October 1, 2023

Geruhage HK tour day 3: 3-star dim sum

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A tour of Hong Kong and of Cantonese cuisine mandates at least one meal where dim sum is served up, and I figured we could fulfill this requirement over lunch at Forum Restaurant (富臨飯店). I have always enjoyed having dim sum here, and although we had to include this place on our itinerary, it was also a good opportunity to take a break from heavy eating and have something a little more casual. That's the great thing about dining at a Chinese restaurant with 3 Michelin stars - it's totally possible to come and just have a simple meal.

Not surprisingly, I was tasked with ordering for us, although I did get some input from Tomo-chan.

Steamed curry chicken bun (咖哩雞包仔) - I had never had this before, and in fact had probably never seen it. Quite an interesting first experience, actually.

Deep-fried radish cake stuffed with preserved meat (蘿蔔絲酥餅) - this is always a good idea. Love the layers of crispy, flaky pastry on the outside with the steaming strands of radish inside. The bits of preserved ham lends a nice flavor to it, as does the Chinese celery.

Steamed pork dumpling with pork liver (金沙豬潤燒賣) - I ordered this old school siu mai (燒賣) to show Geruhage how it was done in the old days. There's no wrapper here, just a steamed pork meatball at the bottom with a giant-ass piece of pork liver on top. The thick slab of steamed liver definitely tasted heavily of metallic minerals, as one would expect.

Crispy rice roll stuffed with scallop (南澳帶子脆米腸) - I love this, I always have. I love that layer of crispy fried dough wrapped in the middle around the diced bits of scallops and shrimp. It's not the same as 炸兩 but I'm just as happy having this.

Deep-fried turnip cake with Iberico ham (西班牙火腿蘿蔔糕) - yes, the bits of jamón ibérico definitely do make this taste better.

Pan-fried rice roll with Forum special sauce (千里醬煎腸粉) - yes, I ordered two different rice rolls, but I figured this would be something Tomo-chan would enjoy, especially the sauce being a little on the heavy side.

Pan-fried Huangqiao sesame cake (黃橋燒餅) - I wouldn't dream of coming here and not introduce one of my favorite items to my friend. I love, love, love all the fragrant sesame seeds on the flaky pastry, and the filling of pork floss, ham, pork lard, spring onions... were enhanced by the use of ground white pepper.

Deep-fried sesame glutinous ball (黃金煎堆仔) - this is yet another item not to be missed. A simple dessert that's light as a feather, with a fragrance that brings a smile to one's face that, suddenly, is gone in a poof!

With my friend in town, it was another opportunity to bring out some of my old German rieslings...

1985 Maximin Grünhäuser Abstberg Kabinett - lovely nose of lemon citrus, still got the petrol for sure. Really good, crisp acidity on the palate.

This was a nice and relaxing lunch, and I'm glad we took it easy. But for my friend, I can understand that there's a feeling that perhaps he didn't get the full experience of dining at this 3-star restaurant. This feeling was reinfornced when he flipped through the regular menu, which includes a whole list of their famous abalone in varying sizes. Then there's the braised fish maw listed at HKD 26,000 per 12 taels, which is about 450 grams. At the curernt exchange rate that translates roughly to over JPY 500,000, which is quite eye-opening for people not well-versed in high-end Cantonese cuisine. I guess we'll set up a next visit!

I took my friends across the harbor to K11 Musea, as I think the shopping mall is somewhat interesting. But the real purpose was to introduce my friend to what I described as "the most expensive gelato in the world." I have been a fan of Dood Bottega Gelateria for the better part of the last 2 years, as their products are of very high quality and very delicious. Just about each flavor I have tried would rank as the best I have ever had in their respective category. The proprietor uses some very high-end fruits - many imported Japan - to produce small batches of very expensive gelato and sorbetto. These have included certain Japanese strawberry cultivars where the final product came priced at around HKD 2,000 per pint - with a minimum order of 4 pints. That's USD 1,000 worth of sorbetto...

Anyway, I was sure Geruhage would enjoy this space as soon as I saw that they had pistachio gelato. He ended up getting 3 scoops, including a premium flavor made with Japanese fruit. I myself got a scoop of Thai coconut gelato on a cone, and it was full of desiccated coconuts for texture. Pretty tasty.

I decided to make my way back home early to avoid the traffic expected on National Day. Time to freshen up for our big dinner.

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