Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hong Kong - Kitty's Kitchen 三姐海鮮飯店

Make sure you have GPS to get here.  This is not in the midst of shops and therefore not easy to locate, especially if it's your first time.  Snuck into a low rise apartment block in an all residential area, one would never have guessed to look for dinner here.  And there are NO SIGNS either.  So about 45 minutes later, of which 20 were spent circling Tseung Kwan O, we arrived pretty tired and hungry.

The prompt arrival of the starter revived us though.  The sesame-based sauced drizzled with chopped tomatoes over "crystal noodles" (麻香水晶粉)served chilled were brilliant.  The noodles were interesting, almost like wedges of coconut scraped out from the fresh fruit and therefore fragrant in itself. Add on the cool sauce and fresh tomatoes, this was an excellent way to resuscitate ourselves from the travel.

Contrast the baked shrimps with fried garlic bits.  Baked to a crisp but retaining the fresh, firm and sweet flesh on the inside, this was competently done, even for me - I generally am not a huge fan of this dish.

The soy-braised chicken (秘製豉油雞)was also one of the better ones I've had.  Aromatic from the soya sauce, and still retaining its tender juiciness, this chicken is perfect with a bowl of white rice.  And for some of us, the bonus was that it was served with intestines and liver.  As most know, chicken intestines have been hard to find, on account of the cleaning process, which is long and intensive to get the final clean crunch.  That in itself was novelty for me.

This was one of the most impressive dishes of the night.  It is actually a patty made from hand-chopped squid colloid laced with crunchy vegetables and chestnuts, then lightly deep fried to a light golden brown to offer a crispy outside to a crunchy inside.  Glorious!  Just don't be confused by its apparently unconnected name of 窩貼小唐菜.  If you're there next, please ask Kitty(三姐)why it is so named.

The Chinese-style pork steak was also very good.  Tenderised without losing the flavor of the meat, and totally absorbing the very appetizing sweet and sour sauce, and topped with lightly cooked tomatoes, it is less cloying than traditional sweet and sour pork and much healthier, especially since this one is not deep fried first.

The other dish which left an impression was the Flower Crab steamed with egg white and Chinese Huadiao wine (花雕蛋白蒸花蟹).  Crabs were fresh with fall-off-the-shell meat.  And sweet and fragrant from the wine, and just a touch of creaminess from the egg white.  Happiness..

The "tempura" of bittergourd and pumpkin was surprisingly good too.  Well fried to reflect no trace of oil, sprinkled with more fried garlic (which pleasantly did not steal the show), this would have been great as a starter with ice cold beer but it came nondescript in the middle of the meal, while we were distracted by the other dishes.

Minced fish congee(魚蓉粥)was very good too.  Generous bits of fish (likely grass carp) and dried orange peel to lend fragrance and lift it to the next dimension, the congee was boiled down to a smooth finish and needs no chewing.  Enter the mouth, and just use your palate to slowly enjoy before swallowing.  Comforting goodness.

The stir fried rice cakes were an "ok" - tasty but overshadowed by everything else.  It was reminiscent of a non-spicy version of Korean rice cakes.  Not a favorite.

What was surprisingly most disappointing were the vegetables.  Our stir fried Chinese spinach were tasty but the vegetables were too old and overly fibrous.  To Kitty's credit, she tried to salvage it with a quick stir fry which made it more tasty but did nothing to revive the old stems.  The make up dish of shrimp paste water convulvus was better but a little too salty as a last dish, when we had run out of rice and congee.  Oh well, but it was a nice gesture though.

Bad reviews of this place seems to have stopped from about 2 years ago.  And with this experience, I can see why.  Despite the distance, it is worth the trudge (it really isn't so bad once you've figured out how to get there), and Kitty is worth supporting.  And she is great to talk to too!  About food of course..

G/F, 34 Tin Ha Wan Village
Tseung Kwan O
Tel: +852-27013136

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