May 23, 2011

1 if by night, 3 if by day

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I had another opportunity to attend a group meal, organized thanks to the tireless efforts of KC.  The venue tonight was a special one - the 3-macaron Lung King Heen (龍景軒).  My previous two visits had both been during lunch - with the first one being disastrous while I was totally wowed by the dim sum I had last month - so naturally I was very excited about my first dinner here.

There had already been 4 rounds of small gatherings here, and the menu has been continually refined to ensure that poor dishes are taken out.  We were tasting essentially the "best of the best" from the menu, especially since very single dish was chosen from the list of chef's recommendations.

Gluten marinated with lemongrass (香茅烤麩) - umm.... if there was any lemongrass, none of us picked that up with our taste buds.  It was just very sweet...

Barbecued pork cartilage with honey (蜜汁燒豬軟骨) - this was OK, but not particularly outstanding.

Marinated pork knuckles in sand ginger sauce (沙薑豬仔手) - these were pretty decent.

Crispy pigeon (吊燒炒齡鴿) - pretty good, but kinda small and skinny.  I like my pigeons a little fatter...

Crispy scallops with fresh pear (龍帶玉梨香) - I guess this was kinda an interesting pairing... no pun intended.

Baked crab shell stuffed with onion and fresh crab meat in lobster sauce (龍蝦汁釀蟹蓋) - not a fan.  I don't know why the chef decided to add lobster sauce here, because it was just overpowering and completely dominated the crab.  My favorite version remains the one from Fook Lam Moon (福臨門), because the shell is full of crab meat which tastes sweet and fresh.  Here all I taste is the rich, pungent lobster sauce - like pouring lobster bisque inside - and some of us wondered whether the crab meat was fresh at all.

Baked sea whelk stuffed with dice abalone, sea whelk and minced pork (鮑粒焗釀焗螺) - I know this is a Hong Kong classic, but I never quite understood why you want to dump curry powder in the mix and - once again - cover up the natural flavors of the seafood... unless the raw materials weren't fresh in the first place.  As baked stuffed whelk goes, I guess this was reasonably good when compared with the others I've had.

Lung King Heen roast chicken (龍景脆皮雞) - pretty decent.  The breast meat was reasonably juicy.

Crispy pork ribs in sweet wasabi sauce (香甜芥辣骨) - this was pretty yummy but the kick of the wasabi threw me off.  Good execution but just not up my alley in terms of flavor.

Braised Australian wagyu beef cheek in gravy (紅燒澳洲和牛面肉) - the beef cheek was melt-in-your-mouth and pretty nice.

Braised deep fried tofu sheet with gingkoes and egg whites (玉液銀杏扒鮮枝竹) - this was actually pretty nice, as somehow all the flavors came together and worked.

Poached shrimp and pork dumplings with fungus and chives in chili vinegar (香蔥紅油水餃) - not bad at all... and surprisingly spicy and numbing.  Didn't expect to see this in a Cantonese restaurant... I'm gonna guess that they put it on the menu for the gweilos who always seem to be hankering for some spice.

Pan-fried glass noodles with barbecued pork, shrimps, peanuts and spring onions in X.O. chili sauce (X.O.醬煎陳村粉) - I took one look at this and it reminded me of Korean pajeon (파전), and as it turns out... tasted like it, too.  Texture was a little mushy inside.  Still pretty tasty, though.

Baked cream custard puffs (楓葉奶黃酥) - I had these on my last visit, and they were pretty good.

Baked puffs with date paste (棗泥酥) - these were OK.

Marshmallow bunny - seems like everyone's doing a version of this in the year of the rabbit...

Deep-fried puff with milk custard (鮮奶甘筍酥) - total fail... KC had warned us that the puff has tasted off in the last few meals, and sure enough, it tasted like it was deep-fried in old, stale oil that had been used once too many.  The milk custard filling was only so-so... I actually regretted eating the whole thing.

So... what did I think of my 3-star dinner?  Honestly, most of the dishes were pretty decent, and although I didn't enjoy every dish there weren't any serious failures until dessert.  But there was also only one dish that was a pleasant surprise.  I would expect a meal at a 3-star restaurant to include at least a few highlights, but it was not to be.  It was merely a pleasant meal.  I guess in the future I'll stick to dim sum at lunch... now that is definitely 3-star quality!

1 comment:

Ambrose Lee said...

thanks Peter,
what a wonderful dinner!!


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