It's been more of a miss than a hit with the past few post-tennis dinners with the gang but last night was a pleasant surprise. At 10 in the evening, the place looked more run-down than it would ordinarily and walking into just 2 tables of patrons was not the most inspiring. We sat down and quickly ordered, realising that they shut at 11pm. Ok, that might be why. So we got a few of the Hakka staples on the menu and waited...
Hakkas are known for their tofu and this one stuffed with minced pork did not disappoint. Soft, smooth, and tasty, it was not salty nor greasy, and was as the place touts - home-cooked. Our confidence was gaining with this first point in the restaurant's favour.
Another staple - the salt-baked chicken. While not the best I've had, it was by no means a write-off. Still tender for the most part and had the nice fragrance of a "free-range" chicken from the mainland fed with steroids (LOL). Perfect when eaten with the spring onion and ginger aioli.
Stewed belly pork with sweet preserved vegetable (mui choy). Well done - the best part was the skin - still nicely chewy. Only complaint, the meat sections were a tad tough. Overall tasty - I had one full bowl of rice just with this dish alone.
This was the pleasant surprise for me. Pig's tripe and gingko cooked in an almond-based soup was so smooth and yummy - no foul smell at all from the tripe just the nice crunchy texture to provide contrast to the smooth soup. If you're familiar with Cantonese desserts, it's much akin to drinking a savoury version of the bean curd skin, gingko and barley soup. This was executed at the expert's level.
The other addictive dish was the 8-treasure duck - ironically not for the duck, but the very tasty glutinous rice encased on the inside, with "8 treasures" including Chinese sausage, mushrooms, chestnuts, etc. Surprisingly ungreasy for a well and truly deep fried dish.
An out-of-the-way treasure trove of authentic Hakka goodies which makes the drive to Shatin worthwhile. Pleasant surprise - looks can be deceiving indeed.
79-81 Tsuen Nam Rd