Monday, June 8, 2020

New branch of an old favorite

New restaurant openings were few and far between this year, with Ming Court Wanchai being one of those exceptions, taking over the space formerly occupied by Yat Tung Heen of the same group (which also operates Tang Court and Ming Court Mongkok, both with Michelin stars). But there's more than just a mere name change and the physical makeover, with the dining area now given a contemporary re-touch completed with a small bar counter near the entrance with a separate snack menu, and plenty of private rooms for functions or formal meals.

I was there for the first time a few days ago for a dinner tasting of some of their new and signature dishes. There's traits of similar cooking style as their original branch in Mongkok (at The Cordis hotel and one of my favorites too) with the menu filled with classic Cantonese dishes plus some with a modern interpretation and refined presentation. We began with a chilled appetizer of abalone and sea cucumber, slow-cooked to get the tender texture and pickled in sake for the rich flavor and aroma - reminded me of the Shanghainese drunken dish traditionally made with Zaolu and Huadiao wines. 

Thick slices of charsiu were served next - with perfect texture, slightly charred crust and the right balance of sweet glaze brushed on top. Ming Court Mongkok served one of the best versions in town so I didn't expect anything less. The chicken consomme reminded me of the traditional snake soup often served during the colder season, with the broth thickened by fish maw and served with finely julienned shiitake mushrooms, chicken and black fungus plus chunks of fried dough on the side. The rich flavor matched very well with the acidity from the champagne poured. The vegetable dish was a comforting one too, with the seasonal baby spinach simmered and served with lily bulbs, goji berries and broth infused with almond juice. 

A few more seafood dishes were brought to us and they were all delicious. The giant grouper fillet was steamed and served on a bed of vermicelli and i love the fresh Sichuan peppers served on top providing the extra spicy kick. Next was the prawn served with the silky steamed egg white in a deep dish with the crystal glaze made with superior broth and bits of ham on top, and the bits of caviar gave it a luxury touch and extra umami taste. Our last savory dish was the fried rice with dried seafood and abalone sauce served in a mini casserole pot - not sizzling like the traditional "bo jai fan" but served steaming hot filled with flavor. 

Dessert was done in modern style - first the milk pudding with peach resin and brown sugar-ginger sauce which resembles panna cotta, then the trio of coconut pudding, pastry bar with red bean paste and deep-fried egg dough twist with honey glaze. Other than the champer that we started with, our second glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc also did well with the seafood dishes we had. 

Very satisfied with solid executions from start to finish. It's a keeper - and I am glad they now have a branch at this side of the harbor. 

(Meal was by invitation) 

When? May 28 2020
Where? Ming Court Wanchai, 2/F, Great Eagle Centre, 23 Harbour Rd, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Steamed Giant Grouper with Sichuan Peppers 鮮花椒蒸龍躉球
Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV
2018 Big Sky Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand

No comments :