Wednesday, May 16, 2012

桃李 Toh Lee with Californian Wine Pairing, until 31st of August (Hong Kong) - ♕♕♕♕♕

  Competition must be rife along this Tsim Sha Tsui East strip.    This restaurant inside Hotel Nikko is my last hotel Chinese Restaurant to be conquered along the Tsim Sha Tsui esplanade strip,  and gosh it impressed.   Even though this meal was by invitation to showcase their Californian Wine Pairing courses,  the dishes that were served on the day were so impressive in terms of taste and execution  (rather than fanciful or artsy recipes),   it probably jumped right up into my list of Top 5 Cantonese restaurants to visit in Hong Kong.    The other favourite Chinese restaurants close-by to here include Hoi King HeenYan Toh Heen and also Shang Palace,  all Michelin 1 Starred except here for some odd reason as the standards is right up with them.   I would really have trouble picking between them, with Hoi King Heen probably having the most innovative dishes and Yan Toh Heen has the best dim sum.  But here at this also Michelin Recommended only restaurant,  it was firing on all cylinders today and having the perfection execution.

 

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California Wine Pairing x Signature Dishes Here -
The food pricing policy is surprisingly affordable for a Hotel Chinese Restaurant..
Even if you don’t trust my taste bud,  or knowing that this was part of an invited meal,  at least it won’t burn a hole in your pocket! 

 

 

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Today’s Menu. 
Most dishes are around $128 for 2 people.  
Wine calculated separately.


 

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Today’s 4 Californian Wines…
Surprisingly well chosen and not the usual oak monsters associated with California.
These are slightly more old world like and carrying finesse. 



 

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Chili Cucumber  口水汁小黃瓜 -
Some refreshing appetiser.

 

 

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Pigs Ear Terrine  - 千層峰
This was unsual as the pattern is very clean and deep in colour,  and it also tasted fantastic!
Cartilage crunchy with great taste.  ~  10/10

 


 

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2008 Chardonnay from Heitz Cellar – Napa Valley
To pair with the below prawns dish or seafood.  Quite crisp and lemony refreshing..

 


 

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Flambeed ‘Drunken’ Jinga Shrimps - 火焰基圍蝦
The shrimps are already not moving much as they’re drunk,
and this cooking method releases a lot of aroma from the Chinese wines.

 

 

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火焰基圍蝦
Really sweet with a hint of the alcohol infused.   $248 for 2 people.



 

 

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2006 Pinot Noir by J Vineyards,  Russian River Valley -
This was surprisingly subtle with sweet cherries,  and a lightish body,
actually quite liked this as it was well balanced.  Probably more old world than some of the newer French Pinot Noirs being produced.







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Roasted Suckling Pig and Char Siu Pork - 叉燒拼乳豬
This was amazing.  The pig is easily one of the best I’ve ever had.  Plenty of crunchy rather than just crispy skin with actually meat underneath,  and sliced evenly.   The Char Siu is not too shabby either,  it’s strong point being the slightly sticky maltose coating with bits of charred aroma.  ~  10/10

 


 

 

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Shark Fin Dumpling in Soup - 魚翅灌湯餃
I don’t advocate eating shark fin but since this was given to us and already cooked,  I gave it a try.  It was pretty decent.  I think they should swap the shark fins with imitation ones or use Fish Maw instead?   Soup was beautifully balanced.



 


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X.O. Sauce Prawns with Gai Lan -  XO醬彩椒玉簪蝦球  $128 for 2 people
2005 Sauvignon Blanc – Star Lane, Santa Ynez Valley
The prawn were once again very fresh without the artificially injected crunch that too many Chinese restaurants like to practise,  here you can tell they’re high end stuff.   Really enjoyable.  Wine pairing wise I thought this was the only one which was slightly off,  as the Sauvignon had too much bright citrusy note which clashed with the X.O. sauce..   ~  9/10



 

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US. Tenderloin with Fried Garlic and Maggie Sauce -  美極醬香蒜牛柳粒
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon by Jordan, from Alexander Valley
The recipe sounded a bit normal,  but surprisingly the beef had great beef flavour and a spot on texture that indicates the kitchen did not go overboard to over tenderize them until mushy.  Very good.  Wine was balanced and carried slightly more oaky offering with a powdery tannin and black fruits.   ~  8/10

 


 

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Cod Fish in Black Truffle Brown Sauce & Mushroom - 黑松露菌燒汁野菌鱈魚扒
2006 Pinot Noir by J Vineyards, Russian River Valley
The fish pieces were ok, but the sauce wasn’t that mushroom-y enough.  Probably the only weaker dish today.   ~ 6.5/10


 


 

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Dracontomelon Duperreanum Sauce,  Smoked Baby Duck -  仁稔醬香燻BB鴨
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon by Jordan, from Alexander Valley
This was so fragrant from 5 feet away from the smoking but without being bitter,  the skin was smothered with the aromatic flavour.   The baby duck was so tender.   The dipping sauce completed the dish,  no wonder this was an Award Winning Dish in 2003 in the HK Tourism awards.  Absolutely fantastic and I have not had this quality anywhere else.   ~  10/10






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Dracontomelon Duperreanum Sauce …

 

 

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Baby Spinach in High Broth - 上湯菠菜苗
This wasn’t overcooked so was deemed good.

 

 

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Toh Lee Fried Rice - 錦繡桃李飯
Fried with lots of eggs,  shredded roast duck, prawns and gai lan,  this is a typical hotel elegant fried rice -   not too dry and individual grainy,  but coated in an abundance of eggs.  This was a good fried rice,  it reminded me of the eggy fried rice I ate in Malaysia.  Sophisticated.   ~  8/10




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Signature Fried Rice..

 

 

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House made Tofu-Fa -  即撞豆腐花
This was possibly the best Tofu-Fa I have had in my life, it was that good!!  Super smooth but carrying great Soy Bean taste.   You can even smell the bean aroma.   ~  9/10


 

 

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Maccha Green Tea Cake with Coconut and Peanuts - 綠茶甜薄餅
This was done really well,  a must order.   ~  8/10

 

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Red Bean Paste in Glutinous Crispy Ball - 紅豆蓉脆皮球
I was actually surprised by this,  as this sounded like a typical dessert you can find in almost all Cantonese restaurants in town.  Yet,  this somehow stood out with that gorgeously puffy shell and crispiness,  without any traces of unnecessary oiliness,  with a gorgeous filling.   ~  9/10


 

 

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Custard Puff - 奶黃煎堆
The custard was probably set a little too hard this time,  not as impressive as above 3 desserts. 
~  5/10

 

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Too many Glasses of Wine,
And hands (or head) got a bit Shaky!   But it’s ok I KNOW I will be back again to re-take this pic. Winking smile

 

 

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As I reiterate again.  This Californian Wine Pairing with Toh Lee meal was by invitation to very few bloggers who wanted to experience with wine pairing.   However the food quality was so impressive indeed,  especially in taste and execution,  I will still be happy enough if they could manage even 70% of today’s quality when I return later!   Hopefully,  they can keep up to Chef So’s standards on a daily basis.  Clearly Michelin Starred quality during this visit.

 

 

 

Price:   HKD $300 - 400
Ease of Access:   3/5  (Take Taxi.  Or 7-8 Mins walk from Tsim Sha Tsui KCR Station)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2  ~  ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2 

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat -   12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00
Sun and Holidays -  10:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00

Address: 尖沙咀麼地道72號日航酒店2樓
2/F, Hotel Nikko Hong Kong, 72 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: 2313 4225

2 comments:

  1. price? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry bad blogging, keep forgetting to update everything when I copy and paste at 2am in the morning!

    Expect price of around $300-400 per person HKD during night time, which for the quality is a real bargain. Many hotels easily charge nearly double the price!

    ReplyDelete

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