Sunday, November 13, 2022

National Day Lunch

Knowing it’s always a safe bet, we began our October month of feasting at Hansik Goo and asked our friends J and D to join us for lunch on the National Day holiday. Chef Steve’s cooking has always been amazing (at least from our past experience) and we wanted more of that. 

They resumed their weekend lunch service only a couple months back, and what they are offering is essentially an “abridged” version of their dinner tasting menu – well, by “abridged” we are still talking about 7 courses before any add-on option being selected. 

We began with something refreshing, with Corn “Eung-yi” (Korean congee) served cold with the fluffy “rice cake” and caviar on top. The sweet corn in puree texture served with nice contrast to the rich dollop of caviar with its mineral, umami taste. The noodles, another cold appetizer, looked simple but with amazing flavor, with the seasonal shiroebi (Japanese white shrimp) drizzled in perilla oil for the distinct aroma. Naengchae reminded me of ceviche, but with thin slices of amberjack cured with a punchy gochujang vinaigrette instead. 

The seafood theme continued with a cooked fish, with a piece of Geumtae (blackthroat seaperch) fillet grilled skin-on with the cabbage roll on the side. The skin was perfect crisped and in nice shiny color from the fish oil. And the cabbage was perfect to balance the fatty flavor. 

We asked for the fried chicken as our add-on (of course!) and the kitchen team sent us the Pajeon also. Both were as good as we remembered – these may be common dishes found in just about any Korean restaurant in town, but there’s no comparison. Abalone and beef seems to be common ingredients here, almost appearing every single time of our visit. This time we had them both served side by side, with the marinated hanwoo striploin, perfectly cooked with the nice charred and glazed crust and the piece of abalone, steamed and grilled with anchovy butter with the firm, bouncy texture and strong flavor. On the side was a series of banchan bites (the quick fermented kimchi was outstanding with good crunchy texture!) and a summer radish barley bibimbap served in a brass bowl. It felt like a glamorous, much elaborated homestyle dish with hearty flavor, but then, one didn’t come across such good quality, well executed beef dish every day. 

The desserts were enjoyable. Love the “Jang trio” with three components made with unusual ingredients of Doenjang (fermented soybean paste) crème brulee, ganjang (soy sauce) glazed pecans and dehydrated gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste) with puffy rice on top and sesame tuile on the side. That’s followed by the nicely arranged Korean style snacks as petit fours, including perilla dasik and semi-dried persimmon rolls. Went with a bottle from their wine menu that I thought was perfect for the summer and the food. This Chardonnay from one of my favorite winery in Loire was full-bodied with deep straw color, good mineral notes, some ripe citrus and nice, refreshing floral aroma. Best drink to go with the fried chicken outside of a glass of Coke. 

More photos here:

When? October 1 2022
Where? Hansik Goo, 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington St, Sheung Wan
Menu Highlights? Beef and Abalone with Yeolmu Bibimbap – Marinated Hanwoo Striploin, Abalone with Anchovy Butter, Banchan, Summer Radish Barley Bibimbap
Drinks? Domain l'Ecu "Lux" Cuvee MMXVIII, Loire, France