Thursday, January 5, 2023

Wing with Friends

At our recent dinner at Wing with a few friends before Christmas, I was blown away by the number of new dishes that Chef Vicky brought to the table and the way he managed to seek improvements on some of the already excellent dishes in his repertoire.  

The cold starter dishes at the restaurant always left a good impression with a constant rotation of seasonal ingredients, and this time my favorite was the Japanese oysters and golden century eggs served with the Sichuan spicy chili sauce with just the right kick. The drunken kuruma ebi was a close second, with the local prawns came in perfect size and cured in Shaoxing wine. 

The hot and sour soup was served in individual portion and with heat source underneath so the soup was kept warm. I was amazed at how the ingredients were so finely julienned (including the sea cucumber, pork, crab meat and tofu), and the touch of juice and zest (both coming from local lemons) gave the dish the right level acidity to compliment the spicy taste without being overbearingly strong like vinegar. God knows how many times the kitchen team tried and achieve this perfect, delicate balance. 

Our piece of steamed threadfin fish came from the back cut and the meatiest part of the fish. It's done with preserved vegetables, green scallions and oil only, unlike the more traditional option of using soy sauce as seasoning. With the piece of fish in such quality, this worked much better as we got to taste the original flavor of the fish meat with the milder flavor profile from the condiments. 

Chef Vicky made his first appearance at our table with the Pomelo Pith dish, finishing the dish with the stove with a piece of pomelo pith, dried and soaked with superior broth (and repeated the process a few times so the piece took in all the nice flavor, then deep-fried for the crispy crust. It was then finished with the basting of gravy-like abalone sauce, with a large piece of fish maw added in as the "side dish" for us. Both were outstanding, but I appreciated more the techniques and thoughts that went in for this modified version of Cantonese-style pomelo pith, done firm and flavorful with the slightly crispy crust. 

The whole Alaskan king crab was served at the table with the golden crab roe sauce and pan-fried cheung fun served underneath. Best part was not from the crab itself but the tossing of cheung fun rice flour rolls with the decadent crab roes. The Crispy Chicken was great as always, with the tender juicy meat from the local chicken and the crispy skin attached with a shiny bronze color from the basting of soy sauce and oil as the bird was hung and roasted. And there's no better way to eat this than pulling the leg off the bone, held the piece with fingers and bit in, street food style. 

We had the noodles done Northern Chinese style, with the stewed lamb (coming from Ningxia Province) served in the chili broth. And before that, sauteed vegetables with slices of Chinese Kale done in the sizzling casserole with dried velvet shrimps, a local specialty from the fishing village of Tai O. I had my share of white truffle dishes before but this must be my first time trying this version as a Chinese sweet soup, with thick cut pieces double-boiled with rock sugar and fox nuts for the sweet and soothing flavor and the nice aroma. 

Took a short break from alcohol this evening with just a couple glasses, and both the champagne and the glass of Loire Valley white went well with the traditional Chinese dishes. The acidity of the Sancerre with hints of ripe citrus, white flower and minerals matched perfectly with dishes with heavy flavor towards the end of our meal.  

When? December 15 2022
Where? Wing, 29/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Crispy Pomelo Pith, Shrimp Roes, Fish Maw
Champagne Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Grant Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut
2020 Vincent Gaudry "Constellation du Scorpion" Sancerre

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