November 4, 2008

Some good ol' fashioned Cantonese

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A couple of friends were in town and wanted to try out Island Tang, the new Cantonese restaurant affiliated with David Tang. For some reason I had the misconception that it was a fusion restaurant, but once I saw the menu, it was obvious that the fare was traditional Cantonese. The setting, however, is classic David Tang.

We sat down and ordered a few simple dishes. Started with deep-fried prawns in sweet and sour sauce (吉列蝦球). The breading was light and the prawns were tender and juicy. Pretty good stuff.

The stewed wagyu ox tail with wagyu sauce (沙爹和牛尾煲) was really good, with the meat falling off the bone, and the "satay" flavor wasn't too heavy. The sautéed green kale braised with minced preserved sausages (臘味崧扒芥蘭度) was pretty interesting. The thick outer layer of the veggie was removed to make it more tender. The sausage bits included both regular and liver sausages, with the flavor of the Chinese wine coming through.

The final dish, and the one that put me over the edge, was the deep-fried de-boned duck coated with taro crust (荔茸香酥鴨). I was joking that this is the Chinese version of duck confit, but the truth isn't far off. The duck was crispy on the outside, with just enough fat to make it really yummy. Of course the taro crust was heavenly. I am normally not a big fan of taro, but the fluffy, deep-fried exterior - combined with the soft interior - was definitely a winning combination.

We left with our bellies filled, and appetites satiated. I had pretty low expectations going in, and this was quite a pleasant surprise.

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