Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Seafood Dinner (What Else?)

Upon confirming our staycation booking at WM in Sai Kung, we knew immediately where we should go for dinner. We had great experiences at Loaf On so we won’t hesitate to go back any time we have a chance. 

Sai Kung became more and more crowded as the night falls with visitors flocking to this neighborhood famous for its seafood restaurants, most of them lined up along the sea-side promenade. Loaf On was tucked in the block behind slightly further from the rest, but by no means less popular, thanks to the Michelin star they gained and kept for a few years already. 

Like other seafood restaurants nearby, they allowed customers to “bring their own seafood” and have them prepared the way they wanted, but with just the two of us, we opted to just go with their regular menu plus whatever seafood items they were on offer on the day from their "blackboard special" (based on daily catch). Only thing we brought our own was the bottle of wine which I thought would pair well with seafood. 

We didn’t go for anything overly elaborate this time with just a few dishes. The bowl of fish broth was prepared in classic home style, except they probably put in way more seafood than what one would do at home so it’s extra delicious. The deep-fried tofu was one of their signature dishes and rightfully so, with the soft and silky tofu cut into long slabs and deep-fried in a thin batter and seasoned with smoked salt and pepper. It’s crispy on the outside and soft inside. 

We went for three courses of seafood and they were all excellent. The Saltwater Steamed Assorted Fish (鹽蒸海魚仔) was of the perfect portion for the two of us, cooked using whatever wild-caught fish they managed to source on the day. The night we went it was ponyfish (油立), the silver-skinned fish known for its delicate meat. It’s steamed using saltwater and finished with a splash of hot oil and coriander and scallions as garnishes. Even without the sweet soy sauce I thought those fish was flavorful, and the two of us shared 5 small pieces of fish and totally satisfied. 

Razor Clams and Abalones were most likely imported instead of farmed/caught locally, with the former sauteed with scallions and ginger and latter deep-fried with salt and pepper batter. The deep-fried abalone is another signature dish here and it didn’t disappoint, with the piece of whole abalones super tender on the inside and the batter well-seasoned with salt, pepper and fried garlic. 

We were in the mood for more after we finished our seafood, so we ordered a few more of their famous dishes. The deep-fried pork ribs were rich and tender, with the syrupy black vinegar glaze adding to some acidity and sweetness. The simple (but well-cooked) bowl of fried noodles with soy sauce showed great skill of whoever behind the wok that night, with the noodles cooked with the perfect texture, nice and dry with bean sprouts and toasted white sesame on top. The sauteed vegetables was a surprise, with the chef served only the most tender part of the Chinese kale stalks, so every bite was of perfectly crunchy. 

I brought along a bottle of Chablis, knowing one couldn’t go too wrong pairing it with seafood. This 10-year-old one from the Grand Cru climat was surprisingly intense with plenty of minerality, nice floral aroma plus some stone-fruits and baked apple on the palate. I am glad it aged nicely and went well with the deep-fried dishes. It’s a pity they didn’t serve desserts at the restaurant, so we headed out and had ours at a café nearby, and made a short walk “home” after. 

More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157720204167610

When? October 24 2021
Where? Loaf On, 49 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung, Kowloon
Menu Highlights? Saltwater Steamed Assorted Fish (鹽蒸海魚仔)
Drink?  2010 Domaine Dublere Chablis Grand Cru "Les Preuses"

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