December 28, 2021

Old school winter feast

Pin It

Luk Yu Tea House (陸羽茶室) is, without a doubt, one of the most famous restaurants in all of Hong Kong. But somehow I've never been enamored with it. It's always gotten the reputation that if you're not a regular, you don't get shit. In fact, you get told to sit upstairs in Siberia. Food-wise I've never really found their dishes to be anything special, and service-wise I'm lucky if they don't piss me off. So why bother?

But when my friend KC decides to organize a dinner here featuring some classic dishes, I knew that this was an event I shouldn't miss. Here's a guy who knows the restaurant and chefs well, so I can't go wrong putting my trust in him.

Barbecued gold coin chicken (鳳肝燒金錢雞) - it would seem I've been having this on a pretty frequent basis over the last few months, and I'm happy to try another version.

This was pretty decent, although it wasn't able to deliver the same satisfaction as some of the others on account of it being too thin.

Deep-fried chicken rolls and deep-fried prawn toasts (野雞卷併蝦多士) - YEAH, BABY! Nothing whets the appetite like a plate full of deep-fried goodies.

Deep-fried shrimp toast was pretty good, like I remembered.

Deep-fried chicken roll (大良野雞卷) - O-M-G. What IS this? I thought this was chicken, so why was there a piece of fatty pork here? There's no way that a hunk of deep-fried fatty pork wouldn't taste good, is there?

Snake soup with Silkie chicken (竹絲雞燴蛇羹) - this was the main event tonight. It's the season for snake soup, and everyone was greedily slurping down on it. This wasn't the very refined version from Softbank Kitchen that I love, but with shredded Silkie chicken, fish maw, shiitake (), and the fragrance of aged tangerine peel (陳皮), it was nevertheless delicious.

Smoked giant pomfret (沙律煙薰鯧魚) - of all the dishes tonight, this was my favorite. Very old school, and not many places in town would offer it with pomfret as large as this one. So, so tasty with the smoky flavors and tender flesh. I probably should have skipped a couple of the other dishes just to have a bigger piece of this.

Crab cream with kale (鮮蟹肉扒蘭度) - ho-hum.

Sweet and sour pork (菠蘿咕嚕肉) - this was very good sweet and sour pork. Good distribution of fat among the pieces to make them tender. The batter could have been a little more crunchy, but good enough.

Traditional braised lamb belly in clay pot with mushrooms and bamboo shoots (雙冬鮮草羊腩煲) - the other seasonal dish that everyone was waiting for.

It's traditional to serve it up with chrysanthemum greens (茼蒿).

We also got some Chinese lettuce (唐生菜).

Not bad la... The lamb belly was certainly fatty, but somehow I felt that the texture of the fat was a little strange in a few of the pieces I had. Oh well.

Deep fried chicken with glutinous rice (脆皮糯米釀雞) - the glutinous rice was stir-fried before being stuffed inside the deboned chicken and deep-fried.

I actually liked this a lot. You don't see this much anymore. Too much effort for the kitchen, I guess.

Steamed pork lard bun (豬油包) - so... apparently Mr. Cane came all the way out to attend this dinner specifically to have this dessert. They apparently add lard to the flour so that the bun was extra tasty, and the filling was a mixture of candied winter melon (冬瓜糖) and diced pork skin - which made it both sweet and savory. Definitely very tasty.

Sesame paste bun (麻蓉包) - the sesame paste wrapped around the salted egg yolk was special in that they had mixed in sesame seeds that had been coarsely ground, so that the texture wasn't as smooth. While this was pretty nice, I found the filling too dry for my taste.

Baked sago pudding with lotus seed paste (蓮蓉西米焗布甸) - this was OK, but a little too rich by this point.

Our organizer had arranged for free corkage, and I brought along a couple of bottles:

1999 Torbreck RunRig - opened around 20 minutes before dinner. Ripe and jammy as expected, with some oaky notes, a little metallic and iron rust. Very nice and fragrant. Still very metallic more than an hour later.

2004 Kongsgaard Syrah - initially very jammy when opened before dinner. Served 1½ hours after opening. Pretty toasty nose, still very sweet, woodsy and fragrant. Reasonably smooth on the palate now but still concentrated. Not quite sharp and alcoholic but still packs a punch.

Very, very full, and happy to have probably the best dinner I've ever had here. Very grateful to my friend for putting this together to wrap up 2021.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map