April 15, 2011

Sweeping the menu

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It's my final stop on the dim sum run, and I was fortunate enough to end it on a high note.  It's been more than two years since I first - and last - visited Lung King Heen (龍景軒), and I was so utterly disgusted at the award of three macarons from the rubberman that I stayed away.  I guess it was time to take another look.

The restaurant has a very limited selection of dim sum on weekdays, and it didn't take long for us to decide that we'd take everything on the menu - minus one item.  We've often joked about "sweeping the menu (掃餐牌)" but we were actually able to do it today...

Steamed yellow fungus dumplings with wild mushrooms and vegetables (黃耳菜粒野菌粒) - these were actually pretty nice and tasty.  The mushroom and veggie fillings were fragrant.

Steamed shrimp dumplings with bamboo shoots (筍尖鮮蝦餃) - I think I counted 11 folds... pretty well done, but I don't think there was much bamboo shoots...

Steamed Japanese pork dumplings with conpoy (黑豚肉元貝粉果) - these upscale Chiuchow dumplings (潮州粉果) were very good.  The flavors of conpoy and chives were just delicious.

Steamed Shanghainese pork dumplings with crab meat (蟹肉小籠包) - sigh... exactly the same as last time.  None of us detected any taste of crab meat. 

Steamed lobster and scallop dumpling (龍太子蒸餃) - a very premium version of the dumpling.  Taste-wise it was OK, although I honestly preferred the little shrimp at the top to the lobster.  Don't quite understand why the three ingredients got put together in the first place..

Baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken (原隻鮑魚雞粒酥) - this was my favorite item last time, and was still very delicious today.  The abalone came pre-sliced, which was a nice touch.

Baked chicken buns in Portuguese sauce (葡汁雪山雞粒包) - these were surprisingly good... The crust was lovely and delicate, and looked gorgeous.

How creative it was for them to do away with the traditional barbecued pork filling and use the Portuguese sauce instead! 

Baked turnip puffs with shrimps (鮮蝦蘿蔔絲酥餅) - another perfectly executed item.  The puff pastries were simply gorgeous, with their numerous layers and folds. 

The filling inside tasted different from the traditional puffs, because shrimps were used for flavor instead of ham.  Perfect.

Crispy dumplings with duck liver, shrimps and chives (鴨肝煎粉果) - the crust was very flaky, with lots of oil...  Filling had lots of different, delicious flavors.

I was full and didn't need any dessert.  We were presented with some Chinese petit fours, which consisted of osmanthus jelly (桂花糕) and baked cream custard puffs (楓葉奶黃酥).  Both were good.

I must admit that I was a lot more impressed with the food today than my last visit.  There were no "failed" dishes today, and I liked everything apart from the xiaolongbao (which wasn't bad, just lacked the promised flavors).  Methinks it's time to come for a proper dinner and see what the kitchen can do...

A word on service:  my friend was recognized by the restaurant staff immediately, and soon after the Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel stopped by to greet us.  With the presence of three cameras of varying sizes, the staff obviously knew we were serious foodies.  We were asked how we wanted our dim sum served, and we agreed that only two items would be served at one time.  They also took the trouble to serve us steamed items first, followed by baked and deep-fried items, in order of increasing flavor intensity.  They had obviously put some thought into how they should treat their guests.

We had done two of the best restaurants for dim sum together, and while I still feel that Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) reigns in terms of execution for classic dim sum, it falls far short when it comes to service.  FLM staff never asks about how items are to be served, so if you place an order for 15 dishes you will find all of them on your table simultaneously.  They also serve you whichever item comes out of the kitchen first, with no thought given to how the diner's palate might be affected by items with stronger flavors.  In that sense it is much more old school.

So which place is better?  Well, in terms of the quality of dim sum I think they are pretty close.  But if I ever feel like being pampered, I think I'll go for some of that three-star service...


Ambrose Lee said...

so yummy!! mouth watering!!

Peech said...

Yummy for sure! Now if I could only get enough people to sweep the menu on a weekend...


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