Sunday, January 27, 2019

Festive Menu

It was great coming back to Hoi King Heen 2 weeks ago to check out some of the new dishes by Chef Leung Fai Hung, including a few that he specifically prepared for the Chinese New Year coming in a couple weeks’ time.

Pre-Chinese New Year always represented one of the busiest seasons for Chinese restaurants, for it’s the time when families, friends or even business acquaintances got together to celebrate over a sumptuous meal, with many auspicious dishes to symbolizes good fortune and health for the new year. We started exactly with that, with the wok-fried sliced abalone and shrimps with vermicelli which reminded me of the traditional new year dish of “Lo Hei”, with seafood and other ingredients all shredded and presented in a single dish, then tossed up to symbolized growth in fortunes. It’s tasty with good bouncy texture from the abalones sliced into thick strips.

I was a bit under the weather on the night of the dinner, so the next course of the soothing double-boiled soup came right on time. Chicken, pork and sea conch went into the soup and was double-boiled for a long period of time inside a young coconut. It’s especially comforting to me with a few sip of that warm soup.

Dried oysters were another commonly used ingredient for any Chinese New Year meal (for it sounds like “great fortune” in Cantonese) and this time, it’s braised and served on top of the soft pomelo skin with the gravy made with braised abalones. It’s followed by yet another seafood dish, this time, wok-fried chunks of lobsters with fresh green peppercorns and lily bulbs. I love the punchy peppercorn flavor balanced with the crunchy lily bulb petals.

Two other main courses were presented and then served in individual portion side by side. The pork tendons were amazingly tender and flavorful, stir-fried with the fragrant spring onion sauce and served with the crunchy foxnuts and pine nuts, and next were the spotted grouper stir-fried and served with bell peppers and rice crispies. Many of us finished the pork tendons in no time and asked for refills – that’s how good we thought it was.

Cereal fish is a new dish on Hoi King Heen’s menu, and it’s obvious that Chef Leung took a cue from the classic Singaporean version and created its own, using whole mandarin fish with the meat take out, battered and stir-fried and bones deep-fried, then served with crispy cereals on top, and some chilies for the added kick. I thought it was decent. We finished with rice (with bits of wagyu beef mixed in) and the traditional glutinous rice dumplings (with chicken and peanut filling) – something I haven’t had for a long time.

We were also served the traditional Chinese new year pudding as dessert – the brown sugar pudding was mixed with ginger and coconut milk then cut into slices and pan-fried with a light coat of egg wash, something we often have during this time of the year. What Chef Leung has prepared is a new version, with black tapioca added in for the extra chewy texture. I thought it was interesting. We were also given the whole pudding as gift that we could make at home. Of course, we always left with the almond soup as our final dessert, which was prepared by Chef Leung himself right by our table.

(Dinner was by invitation and organized by the PR team of Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hotel)

When? January 16 2019
Where? Hoi King Heen at Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hotel, Level B2, 70 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Wok-fried Pork Tendon with Fox Nuts and Spring Onion Sauce

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