Friday, August 7, 2015

Homecoming Dim Sum at Lung King Heen

I thought the timing was just perfect for an invitation for lunch at Lung King Heen at The Four Seasons, for my first proper meal after returning home from a week-long Japan trip. I know I always crave for good old Chinese food after being away, plus it really has been a while since I last ate here, so this is just great.

We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to enjoy the great view of the clear sky and the buildings across the harbor from the window in the dining area, as we sat right in the middle of the room. The menu has already been picked for us along with wine pairings so it saved us the trouble of even taking a look at the menu.

We started with some dimsums then moved onto a couple light, simple dishes and finished with a dessert platter. Summer is the prime season for all kinds of mushrooms so they were featured prominently in a few of the dishes, beginning with a pair of steam dimsum items served in a neat bamboo basket. The matsutake mushroom in Siu Mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumplings) (松茸鮮蝦蒸燒賣) replaced the usual shiitake mushrooms, and giving it a good bite and taste. The Xiaolongbao (steamed Shanghainese dumpling) (雞縱菌帶子小籠包) was an interesting one - instead of wrapping the thin dumpling skin with pork as in the traditional version, this one was filled with shrimp and wild termite mushrooms (雞縱菌).

I always love the baked dimsums at this restaurant and this time was no exception, starting with the baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken (原隻鮑魚雞粒酥) of course, which has been their signature dish since day one. It's pretty, with the well-made pastry shell resembling the whole abalone in its original form, and topped with diced abalone and chicken in a thick gravy. It's a clever dish and never disappoints.

We all took the first bite at the baked bun in the middle of our platter at the same time and had this surprise expression on our faces - we were expecting a barbecued pork/charsiu filling inside (as it's usually done for this kind of bun), but instead it was vegetables and black truffles for the vegetarian version (黑松露素菜焗雪山包). It was super delicious - I could even say it's better than the original version with the clean and fresh veggie flavors and the unmistakable truffle aroma. 

Next up was a platter of barbecued combination, with four different items neatly arranged in a long plate. I personally thought the honey-glazed eel was a bit too sweet (but the eel itself was very nice), but both the barbecued pork and the suckling pig was as good as one could get in town. That more than satisfied my craving for hometown food after being on and off away for the last couple of months.

Another pair of hearty, home-style dishes followed - which was a bowl of fish broth with poached star garoupa and tofu sheet (魚湯浸星斑件鮮腐竹) and a small plate of sauteed kale, and then we finished with a braised e-fu noodles with black truffles and shredded chicken in superior pottage (黑松露皇湯雞絲燴伊麵). The rich flavor of the superior pottage - slow-cooked with chicken and scores of other delicacies and reminded me of the thick superior soup best-known in Tan Imperial Cuisine (譚家官府菜) - worked great with the egg noodles topped with finely shredded truffles and braised chicken.

To go along with the meal, we had an abbreviated version of the new "Taste of Asia" from their wine menu, featuring a few interesting Asian wine and liqueur selections served in tasting portion. I thought the chardonnay from China's Grace Vineyard was very decent, and the Hwayo Soju 41 was probably the smoothest soju I have ever tried. And we all loved the Taiwanese lychee honey wine, which along with our dessert of milk custard with black sesame and a couple petit fours, left us with a sweet after-taste. I couldn't have asked for a better homecoming meal.

More photos on my Flickr page:

(Lunch courtesy of The Four Seasons Hong Kong)

When? July 30 2015
Where? Lung King Heen at The Four Seasons, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Braised e-fu noodles with black truffles and shredded chicken in superior pottage
Grace Vineyard Tasya's Reserve Chardonnay 2011
Chateau Bolongbao Reserve 2010
Krug Grande Cuvee MV
Hwayo 41º Soju
Lychee Honey Liqueur, Wufeng Farmers' Association

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