August 31, 2010

We like Tim... oh yes we did

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Tonight I had the pleasure of treating an old friend to dinner.  I got a little too busy and failed to show up at the Tolman Collection gallery in Tokyo last week, and this was after I had told Norman that I was coming to see him.  So what else should happen upon my return but the phone rings, with Norman at the other end of the line, feigning injury at my snub?  I apologized profusely, and promised to take him and his staff to dinner.

Norman has recently closed their Shanghai operation after 5 years and decided to set up shop in Hong Kong.  They've taken a spacious apartment in the Mid-Levels and converted it into a space to showcase their stock of paintings and prints by contemporary Japanese artists.  All of their major artists are showcased here.

I chose to take them to Tim's Kitchen (桃花源), wanting to show them a taste of good Cantonese cuisine.  It would be my first visit since the restaurant moved to its present location a couple of months ago, and the new space is downright huge.  Thanks to their Michelin stars, they seem to have no trouble filling it with customers.

We were presented with some century eggs (皮蛋) to start off the evening.  Norman would have none of it, but his Japanese boys partook despite the strong, acquired taste.

I ordered the usual greatest hits, so we began with stir-fried giant glass prawn (玻璃蝦球).  The prawns were pretty big and my guests seemed reasonably impressed.  I avoided the oyster sauce and prawn paste (蝦醬), choosing to go with the original flavors of the fish.  The pan-fried piece of ham was soooo yummy.

I brought a bottle of 2007 Kapcsándy Family Rosé State Lane Vineyard to try it out.  It drank reasonably well, with nose of strawberries and a little bit of smoke.  One of the better rosés I have had.

I ordered two preparations of the crab claw - crab claw poached with winter melon (冬瓜蟹拑) and steamed whole fresh crab claw with egg white (蛋白蒸蟹鉗).  I took the winter melon version.  Faultless execution here... the meat of the claw was tender with full flavors of the crab, and the big chunk of winter melon wasn't bad, either.  A nice summer dish.

Stir-fried tripe with mixed vegetables (七彩炒肚尖) - I know I always order this dish, but how could I not?!  The tripe was just so springy and a little crunchy on the bite...

Braised pomelo skin with shrimp roe (蝦子柚皮) - always a simple and wonderful dish.  The sauce looked a little lighter in color compared to the past, but no matter.  I'm bummed that I don't have any rice to go with the delicious, starchy shrimp roe sauce...

Winter melon soup (冬瓜盅) - just what I needed for this steamy, summer weather.  I was tempted to take more winter melon but wasn't sure I had the space for it...

Braised goose web and pork tendon in oyster sauce (豬腳筋扣鵝掌) - I asked my Japanese guests whether they ate tendon (すじ) before ordering the dish, as I think it's just really special.  The color of the pork tendon was so pale and the texture sooo soft... 

Compared to my past meals here, this was definitely on the light side... but no one left the table hungry.  I hope Norman and his boys liked the classic dishes I chose even though some of them may be out of their comfort zone a little.  Last but not least, I wish the Tolman Collection great success in their Hong Kong venture. 

1 comment:

susan said...

Oh, I've been meaning to re-review this place since I have a good excuse (new location, I mean). Wanna go?


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