March 10, 2015

Still not Samsung

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The boss is in town again and decided to take us out for dinner.  We are lucky that the boss likes to eat, and isn't averse to spending a little bit of money on us.  He's been wanting to try out a few Michelin 2- and 3-star places in town, but in the past he's always suggested them at the last minute - which made it near impossible to secure a table.  At least we had a few days' advance warning this time...

Of the three choices the boss mentioned, I couldn't help uttering a sarcastic snicker when I saw the name Lung King Heen (龍景軒)... again.  This place has been on the boss' hit list for the longest time, and it's always been a real pain-in-the-ass to book.  I was halfway through typing my email reply when I thought to myself that... I really should have at least called the restaurant and gotten rejected for real, before asking the boss to forget the idea.  So I picked up the phone and called.  To my surprise, I got ourselves a table with less than a week's notice.

It's been four years since my last dinner here, so I made sure to do a little homework and went over the menu - picking out a few dishes that looked interesting (at least to me...).  The boss and the crew all had their requests, and I was ask to fill out the rest of the blanks.

Gluten with lemongrass - our amuse bouche.  None of us could detect any hint of lemongrass, but our server definitely mentioned 香茅...

Barbecued suckling pig (片皮乳豬件) - the crackling was pretty good, but somehow I wasn't as big a fan of the meat... I thought it was a little too lean.

Crispy eel with sweet wasabi sauce (甜芥辣燒鱔) - the boss asked whether I thought the wasabi was freshly ground, but I highly doubt it...  I normally find the taste of these eels a little "muddy" and "fishy", but the sinus-clearing wasabi in the sauce kinda took care of that...

Baked crab shell stuffed with onion and fresh crab meat (焗釀鮮蟹蓋) - I almost vetoed the boss' request because of my experience with another variation of this, but fortunately they no longer douse lobster sauce on it.  So now it was pretty much just the taste of crab meat, and I really didn't taste much of the onion...  Not bad at all, but not cheap.

Sautéed Australian beef tenderloin with assorted mushrooms (干燒珍菌爆澳洲牛柳粒) - the beef cubes seem to have been tenderized by baking soda or something... and the texture really was very soft and fluffy.  The flavors were a little sour along with a spicy kick.  This was OK, but I was hoping for better.

Stir-fried minced Racan pigeon in lettuce wrap (法國乳鴿崧生菜包) - I'm always happy to eat minced pigeon, and this was pretty good.  To be fair, though, I thought using Racan pigeon and mincing it up was a total waste of an awesome ingredient.

Assorted vegetable casserole with tofu sheets and vermicelli (鮮支竹粉絲雜菜煲) - pretty decent.

Fried puntalette with minced beef in X.O. chilli sauce (非同“飯”響) - very, very tasty.  How interesting for the kitchen to use puntalette to make a "fried rice"...  Nicely done at high heat, with plenty of yummy oil for flavor - especially the kick from X.O. sauce.  I wouldn't mind another bowl of this.

Crispy marinated pork loin and fermented red bean curd with pancakes (南乳香酥黑豚肉伴薄餅) - I really liked the crispy batter with the fermented soy bean paste.  Pretty yum, but also a little heavy...

Crispy shrimp toast (窩貼蝦多士) - gotta say that these were pretty good... The toasts were really crispy but also very heavy.

We couldn't handle any dessert, but Simpson arranged some petits fours for us:

Osmanthus jelly (桂花凍)

Baked cream custard puffs (楓葉奶皇酥)

A pretty good meal, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to come back for dinner after such a long absence.  But... let's be honest here.  This isn't three stars by a long shot.  With the exception of the last two deep-fried items - which I added as extras after we were done with the first round of food - every other dish was a "chef's recommendation".  While most, if not all, of the dishes tasted fine, the only dish that I thought had any magic tonight was the fried puntalette...

But then again, what the hell do I know?!  The 2015 list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants was announced last night, and Lung King Heen took the No. 20 spot in Asia...


Anonymous said...

If I was your boss and paying for the meal, I would be pissed that you would insist on photographing every single morsel of food, as it slowly congealed on the plate. Also at the same time interrupting the flow of table conversation no doubt with your antics. Where are your manners ??

Peech said...

Dear Anonymous,

I guess I really lucked out that you're not my boss, then... Since I am pretty picky about who I work for, I don't think there's any chance of you being my boss, though... Furthermore, since I'm also really picky about who I eat with, there's also no chance that you'll be at the same table as me.

Lucky you!


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