Friday, March 20, 2020

Weekend Executive Lunch

We made a point of dining out a bit more often than we need to just to do our small part to support those in local F&B and hospitality industries in the era of coronavirus outbreak. And in a more pragmatic end to it, I can’t say we were not partly motivated by the gorgeous deals and discounts now available in just about anywhere we go in town.

Just this past weekend we were at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong which introduced a few set menus at a discount at all of its dining outlets. We were particularly interested in the one at the Michelin-starred Tin Lung Heen, partly because it’s been a long time since we last visited and their lunch menu sounds enticing. Apparently we were not the only one that thinks alike as the place was packed when we arrived (something I have never seen before at this restaurant to be honest). Glad to see people now came out in full force and tried to live a normal life despite the situation.

The executive lunch menu at Tin Lung Heen - available 7 days a week - featured a few dishes in tasting portion, along with the soup and dessert platter. The set-up was great for small groups as we got to try a number of different dishes in smaller portions. We began with a pair of “appetizers”. Their signature char siu (barbecued pork) needs no introduction, with the pork shoulder roasted in traditional way and basted with osmanthus honey. It’s on the sweeter side than I would normally like but I love the floral aroma from the honey and the tender texture. Presented together was steamed turnip cake served hors d'oeuvres style in a giant ceramic spoon – the highlight was the XO sauce on top but I did enjoy the clean turnip flavor of the soft pudding-style cake with a splash of soy sauce.

The Cantonese-style double boiled soup was always welcoming and this one prepared with pork shin, sea cucumbers and dried longan was particularly soothing, with the slight hint of sweetness from the longan, and rich flavor from the long and slow cooking. The scallops were presented in generous portion – halved, dipped in a light batter and pan-fried. They were perfectly done with the crispy crust and served with the crispy rice cracker (a.k.a. woba) and onions. The scallops were served with sautéed Chinese kale on the side as a platter. The vegetables were slightly overcooked – it’s parboiled before stir-fried in the wok so that led to a slightly bitter after-taste, but other than that, it’s fine with thin slices of deep-fried garlic for a little kick in flavor.

We then moved on to another meat main course (chicken and shiitake mushrooms with black bean sauce) and the fried rice served in lotus leaf wrapper. The fried rice was great with plenty of ingredients putting in and a nice superior broth gravy adding to the flavor. We finished with a dessert platter – not my usual choices, but I do love both the coconut and milk pudding served in a small bowl topped with dices of aloe vera jelly and the warm steamed sponge cake with egg yolk custard. Both with the right level of sweetness. The menu also came with a glass of wine and the house pour of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was good with the food served. Love that grip of acidity and some citrus on the palate which made this an easy-going everyday kind of wine. And the portion of everything worked out just right and we were satisfied.

More photos:

When? March 15 2020
Where? Tin Lung Heen, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, Level 102 International Commerce Centre, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Double-boiled soup of pork shin, sea cucumbers and dried longan
Drink? 2017 Lawsons Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

United We Dine
As part of the Hong Kong food community, I felt strongly that we should all stand together to support our fellow restauranteurs, hoteliers, and passionate people which made our dining scene one of the best in the world. "United We Dine" is a city-wide restaurant campaign that calls on Hong Kong food lovers to dine out. In March and April, over 100 dining destinations across town offered limited time menu or special promotions to customers, not to mention a lucky draw with some attractive prizes. Go visit for more details. (And Tin Lung Heen is one of the participants in the campaign - just so you know)

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