January 24, 2015

The lonely island

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I'm supposed to take things easy this weekend, seeing that I have a hellish week ahead of me in terms of my feeding schedule.  So when a dinner was rescheduled to tonight, I was determined to take it easy and "having something light".  That was perfectly fine for my friend, as long as char siu was on the menu...

And that's how I came to choose Island Tang (港島廳).  They serve one of my favorite versions of char siu in town, and from what I remembered, they're generally not busy on weekend evenings.  Sure enough, when I showed up at the door tonight, the place was pretty empty.

It's always tough to go for Chinese food when you've got a small party, and with only two of us, that severely limits the number of dishes we could order.  So we decided to take it easy... kind of.

Honey glazed signature barbecued pork (蜜汁叉燒) - I gotta be honest... this is tough to beat.  The pork shoulder was as marbled as ever, yielding easily to the bite.  While the center of the pieces were tender, the strands of muscle fibers on the exterior were a little chewy.  The pork flavors were pretty strong.  Not the best place I've ever had here, but still very satisfying.

Deep-fried de-boned duck coated with taro crust (荔茸香酥鴨) - what a pleasant surprise to see this back on the menu!  I was gonna order it anyway, but thankfully my friend wanted it, too.

Crispy duck, fatty duck skin, smooth and creamy taro mash... all topped with a layer of deep-fried taro flakes.  What's not to like?!  Sooooo fattening, though...

Braised bean curd sheet with black fungus and bean curd stick (雲耳豆卜鮮支竹) - it's kinda interesting that in a Chinese restaurant, the diner needs to read the English translation of the dish's name in order to get a better idea about the dish.  We wanted something light so we picked this dish, picturing light, tofu skin sitting in a bowl of light fish broth.  Nooooooo....  If we had bothered to read the English translation - and seen the word "braised" - we would know that this was much heavier than we expected.  Not exactly what we had in mind.

We were pretty full, but you can't pass up dessert, right?  So we picked out a couple of light ones...

Traditional steamed sponge cake with olive seeds (欖仁馬孻糕) - pretty light, and not bad at all.

Chilled layer puddings flavored with papaya and coconut (椰汁萬壽糕) - very refreshing.  The traditional coconut pudding has been enhanced with bits of sweet papaya.  Delish.

We decided to take it easy on wine tonight, so only opened one bottle between us.

1992 Henri Bonneau Cuvée Marie Beurrier - served right after opening without decanting.  Nose of animal and leather at first, some sweet, black fruits emerged after 20 minutes, with a hint of grilled meats and a whiff of alcohol.  After 90 minutes, some savory notes such as black olive tapenade came out.

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