November 6, 2021

Another four-month wait

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I'm back at one of the most difficult restaurants to book in Hong Kong, with a reservation I made more than 4 months ago. Hidden (秀殿) has seen their business explode in 2021 - which is a position I am happy they're in. This would be my last visit this year, and I invited Winnie the Chew and the Zhongmeister along for lunch - not knowing that they have never been here before.

I tried to take it easy today, since it's lunch, but I think I still had a little too much...

Fried chicken wing (手羽唐揚げ) - just gotta start off with this signature item... still love the acidity in the sauce.

Sakura shrimp (桜海老) - O-M-G! This was so, soooooo good! I have always loved sakura shrimp when they're fried, and the fragrance in the mouth from chomping down on a few of these was just incredible! In fact, they were so good that *someone* just about finished what was on the plate without giving a second thought as to whether or not I was able to have some...

I definitely should have ordered a second serving!

Chestnut (栗) - I had this about a year ago when it was in season, and decided to share one. Still very, very sweet.

Abalone (鮑) - very, very tender. Would have been better had it come with an abalone liver sauce.

Smoked daikon (いぶりがっこ) - Sankala's request. Definitely smoky.

Shrimp taro (海老芋) - loved this when I had it last year. As usual, the texture of the taro was just so, sooooo smooth and silky.

Conger eel (穴子) - always a good idea.

Fried veggie fish cake (野菜のさつま揚げ) - one of Sankala's favorites, and they do a pretty good job here. Love the springy texture and the dry, lightly-crispy exterior.

Crab leg (かに足) - one of my favorites here. The crab meat is always so flavorful.

Miso cucumber (もろきゅう) - with all the fried food we were having, I figured we should at least have some fresh veg to balance things out. As it turns out, this wasn't nearly enough to counter the "heatiness"...

Spring onion pork flank roll (豚バラねぎ巻) - I really love this. Fatty pork belly gets even better when it's fried, and the diced spring onion rolled inside just works with the pork.

Scallop salmon roe (ほたてタルタルいくら) - OF COURSE I had to introduce the signature dish to the Zhongmeister. And yes, the only way to eat this is in one bite... and yes, your mouth is big enough to fit everything in one mouthful. So, soooo happy to taste the slight kick of horseradish in the tartar sauce.

Herring roe on kelp (子持ち昆布) - another one of my favorites that I had to introduce to my friend. So springy, so fun to bite into.

Grouper (羽太) - this was an interesting special and I just had to try. From Nagasaki (長崎). A nice chunk of fish to close out the savory part of my lunch.

Special rich pudding (特製濃厚プリン) - so, sooooo happy to have this pudding as always, and happy to introduce this to Winnie the Chew.

2018 Noguchi Naohiko Dainginjo Yamadanishiki Classic Edition (2018 農口尚彦  純米大吟醸  無濾過原酒  山田錦) - seimaibuai (精米歩合) of 50%. Clearly fermented flavors, sweet on the attack but turned dry later, with a long finish. Viscous and rounded on the palate with lots of depth of flavor. Good acidity like lactic acid.

A very happy lunch, and I'm glad I got to have some more of my favorite deep-fried sticks again. Now I'll have to wait to book for seats in 2022...

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