Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring Deer 鹿鳴春飯店 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

Relatives from Sydney are back in town this week and it was again up to me to decide where to have our gathering. After going through my special list of restaurants for my out-of-town guests, I decided to ring up Spring Deer (鹿鳴春飯店), one of the most famous Pekingese restaurants in the city.

Mock goose (素鵝) - Everyone seems to be in love with this version of vegetarian goose (bean curds with stuffing of carrots and mushrooms) because it's not deep-fried. It is perfect for a few of us who claims to be health conscious.

Chilled chicken in rice wine sauce (糟雞) - This was pretty good. While it didn't have the gelatin texture possessed by Din Tai Fung's signature Shaoshing wine marinated chicken (紹興醉雞), the seasoning (primarily with rice wine) was perfect without going over the top so we could still taste the natural flavors of the chicken.

Duck web and celery (鴨掌拌西芹) - My first encounter with this dish and I wasn't particularly impressed. It was a little odd having cold celery in a Chinese dish and I've never been a fan of crunchy duck's feet (and would never be one!).

Barbecued Peking Duck (北京填鴨) - One thing you can always count on Spring Deer to deliver is your money's worth. For $380, their barbecued Peking Duck isn't exactly cheap and you get two large plates of meaty and succulent duck meat with crispy skin freshly roasted out of their oven. Very nice.

Sauteed minced duck with lettuce wrap (生菜包鴨崧) - For an additional $50, it came with a second course made with the same barbecued duck. Oh I love lettuce wrap with tasty duck meat, bamboo shoot, celery and pine nuts and some hoisin providing the finishing touch.

Fried Shanghainese noodles with sea cucumber, chicken and mushroom (三鮮炒拉麵) - Some fried noodles to go with all the meat and vegetables here. This was fairly decent and not particularly oily.

Sugar coated banana (拔絲香蕉) - I have been secretly looking forward to dessert since I walked through those doors. They have a seriously good sugar coated banana here and although I found it a tad too sweet, it didn't stop me from single-handledly taking down 4-5 slices on my own.

Sugar coated lotus seed (拔絲蓮子) - The signature dessert of the house and one you won't find anywhere else in Hong Kong. As usual, this was prepared right in front of us (same as the previous sugar coated banana).

These were sooooo delicious. The candied shell and its crunchy texture were the perfect match for the slightly chewy lotus seeds. Without question, my favorite dessert here.

Half-century old Spring Deer is one of the few stalwarts left in the local dining scene. These days, their signature Peking duck and roasted lamb still remain some of the best Pekingese dishes available in the city. And if there's wiggle room left for dessert, their sugar coated lotus seeds is a definitely must to close things out.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$
Address: 1/F, 42 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: East Tsim Sha Tsui / Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2366-4012

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