Saturday, June 9, 2018

Dalloyau Le Café (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

We didn't order dessert at China Tang this afternoon but everyone got something up their sleeves. For me, it's the sweet treats from Dalloyau

I wanted to try the same truffle ice-cream I had here last time but too bad, it's not in-season so I had to settle for the chocolate flavor. This was fairly rich and creamy. Well worth the $50 price tag.

But the same could not be said for this strawberry lemon mousse cake ($58). Just way too much similarities between the strawberry and lemon mousse in terms of flavors (level of acidity) and texture. 

But I have to admit, it looks pretty cute (This photo doesn't do it justice).

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop 403, 4/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 3185-8330

China Tang Harbour City 唐人館 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

I know some of China Tang's die-hard fans were thrilled to see the famed Cantonese restaurant opening across the harbour. But for a casual fan like me, I was just happy that my favorite shopping mall has added a nice option for dim sum. 

Like their first branch at Landmark, the decor is one of a kind. 

Its food menu brings together some of the best dishes from Beijing, Sichuan and Canton. 

Steamed crab meat and egg white dumplings (西施蟹肉餃) ($72) - Instead of the usual shrimp dumplings, we started things off with their steamed crab meat and egg white dumplings. The first thing we noticed was the paper-thin wrapper which was very delicate. I thought a bit more crab meat in there would really provide us with the flying start we've all expected coming in. But not bad.

Steamed seafood and kimchi dumplings (泡菜海鮮餃) ($54) - A bit of Korean twist. Again the wrapper solid but the kimchi was a little too overpowering for the diced seafood.

Steamed dumplings with assorted mushroom (晶瑩上素餃) ($54) - Very nicely packed full of diced mushrooms and vegetables (zucchini and carrot). 

Look at that paper-thin wrapper! Really nicely done and good to have one of these without the black truffle sauce for a change.

Steamed pork dumplings (北菇蒸燒賣) ($72) - Just OK. Surprised they didn't throw in a big piece of prawn or scallop on top to make it more premium (Curious why this was priced at $72 when most of the other dim sums were set at $54. A bit puzzled).

Deep-fried spring rolls filled with shrimp and cheese (芝心蝦春卷) ($54) - Nice and crispy on the outside. The diced shrimp and cheese filling was quite enjoyable. 

Baked wagyu beef puff pastries (胡椒和牛酥) ($54) - One dish I didn't get overly excited about. I expected the wagyu beef to be a little more juicy and better, a flavorful broth in the middle to back it up.

Pan-fried turnip cakes with preserved meat (香煎蘿蔔糕) ($54) - Another borderline average dish. The one we had at Dragon King last week was way better.

Baked barbecued pork buns (焗雪山叉燒包) ($54) - Pretty decent. I like the crispy crust.

Steamed rice flour rolls filled with crispy tofu sheet and seafood (嚮鈴海鮮腸粉) ($98) - This was a highly anticipated dish which came highly recommended to me. I thought it was reasonably tasty. After the first couple of bites, I kind of thought I was having zhaliang (炸兩), or rice flour rolls with crispy youtiao (油條) but that crispiness actually came from the crispy tofu sheet. Not bad but definitely not as mind blowing as I first thought.

Traditional Cantonese sponge cake (古法馬拉糕) ($54) - Very pillowy. Very nice.

Seafood fried rice with sun-dried shrimps and king prawn coral (大頭蝦膏海鮮炒飯) ($198) - This was surprisingly tasty with pretty decent wok hei (鑊氣). I was a little worried about the seasoning with king prawn coral being a little over the top but that turned out to be perfect. The sun-dried shrimps, diced prawns, scallops and diced kale provided very lovely bite to the fragrant rice.

This is right around where I expected it to be. Much better than your average Cantonese restaurant but a notch down from a good hotel Chinese restaurant. I like this nice new option at Harbour City.

Food Rating: 5.5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 4101, 4/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2157-3148

Friday, June 8, 2018

22 Ships (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

It has been a dismal few days with Typhoon Ewiniar paying us a prolonged visit this week. To make things even more dismal for me, I was escorted to this corner table facing the street and watching rain bouncing off the canopy. That's not a lot of fun.

It's my first visit to 22 Ships since Executive Chef Aaron Gillespie took over the reign so I'm obviously interested in checking out the revamped menu by the young chef who honed his skills at Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsey and La Brasserie in Dubai (@Atlantis The Palm Hotel).

Jamon, manchego and truffle toastie, quail egg ($88) - First up, a classic Spanish bikini to start off the meal.

This had the usual suspect of jamon, manchego and black truffle between the crispy toast. And as if it's not already fulfilling enough, they threw in a pair of quail eggs sunny-side-up for good measures. Pretty tasty but a little heavy due to the mix of rich and cheesy flavors.

Suckling pig with pineapple and piquillo peppers ($198) - I had this dish when the restaurant made its debut back in 2012 and I still remembered what a wonderful experience that was.

This looked like the same recipe having the suckling pig served with pineapple, piquillo peppers and piquillo jus but the results were very different. Instead of the succulent suckling pig we got last time, I got a lot of fat and the skin wasn't nearly as crispy as it used to be.

Service has never been 22 Ships' strong suit to begin with and it continued to be quite messy at times today (I was waving at a couple of servers signaling for the bill but they were too busy having a good chat with each other and a number of customers). As for the two dishes I had this afternoon, I thought one (the bikini) was decent while the other didn't pass. I hope it's just an off-day for the guys behind the open kitchen. 

Is it just me or is Ship Street not what it used to be (Just saw Atelier Vivanda permanently closed when I was on my way here)?

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: 22 Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Wanchai
Tel: +852 2555-0722