Friday, April 14, 2017

T'ang Court 唐閣 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

After two weeks of absolute hell (we called it "work"), I finally got my life back. Not that it really calls for a special celebration or anything but I guess no one would say no to kicking off the Easter holidays with some 3-star Michelin dim sum. At least I know I won't.

T'ang Court has been on a good run of late. After a banner year back in 2015 which saw them capture their third star in the Michelin Guide, they doubled it up in 2016 when their sister restaurant in Shanghai became the first and only 3-star Michelin restaurant in the inaugural guide for my favorite city in Mainland China.

You got to love a restaurant strategically located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, just a stone's throw from Harbour City and 1 Peking Road. It made shopping a lot easier afterwards.

We arrived at the Langham Hotel slightly behind schedule and after taking the elevator up to the first floor (where the reception was), we were shown to our table situated on the second floor of the hotel. Since everyone was starving at this point, I took the honor of going through the menu and ordering for everybody.

Cantonese-style barbecue pork (蜜汁餞叉燒) ($260) - The little plate was stuffed full of barbecued pork. That was a lovely sight!

I thought their char siu was real meaty and the honey glazed was spot on. It didn't have the melt-in-your-mouth texture of those made with Spanish Iberian pork (Tin Lung Heen's char siu immediately came to mind here!) but it did check most boxes for me - full of flavors and delicately marinated. If there're an area for improvement, it's probably the balance between fat and lean meat. This was a little on the lean side (and therefore a little harder and more chewy).

Golden-fried taro puffs filled with mixed seafood and Portuguese sauce (葡汁海鮮芋盒) ($88) - Next up were the deep-fried taro puffs.

Under the flaky taro crust were diced seafood and mushrooms with a bit of Portuguese sauce. Maybe I have taken a little too long for my photo session so it was just lukewarm in the middle. Fairly good but it would've tasted a lot better if it's hot enough to burn my tongue.

Steamed shrimp and scallop with pork dumplings (帶子金魚餃) ($88) - Here came the dumplings.

This gold-fish shaped dumpling looked really cute and the thin wrapper was working well with the stuffed shrimp, scallop and pork. Not bad.

Steamed shrimp, pork with mushroom and Yunnan ham dumplings (金華玉燒賣) ($88) - The siu mai didn't get its usual rave reviews from most of us largely because it's more on the hard side but I actually kind of enjoyed it myself. I guess that's the testimonial of me having way too many siu mai with shrimp or fish roes before so this little twist with Yunnan ham did the trick for me.

Steamed shrimp, pork and bamboo shoot dumplings (筍尖鮮蝦餃) ($98) - The best of the three dumplings without a doubt. This was a little bigger than the usual bite-size but I thought it had the making of a picture-perfect hai gow with the perfect portion of shrimp and bamboo shoot. Very nice.

Stir-fried rice flour rolls with minced pork, peanuts and egg (家鄉炒腸粉) ($80) - This was the dish I got grilled for. While everyone was looking for something a little more conventional (and Cantonese) like rice flour rolls with prawns or barbecued pork, the adventurous side of me decided to go with the stir-fried rice flour rolls with minced pork, peanuts and egg instead. That was just very very bland and not even its accompanying light soy sauce could save the day.

Baked stuffed crab shell with crab meat and onion (釀焗鮮蟹蓋) ($180) - Having tried the version from Tin Lung Heen and Sun Tung Lok a few times before, I thought I had to check this one out here at T'ang Court. This was really tasty with tons of lump crab meat (onions and mushrooms too) in it. And the crust was nice and crisp. I definitely won't mind having a second one at all.

Baked stuffed sea whelk and pork in shell (釀焗響螺) ($120) - This really paled in comparison with the baked stuffed crab shell.

While it looked pretty darn good from the outside.....

.....I thought the finely diced sea whelk, mushrooms, bamboo shoot and celery were a little too fine for my liking.

Fried noodles with prawns and garoupa (蝦球斑片炒麵) ($280) - The second best dish of the afternoon right behind the baked stuffed crab shell in my opinion.

The fried noodles were really impressive. One side of it was perfectly crispy (and almost crunchy) while the other side was moist after absorbing the fragrant sauce. The prawn and garoupa fillet were alright.

Golden-fried taro puffs filled with mixed nuts and hazelnut paste (榛子果仁芋酥) ($55) - Everyone was calling for time but the parade of food just kept coming. After all the savory dim sum, seafood and fried noodles, it's time for some sweet treats. Is this the same fried taro puff with seafood and Portuguese sauce we had not too long ago? Evidently not! A closer look revealed that they're its twin brother.

I thought Mom was joking when she said this tasted like Ferrero Rocher chocolate but she's right. It tasted exactly like one but without the chocolate. This was pretty nice. Only if they could fill it with a little more taro, it would have been perfect.

Chilled chrysanthemum and lotus seed cake (蓮子菊花糕) ($55) - A refreshing end to a pretty satisfying lunch.

Food Rating: 6.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 1/F & 2/F Langham Hotels, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2132-7898 

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