Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Reminiscing Dinner

When we were sorting out the menu for our dinner with friend V at Man Ho, Chef Jayson came to rescue with a special tasting menu for us. We put total trust in him to the extent that I didn’t even look at the menu until were seated at the restaurant. 

The 8-course dinner menu began with the amuse bouche of marinated mushrooms followed by a pair of appetizers. Love the charsiu as always, with the charred crust well basted with honey sauce and the pork loin cut thick. The piece of baby cuttlefish was full of flavor, having poached in "loi sui" marinate, stuffed with pickled vegetables and gently smoked before serving. 

A small dimsum platter was served next, both new using seasonal ingredients. The steamed mushroom dumpling is a twist to the tradiaional "Chiuchow-style fun gwor", stuffed with termite mushrooms, diced charsiu, shrimp roes and peanuts in a wrapper made of tapioca starch. Meanwhile the deep-fried chanterelle pastry was a new version to "Wu Kok" (Taro Pastry), with sauteed chanterelle mushrooms replacing mashed taro as filling with the dumpling shaped puff deep-fried for the fluffy, crispy texture. I am not fond of mashed taro so this is definitely a welcoming change, and both were delicious. 

We moved onto a few seafood-based courses. With summer being the mushroom season there's no surprise a few more mushroom dishes made their way to our table. The chunks of lobster were served on top of the silky egg white custard with julienned matsutake mushrooms for the nice aroma and comforting flavor. The hot and sour soup was an upgraded version to the Sichuan classic with picked crab meat used - I thought the acidity (from the vinegar) was a bit too overwhelming so the balance was slightly off, and probably a tad too strong on the spiciness too. The melon seed garoupa fillet was a soothing dish, served with pickled and dried olive leaves and the comforting rice broth with slightly creamy texture and milky color. 

Chef Jayson was almost apologetic when he brought the chicken dish over, suggesting that serving us a whole bird might be a bit overreaching for the 4 of us in terms of portion. The local Ping Yuen chicken was done like a traditional Cantonese Roast Goose, brined and roasted with the bird hanging vertically over high heat for the paper-thin crispy skin. It was excellent with the skin perfectly crisped without being laden in oil. Of course, we had absolutely no problem finishing the whole dish. 

We went straight to the sweet courses with three different items served. The purple-colored sweet sticky rice was mixed with sweet corns and aloe then the savory-sweet and cheesy foam was poured on top for the creamy flavor. The sugary egg puff was another creation by the chef, with the traditional "sa yung" done with porcini stuffing - yeah I thought having mushrooms in a dessert dish was wild, but somehow it worked pretty well with the interesting combination of sweet and earthy tastes. 

A fun evening reminiscing on the good old days with very decent food from our favorite chef. 

More photos:

When? August 8 2022
Where? Man Ho at JW Marriott Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Steamed Lobster with Egg White and Matsutake Mushrooms
Drink? 2010 Pazo Senorans Selección de Anada Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

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