popular coffee-smoked eggs topped with caviar and flying fish roe. I cleverly said yes and was pleased at the liquid-centred egg lifted by the naturally crunchy fish roe, delivered in 2 different flavours by the 2 fish represented. The coffee-flavour was very faint but overall, a nice twist to the usual Shanghainese classic.

The crispy eel with a modern take of a honey kumquat sauce was delightful. Great with a Sauvignon Blanc in my opinion to take a little of the sugariness off. The Perilla leaf is a nice touch for those who don't drink. The eel was perfectly done and not as deep fried as the traditional thing so you can taste the freshness of the eel.

The sliced beef in a Sichuan chilli oil was a tasty variant and thankfully not too spicy - we did of course request that it be done mild so as not to ruin our entire meal! Beef was tender although there was a tad of cheating wiht the use of corn starch. Might have been a slightly better cut of beef for the price but otherwise tasty.

Our Shanghainese cabbage with dried shrimp in a superior broth was competently done - tender yet retaining a sweet crunch from both the natural goodness of the vegetable as well as the better grade shrimps they use.

The cold noodles served with a bowl of aged sweet vinegar was a refreshing end to our main meal especially with the muggy Hong Kong typhoon summer season. Noodles were nicely firm and caught the sesame-oil laced vinegar well.

Our sweet finale of almond tofu with lychees was an interesting creamier version (akin to custard) and with the more obvious sweetness of lychees in contrast to longans. A good rendition and not-too-cloying end to a decent meal in very cool surrounds.

66 Johnston Road
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2527 6088

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hong Kong - Dot Cod Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar

Sometimes old is good. Dot Cod is an institution and has been in the same location for as long as I can remember, feeding the folks in Central. Owned and managed by the Hong Kong Cricket Club, and retaining a rather "members only" feel, even though it is open to the public, meal times are pretty packed. Even happy hour with great snacks draws the office worker bees for a beer and chips after a hard day at the bank or law firm they stream from.

Our starter of the Salmon Tartare with Black Sesame Tartlets was a decent start. Although I appreciated the freshness of the salmon topped wtih creme fraiche, I would have liked a little more sea salt to bring out the sea a little bit more and perhaps a little more crisp to the filo tartlet underneath. Good effort anyhow and environmentally friendly since this is part of Chef Colin Gouldsbury's "Green" collection.

My selection from the Dot Cod Favourites list of the Dot Cod Fish Pie was pure comfort food. Although the insides were baked in cream, it was not as heavy as I thought it would be and was suitable even for the humid summer weather we are having. While not spectacular, the plump prawns, mushrooms and salmon pieces on the inside made for an interesting enough dish on its own. The garlic mash over the top was lovely and not surprisingly, I licked all the mash off but couldn't finish some of the insides nor the boiled cabbage which accompanied it!
And wisely so as I heeded the advice of J. The chocolate souffle is one of the better ones I've had and drizzled with the chocolate-marbled vanilla sauce hit right home for me.

Hong Kong is certainly famous for seafood but not many places do it "guai lo" style and Dot Cod is one of the few that do so to a certain standard, which explains its strong existence to this very day. Although it is not my favourite style of food, I do enjoy it once in a while and it does hit the spot when I do get a craving - especially the Cod Fish and Chips. That would be a perfect segway into my next souffle there.

B4 Basement, Prince’s Building
10 Chater Road
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2810 6988