Friday, 5 November 2010

Binge - Finest Dim Sum and Old Hong Kong Delights

Good Cantonese restaurants abound in Hong Kong but few have the advantages that Loong Toh Yuen has - a fabulous ambience located in the courtyard of a restored heritage building, a convenient location just off the star ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui and truly refined Cantonese cuisine that also serves old-style Hong Kong cuisine prepared by its new Executive Chef Sze Fai, previously from The Royal Garden Hotel's Chinese Restaurant and The Palace Hotel in Beijing. 

He has brought to life some almost forgotten recipes from old Hong Kong including dishes like Tai Po mini Poon Choi (大埔迷你盆菜), Lau Fau Shan Deep Fried Oyster with Honey Sauce (流浮山蜜燒生蠔) and Song Kee Sang Lotus Seed and Egg Tea (桑寄生蓮子蛋茶) and added to them some delightfully modern twists and interpretations. 

Simply Fab were invited to taste some of the Chef's latest culinary creations and I was suitably impressed. Our host from the Hullet House Management Team, Eunice Leong had conspired with the Chef to prepare a startling visual feast of the tastiest Dim Sum morsels including an absolutely amazing Sesame Shrimp with Thousand Year Egg (century egg) roll, a definite 'must-try' in my books and the Rose Champagne Har Gau. The skin of the Har Gau has been infused with Rose champagne to give it that tinge of pretty pink. Another excellent choice - the Steamed Fish Maw Soup and Dumpling stuffed with scallop, shrimps, chicken, pork, crabmeat and bamboo pith.

For mains, I highly recommend the Stewed Mini Abalone with Quail Egg in spiced Pu-Erh Leaves. This cold dish sees the abalone served with a special grill sauce, stir fried with small mushrooms and the quail eggs beautifully infused with Pu-Erh for two to three days before cooking to give it a mini tea-egg appearance. The flavours come together beautifully and show off the Chefs refined cooking style and his creativity. Also good is the Steamed Lettuce Parcels stuffed with assorted superior vegetables and the 

I was wowed by how they prepare the Chilled Black Sesame (also on the Dim Sum dessert menu) served at dessert. Each piece of chilled black sesame comes in small inch-long evenly cut rolls. Apparently each roll consists of a long sheet of sliver-thin flattened and steamed sesame paste. The sheet is evenly and delicately rolled and packed into a neat bundle (think swiss roll) and then cut into even pieces and served cold. When you peel open the roll, you can actually see each individually rolled sheet. Amazing when you consider the workmanship and craftsmanship involved in the preparation process. The transparent jelly like chilled Osmanthus pudding with bits of red osmanthus suspended in the pudding was a good accompaniment to the black sesame, a bit of a ying and yang combination that added just the right finish to the meal. 

However the Chef was out to impress that day and out came the piece de resistance, the Steamed Custard Cream Buns. Admittedly in my three plus years in Hong Kong, this is the first time that I have ever had this and it will not be my last. I loved the way, like a hot chocolate lava cake, the steaming custard pours out of the bun with each bite that you take. Definitely a dessert that you have to enjoy piping hot!  

The perfect opportunity to try Chef Sze Fai's fare is NOW. Head for their 'All-You-Can-Eat Dim Sum menu promotion' from now to the end of November at HK$198+ per person.  

Also during that time, if you want to feast on Hairy Crab, dishes start at HK$228+. 

The 'Old Hong Kong Menu' is also available at HK$580+ per person throughout November. Reservations are at tel: +852 3988 0107. 

Loong Toh Yuen 
Hullet House, 2A Canton Road  
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong 

- Elaine


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