A Superb Business Dim Sum Luncheon that was "Above & Beyond" most others!
- Charles Yu Mar 22, 2013 03:06 AM
Today, fellow Austrian chowhounder 'Nilescable' and I met up for a mini Dim Sum chowmeet at 'Above & Beyond'. This was the second time I visited this fine restaurant. The first time being the huge chowmeet we had there a couple of weeks ago.
We settled into our corner window table, started enjoying the lovely view, when a number of their wait staff, who looked after us during our previous chowmeet, started coming over to greet us by name!! What a nice, warm touch!
We chose one of many set business lunch with the addition of some 'Oolong Tea smoked Duck Eggs with Truffles'
The Business Lunch Menu consisted of the following dishes:
- Appetizer Platter of Duo 18 flavour marinated soya
Chicken and 'Ice Mountain 3 layer' crispy skin
- Trio dumplings of Shanghainese Xiao Lung Bao, Har Gow
and Asparagus and Cilantro seafood dumplings.
- Poached medley of Matsutake mushroom, Shitake
mushroom, fresh Yuba Skin and Spinach in Supreme Shang
Tong Chicken Broth.
- Stirred fry filet of Spotted Garoupa with Shrimp roes
and Garden Greens.
- Pumpkin, Sweet Corn and Pork Soup
- Sweet corn and Conpoy Rice Congee
- Dessert of sweet Longoon Berries, Red Dates and Aloe
Nilescable and myself both agreed this must be one of the best Dim Sum lunches we have had in Hong Kong. Refined and sophisticated in both presentation and taste, we cannot fault any single dish!
The chicken was flavourful and taste profile complex, reflecting the 18 different herbs and spices used in the preparation of the chicken. The Roasted pork was nicely seasoned and the skin as crispy as can be. As good if not better than the Lei Garden Wanchai version!
The Dim Sum dumplings were ALL superb. The Xiao Lung Bao, IMHO, is the best I have eaten here in Hong Kong, period! The broth was out of this world good!!Even trumped the best Shanghai Fraternity, Liu Yuan Pavillion or Din Tai Fung has to offer! Har Gow was near perfection with the classic 13 folds that reflects the skill of the Dim Sum chef! The skin was thin, malleable and intact when picked up. Filling was juicy and crunchy. However, I would like to see a less chopped up prawn filling. Hence 'near pefection'!
The Veggie medley was surprisingly aromatic and delicious. In addition to Ming Court, this is the second time I have encountered such delicious broth. Wonder if this is a trade secret amongst Hong Kong Chefs?
The Garoupa filet was perfectly cooked. Light, sweet and delicate in taste. What a refreshing change from the inferior Talapia or Basa filets used in Toronto's Chinese Restaurants!!!
The Smoked Duck Eggs was a revelation. The smokiness complimented the truffle ( pretty good quality too! ) so well! However, due to my cholesterol intake the past few days, I let Nilescable have half an egg more!
Although the food was delicious, however, the quantity was simply too overwhelming. We finished off our meal leaving the congees untouched!!
What a lovely and enjoyable meal with great food, service and view that puts a lot of Michelin Star establishments to shame!!
( Photos to follow )
As Charles writes, this was a really fantastic lunch, every dish outstanding and definitely a must go in my book. And the price was a real steal with 320 per person, so two thumbs up. I will return for sure on my next trip to HK.
re: Charles Yu
Actually, I'd have expected Above & Beyond's smoked eggs to have a more molten centre, don't you think?
I have a friend whose mum's Shanghainese-born (though she's resided in Singapore for more than 50 years) - once, we were lunching at the Shangri-la Singapore when her mum started describing in detail how she prepared her smoked eggs at home and how much smoke the cooking process generated! It did *seem* easy to prepare at home, although peeling a half-cooked egg without breaking it can be a chore: