October 12, 2013

Tim ho haam

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Grandma and Grandpa Bear are back in town after a long trip abroad, and I haven't seen them in a while.  Given their complaint about the lack of decent food on their trip, it's no surprise that they wanted to go for some good local Canto fare.  So off to Tim's Kitchen (桃花源小廚) we went, and ordered up a few favorites.

Roast crispy baby pork belly (脆皮燒腩仔) - tonight's not meant to be a full cheat meal, so I allowed myself just one piece of the sinfully fatty pork belly.  This was OK, but I've certainly had better.

Deep-fried whole fresh crab claw with peppercorn salt (椒鹽炸原隻鮮蟹鉗) - I pre-ordered all three versions of the crab claw, and ended up picking the deep-fried version for myself.  It's not my favorite version, but it's good to have it every once in a while.  The sweetness of the crab meat inside is highlighted by the salty and slightly spicy batter, and the tiny bits of red chilis adds an occasional kick.

Supreme Snake Bisque (太史五蛇羹) - the season has just started, and we wasted no time in ordering up a bowl.  I don't go around town trying out everyone's snake soup, but the version here is almost my favorite.  The bowl is not full of starch but contains lots of "real" ingredients.  I did think, though, that tonight it was a little saltier than I remembered.  Coriander, kaffir lime leaf chiffonade and deep-fried crispy dough completed the bisque's flavors and added even more texture.

Braised tofu with black mushrooms (紅燒豆腐) - the Tiggers' go-to dish at just about every Cantonese restaurant.  I tried in vain to scrape off the layer of starchy "brown sauce" covering the tofu pieces…

Sautéed beef tenderloin with ginger and spring onion (薑蔥炒牛𦟌) - not a fan. The beef shank (not tenderloin as incorrectly translated) had obviously been treated with baking soda for a more springy texture.  It was also a little on the salty side.  One little piece was enough for me.

Poached leafy amaranth in supreme soup (上湯浸莧菜) - the leafy amaranth was very young and tender.

Sautéed fresh sliced garoupa fillet with fresh asparagus (鮮露筍炒海青斑球) - this was OK.

Fried glutinous rice with preserved pork sausage and liver sausage (生炒糯米飯) - one of our favorite dishes here, and tonight this was done pretty well, as each individual rice grain was still chewy.  It was, unfortunately, a little small for us, but we were told there wasn't any more…

Fried noodles in superior soy sauce (豉油皇炒麵) - the portion for this turned out to be pretty big, and very nicely done.  I think Tigger probably took half the plate.

1990 von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Auslese 96 - a little flinty, petrol, with orange blossoms on the nose.  Palate was actually very well-balanced with plenty of acidity there.

I was pretty full, and certainly exceeded my allowance for the evening.  Most of our favorite dishes were still pretty good, but I do have to say I found things a little over-seasoned tonight.  My tongue had a slight tingling sensation that normally comes from having food with MSG, so from that angle I wasn't very happy.  Oh well...

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