Food feast in Hong Kong and Macau
Just came back from a 3 nights in Hong Kong and 2 nights in Macau trip recently. Here is a report of the places I tried on this trip:
First evening went to Da Ping Huo in Central again, which is my personal favorite Si chuan restaurant, including those many that I had tried in Mainland China. I have been a regular visitor for many years that the boss himself is quite familiar with me. I think it is the first restaurant with the "private kitchen" concept in Hong Kong and continues to serve the same 8-9 set dishes for the whole dinner. I especially love the spicy beef stripe and tendon, ma por tofu, the starting appetizers and the soup. But this place is only for those who love spicy food; those who are not adventurous enough for spicy food should not come here. The price here is extremely reasonable too at HK$280 per person. I have been complained about recommending the "overpriced" Da Domenica that I hope this "underpriced" one will make up for it.
The second day went to Fu Sing in Wanchai for dim sum lunch. The review here is rather mixed even though I rave about the dinner experience a few months back. The char siew was great, one of its signature dish. I wanted to order the crab roe xiao long bao (one piece at HK$25) that I had on the last trip (which I thought was the best xiao long bao in the world, way ahead of legendary DTF) but it was not available as hairy crab season is over. I then realized they used the hairy crab's roe which is why it is expensive and tasted so good. Anyway, I ordered their regular XLB, which was very good too. Somehow, they have dropped CharlesYu's favorite pineapple buns so I did not get to try that. The siew mai and har gao were a let down. The rest were good but not spectacular.
The second evening was the Chow dinner at Ming Moon in Wanchai, and we are all grateful to CharlesYu for coordinating the event. The companions are great but unfortunately, the food was rather disappointing. Even their signature dish goose web was just so so, certainly not as good as the one I usually had at Chung's Cuisine in Times Square, and also in comparison to what I would have the next evening at Lei Garden IFC. The other signature dish shark fin soup was mediocre too; I thought I had better ones even in Singapore.
The third day, I have to travel to Hung Hom, and tried Tasty at the Gourmet Mall recommended by CharlesYu. The wanton mee was good. I know most in Chow love wanton but most of the times when I visit noodle place, I would instead focus and order the unhealthy Pork knuckle and Pork kidney instead. (i am not really such a big fan of wanton like most here) Tasty did a good job on both of them.
The third evening was the highlight of the trip. I went with a group of 7 friends to Lei Garden at IFC. Again, this dinner was great, even better than the one I raved about in Fu Sing a couple of months ago. I think this branch is my favorite Cantonese restaurant now, especially if you come in with a large group for dinner, thereby providing more options for their seasonal specialties. We had its Roast Chicken ala Beijing style (like the way Beijing Duck is done) which is the first time we even heard of such dish, and the result was even better than Beijing Duck (at Peking Garden and even in Beijing). The abalone and fish stomach in abalone sauce was absolutely fantastic, way way ahead of the one I had in Ming Moon. The daily herbal soup was great too. (nobody in Chow really talks about soup in Hong Kong but I thought the Cantonese made the best soup in the world, it is a "must" dish for most dinners so why it hardly get any mention always surprised me. And gain, I always think Lei Garden has the best daily soup of the day that they brewed for hours)
The trip to Macau was focus on the meals at Venetian as we spend most of the time there this time. Tried 3 places : Roka, Canton, and Old Neptune.
Already reviewed Roka and Old Neptune on previous threads. Roka is a fusion pseudo Japanese restaurant. It was good but not spectacular but the service was excellent. I am not really into the fusion type of Japanese food with great ambiance, which I always felt cater more for Westerners than Asians. But Roka at least try hard enough to satisfy me with its overall fresh ingredient and creative setting. The taste was also quite delicious; we tried the scallop and chicken on its robatayaki menu, tuna tatare with cavier and crab leg kamameshi on its kitchen menu.
Old Neptune is a noodle and congee place, but unlike Tasty and most others, is a high end one that caters for its casino crowd. Its signature dishes were shark fin or abalone noodle, none of which I ordered. I end up with Crispy turnip tender beef haslet ( 蘿蔔牛什), local crab on e-mee (伊麵), and Fish head sliced whelk Congee, all of whom I rate very highly, especially the first 2 dishes.
Canton is a Cantonese restaurant; we had Dim Sum there for lunch. The crispy cheoung fun and crispy carrot cake were innovative way of redoing traditional dim sum dishes and received high marks from me. The others were good but not outstanding. Overall, a decent place.
Interestingly, Lei Garden and Morton's, both of whom I like very much, also opened their branches in Venetian Macau. Morton's is at its casino and Lei garden at its shopping mall.
But the price for this feast is a 2kg weight gain when I came back home. I would imagine this is a common problem among Chows.