Sunday, April 11, 2021

Better To Know Someone

“Better to know someone than to know how to read” (識人好過識字)… that’s a common local saying that highlights the importance of having the right connection rather than the right credential when it came to having a good meal. I never got around to eat at Run, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant at St Regis Hong Kong, so when my friend S asked whether I was free to eat there one evening with a group of friends, with him taking up the task of sorting out the menu personally with Chef Hung who’s the head chef there, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. 

This luxury hotel in Wanchai has come by leaps and bounds when it came to its F&B offering, with both L’Envol and Run earned their Michelin stars within 2 years of their opening. Run, with the name meaning “Nurture” 潤 in Mandarin Chinese and taken from the name of the company who owns the property, shared the same floor as their cafe with a posh décor similar to the French restaurant L’Envol right upstairs. I felt this is the place perfect for special occasion or serious business meal. 

We went for a special menu this time, with a few off-menu items that need to be pre-ordered. We started with the appetizer platter with a few bite-sized dishes. I love the presentation of baked wagyu puff, weaved in a buttery pastry shell, and the julienned fish maw has a nice kick with a spicy Sichuan pepper dressing. The double-boiled soup served in a baby coconut was soothing, with subtle sweet coconut flavor in the rich superior broth along with goji berries and the whole braised abalone with was soft and tender. 

The steamed crab claw came in good size and served on top of steamed egg custard and sauce made of chicken oil and Huadiao wine. While the crab has great texture and flavor, I thought the egg custard and sauce could do with slightly heavier seasoning, and I prefer the steamed egg custard to be a bit more set. The cod fish dish reminded me of the classic Cantonese smoked pomfret, but Chef Hung decided to swap the more bony pomfret with the piece of black cod fish fillet, coated with the fermented red tofu paste and baked, and I love the fatty texture of the fish plus nice sweet flavor from the marinate.  

After another seafood dish of the giant mantis shrimp served in fish broth and spinach, it was the incredible roast chicken roll stuffed with sticky rice that was my favorite course of the evening. It was hard to grasp how time-consuming this dish was in terms of preparation – first the sticky rice has to be soaked and cooked, and the chicken deboned with the skin kept intact, then it has to be rolled into roulade shape along with fresh ginseng in the center (with the slightly bitter flavor which cut down on the fatty taste), and went through the long cooking process of making sure the meat was cooked through (but not overcooked) and the skin crisp but not burnt. It then need to be carved and served in individual pieces. And this crafty dish was delicious – great flavor from the well-brined meat with the perfectly crisped paper-thin skin, and the sticky rice was cooked with the meat jus and taken up the flavor and oil from the meat which was wrapped around. Next time I am going to have the whole dish to myself.  

Desserts were done in more modern style, and I like the crispy sesame ball with mashed pumpkin filling inside. The panna cotta was much enjoyable too, served with the sweetened ginger syrup and pear coulis. And love to eat with this bunch, not only did we get the opportunity to taste some of the dishes normally not on the menu, and we were already thinking about the next meal outing even before we finished with our dinner. That’s the spirit. 

More photos here:

When? March 22 2021
Where? Run, Level 3, St Regis Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Crispy Chicken Roll, Glutinous Rice, Ginseng
Drink? 2016 Domaine Bonnardot Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune “En Cheignot”

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