Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Off to a food start

This trip, we tried a few new eateries. Since we were staying in Central, we explored mostly places within walking distance of our hotel.

One of them was The Chairman Restaurant (Kau U Fong). This restaurant has consistently won rave reviews from foodies and previously had a Michelin star (although it has since lost the accolade). We decided to have lunch here following the recommendation of my ex-boss, who's a Hong Konger. She basically said that if we could only visit one restaurant in Hong Kong, it had to be The Chairman. How's that for a rave?

Prices here are not cheap but it has a more affordable three-course set lunch for HK$198 (four courses for HK$218). For the three-course lunch, you choose an appetiser, a main and either the soup or dessert. Since we were determined to try as many dishes as possible, we ordered a wide variety among the four of us. I think the restaurant is used to diners sampling each others' dishes because the waiters set the dishes down in the middle of the table!

These are the appetisers we chose:

Wild Clams Cooked in Fish Broth and Sake
Slow Cooked Ox Tongue with Garlic and Vinegar
Smoked Baby Pigeon with Longjing Tea & Chrysanthemum

The soup of the day was pigeon soup.

Main courses:

Tea Smoked Duck with Tamarind and Dark Sugar
Pork Belly Slow Cooked in Tangerine Peel
Prawns in Ginger and Shallots with Rice Vermicelli
The Chairman's Soy Sauce Chicken


Osmanthus & Wolfberry Ice-cream

My ex-boss insisted that everything at The Chairman was good...and she wasn't kidding. Sure, I found the pork belly a tad too sweet but honestly, that's just splitting hairs. The food quality and preparation were superb. Everything tasted very fresh and flavourful. The ox tongue was the biggest surprise - we thought it would be tough and chewy but no, it was like very well seasoned steak. I loved the broth for the wild clams, and my favourite was the prawn dish - the prawn heads were crunchy and scrumptious.

I could go on and on but I'm making myself really hungry now...

The other much raved about eatery we tried was Kau Kee (Gough Street). In the Internet universe, it's touted as one of, if not the best beef brisket eateries in Hong Kong. Hoping to avoid a long queue, we arrived early at about 5.30pm. Not sure if we just got lucky but we were seated within 5 minutes and had a table to ourselves too!

This is one of those hole-in-the-wall places where you sit shoulder to shoulder with strangers as you slurp down your noodles, so not having to share a table with other guests is a luxury in itself. Service is brusque. Take more than a minute to decide on your order and the waitress is off to perform some other task.

The menu is pretty limited. Basically, it's beef brisket dry or soup, with a few choices in the type of noodle. There's also beef tendon in curry but we didn't try that.  


Our verdict? It's tasty but honestly, we don't see what the fuss is about. The beef brisket was tender but so are those at many other beef brisket places in Hong Kong. In fact, we prefer the beef brisket we had at Tsim Sha Tsui on our previous trip.

Finally, on our last evening in Hong Kong, we decided to splurge on a Peking duck dinner and went to Peking Garden in Central (Alexandra House).

In Hong Kong, Peking duck is sliced together with the meat so one whole duck makes for a pretty substantial meal for four.

You get two plates of the succulent duck with all the trimmings.

Other dishes we ordered included the minced pork in sesame pockets. Kenneth was so stoked to see this on the menu as he hadn't eaten it in years.

Pan fried tofu with prawns

As always, our trips to Hong Kong revolve around food and this one was no exception. The diet can wait. Burp.

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