Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hong Kong - Arun Thai

E's birthday, Friday, all bosses away...  alright!  So we take a longer walk and try something totally new to celebrate over lunch.  We get there to an almost empty restaurant and start getting worried.  Surely it can't be that bad?  How bad can Thai food be?  But having committed by the 3 of us crossing the threshold of the entrance, it was too late to make an about turn.  Shoot!  So we ordered and hoped for the best.

The food took a long time coming.  The restaurant still did not fill up much more...  But once the food came and we started tucking in, all our worries went away.  

First up, the beef brisket yellow curry.  None of that "Hong Kong style" curry that we get in the city.  This was the real thing.  You can make out the numerous spices that went into this and all coming together nicely through the coconut cream.  Just like old friends.  The beef brisket was also well cooked to be firm but soft and juicy on the inside.  Superb with rice.  This was easily E's favorite.  

The chicken with lemongrass sauce had a lot more heat but it was addictive heat.  The more spicy, the more rice I took and then the more gravy I wanted.  The chicken was tender (we liked that they used dark meat chunks) and the long beans were crunchy.  Every mouthful was textures at play and caused the heat to linger a little more..  at which point, we were begging the waiter to refill our water glasses.

The crab and vermicelli pot was probably the piece de resistance.  Very fresh crab stir fried with a predominantly white peppercorn spice mix and crunchy vegetables, mushrooms and fresh chillies, soaked up by the al dente vermicelli.  It was also a male crab so apart from the fall off the shell flesh, we also enjoyed the chewy creamy consistency of the sperm sacs, instead of the usual orange roe found in female crabs.  I like both but find the males more difficult to get.  Superb execution.

Not to be outdone, even our stir fried water convolvulus with preserved yellow bean, garlic and chillies were excellent.  This was easily the best I've had in Hong Kong.  Un-greasy and still retaining crunch and green, this one packed a little heat as well and was also great with the rice.  

Moral of the story: one of these is barely enough for one person.  Don't share.  If you don't like rice, you don't know what you're missing.  This is perfect Jasmine at its best, capable of withstanding any amount of curry you douse it with - soaking up the flavors but never disintegrating.  

As I tweeted, this is definitely Thai cuisine fit for royals.  And after a leisurely lunch, I certainly felt like a queen.

Shop G22, K11
18 Hanoi Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852-31881239

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