March 19, 2008

Run-down Farm House

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We had a visitor from London at work, and it was decided that we would treat him to an authentic Chinese meal last night. After much debate, I chose to take him to Farm House (農圃) in Causeway Bay, since I haven't been in a while and missed the food there.

We arrived at the AIA Plaza onlyto find the space vacated. Shock! Horror! What happened?! Fortunately the restaurant had simply moved around the block to Ming An Plaza. The space seemed a lot smaller, but then again, the two floors of space they used to have always seemed a little big anyway.

I decided not to order all the usual suspects, but started with the obligatory chicken wings stuffed with glutinous rice (糯米釀雞翼). Good to know that nothing has changed, and I still enjoyed having these. In fact no one else at the table has ever been to Farm House, but everyone is aware that one must order this dish at this establishment.

We were soon presented with the next dish - crab meat au gratin (釀蟹蓋). This was extremely disappointing. Not only was the amount of crab meat short of my expectations, but the taste of it all was overwhelmed by curry powder! Not just any curry, but the taste of Portuguese chicken (葡國雞)found in Macau. I immediately drew the comparison with the same dish I had at Fook Lam Moon - an unfair comparison, perhaps. But the gap was just so wide...

It was obvious that the restaurant was just trying to shove us out the door as quickly as they can, so the rest of the dishes came in quick succession. The steamed eastern star garoupa (蒸東星斑)was not bad, but the soy sauce was a little on the salty side as one of my colleagues remarked. Another complained that the fish wasn't fresh enough.

We had the spicy stirred fried pork, chicken with spring onions and conpoy (蔥花瑤柱雞), and vegetables with century eggs. Only the chicken was decent, the rest uninteresting. Finally, we had the clay pot rice with preserved meats (臘味煲飯). This is a dish I always enjoyed, but tonight they didn't give me enough of the crispy, burnt bits.

For dessert, I shared a poached papaya with almond milk (杏奶燉木瓜). Not bad, but big enough to push my stomach over the edge...I ended up walking home.

Overall, quite a disappointing meal at Farm House. Would I go back again? Perhaps, but not in the near future.

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