April 28, 2012

Above and Beyond expectations

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I needed one dim sum lunch on this trip, and met up with a few friends at Above and Beyond (天外天) at Hotel ICON.  This was an interesting location for me, not just because I had never been to the hotel before or that Tsim Sha Tsui East is out of my normal "comfort zone".

I never paid much attention when the hotel first opened for business, and therefore did not realize its background as being owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or that it is being used as a training ground for students from the university's School of Hotel and Tourism Management.

The restaurant was located on the top floor of the hotel, affording guests views of Victoria Harbor.  We were not seated next to the windows and I had my back to them, but I was still able to enjoy the beautiful skyline thanks to strategically placed angled mirrors.

I left the ordering to my friends, who took a sampling meant to be representative of the range on offer.

Bean curd sheet rolls with shrimps in fish broth (魚湯鮮竹卷) - very good.  The rolls were tasty, as was the fish broth.

Enoki mushroom and spinach dumplings with preserved pork sausage (金菇菠菜膶腸餃) - the staff mentioned that this was a little different thanks to the tiny cubes of "Chinese black pudding", or duck liver sausage.  Very nice.

Steamed prawn dumplings with Yunnan ham (金腿茸鮮蝦餃) - we didn't seem to get much ham flavors from the tiny bits on top, but the prawns were good and filled most of the dumpling, along with a tiny bit of bamboo shoots.  These were a little larger than your average dumplings, and the skin was nice and thin.

Pork and duck liver sausage rolls (鴛鴦臘腸卷) - interesting to have both types of sausage in the same roll.

Glutinous rice with chicken and abalone wrapped in lotus leaf (鮑魚荷香珍珠雞)

Crispy shrimp rice flour roll (脆皮鮮蝦腸粉) - very yummy.  There are deep-fried crullers and diced water chestnuts inside, resulting in a nice, crunchy texture.

Turnip cake with preserved pork sausage (香煎臘味蘿蔔糕) - pretty enjoyable, with nice chunks of turnip inside.  Garnished with little bits of dried conpoy (干貝).

Crispy five spice sliced angus beef brisket (五香脆安格斯腩片) - very nicely done.  A little fatty inside but the exterior was indeed crispy, giving a nice contrast of textures.  The cucumber strands helped balance out the dish.

Sweet and sour deep-fried won tons (錦鹵雲吞) - we joked that this was very "Chinatown", but at least there was a good amount of prawns, pineapple and peppers and not just the sweet and sour sauce…

Pan-fried noodles with shredded pork, bean sprouts and yellow chives (韮黃肉絲兩面黃) - we saw our neighbors having this, and decided we should give it a try.  Excellent.  The dish arrived a little later than we expected, and the staff explained that the kitchen was frying it properly in the pan.  Very crispy.  Even though I had already gotten what looked to be the largest portion, I wish I had room for more.

We all agreed that this was an excellent meal, and well worth the prices paid.  The location may put it off the beaten track for some diners - including myself - but I'm definitely intrigued enough to want to return for dinner.

1 comment:

Michelle Chin said...

Im particularly interested by the pork and duck liver sausage rolls...

It is a rarity. Never seen it before offered in KL dim sum places


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