Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒 (II) - Hong Kong

Michelin 2 Stars

 My last visit to Tin Lung Heen (I) inside the tallest hotel of Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong,  was during it’s infancy days and in that previous review,  I mentioned it was a potential Michelin-Star worthy restaurant but only if they do improve their food executions!   I was therefore happy to hear they ended up not only receiving just 1 Star by the following year,  but later on they have been upgraded to 2 macarons.   Job well-done !   In fact I have always been meaning to return to re-try but 2 separate issues prevented me from doing so.   Issue no.1 is that it is not easy to land a table here with short notice.   2ndly,  some other foodies who dined here gave it the death knell quite early on,  which sort of gave me social pressure to return back.    I discovered that some customers don’t really give a 2nd or 3rd chance to a restaurant and I therefore urge everyone to be a fair foodie,  and be ready to re-evaluate!    I should also mention that when I was asked to contribute some recommendations to Conde Nast Traveler  (Link to that Piece:  Best Dim Sums in Hong Kong),   I now regret about not mentioning here as this is currently one of my favourite dim sum restaurants in HK when we revisited.    Another dim sum place that I should also have mentioned is 新興食家 Sun Hing, which was closed during the time I submitted my choices but is now re-opened again recently,  it is a casual & cheapo type of dim sum place that is a potential Tim Ho Wan beater,  which the latter has just re-located but is not the same standards as the old Mongkok store.   My other highly recommended Dim Sum place that I really like is 1* 欣圖軒 Yan Toh Heen,  which surprising got omitted from the Conde Nast Traveler review.  Here’s to making up to the overlapping of timing of things..  And I owe here a re-review anyway.  



Honeyed Walnuts -




They have a Champagne and Dim Sum lunch nowadays -
Starting from $298,  I think it’s decently priced.  When the dim sums have lobster, caviar and bird’s nest involved,  even if we didn’t end up ordering these.




The 102nd Floored Tin Lung Heen is not that Huge -
Although 3* Lung King Heen opposite in Four Seasons Hotel is a natural competitor,  having visited over there so many times,  I think whilst their pastries are the best in the business,   Tin Lung Heen here also holds a clear advantage because the food tasted closer to their advertised recipe.  




Iberico Pork BBQ Char Siu – $268
I have heard either great or mediocre reviews of this item here.   My true thought is that,  I was kinda surprised how much pork taste this carried,  and it was really savoury to the normal honey-malted version!   Me and my dining companion were saying how we liked the meatiness flavour but wished it was more caramelized coated!   But yes I enjoyed this and no,  it wasn’t overly tenderized this day as some other foodies have said,  so I appreciate it’s natural texture.    This is a very unique version of Char Siu in Hong Kong indeed.    ~  8/10




XO Sauce -
We got one bowl each of this and it seems to have some whitebaits in it,  which gives it more of an umami taste.   I really liked this as it wasn’t just about being hot chili in your face.  Elegant!




Steamed Rice Roll with Deep Fried Seafood Spring Roll [越南米網海皇腸粉] – $83
We were recommended this by the Sommelier on duty but I have had a similar version before here too!   This turned up to be great and the silken textured wrap was spot on smooth and tasty,  the inside fried spring roll with prawns were strong enough in taste.     8/10




Golden Shrimp Dumplings with Bamboo Shoots and Asparagus – $78
The last time I had these here,  I couldn’t taste much of the asparagus or bamboo shoots.  This time it has improved a bit as I could taste some bamboo shoots and the pleating and transparency of this dumpling was more executed well.   ~  9/10




Abalone Puff with Minced Pork and Roast Goose – $108
Got to say I wasn’t fully satisfied with this.  1st of all the Abalone didn’t have much abalone taste for some reason,  and the roasted goose that was said wasn’t really detectable either.  A lot of restaurants are making this Abalone pastry case nowadays,  I have had a few and they keep changing.   Hope over here they do improve it even further soon!   ~  6.9/10




Scrambled Egg White Scallop Dumpling [賽螃蟹帶子餃] – $78
The price has crept up by $10 from my last visit which is fair enough, and surprisingly the look is now totally different!  I actually preferred the old look,  but taste wise it got better and is still one of the must-order items here at Tin Lung Heen.   ~  9/10




Baked Crab Meat Puff with Cheese [芝士蟹肉酥盒] -  $78
A lot of crab dishes just sound great but never deliver in the taste.   I am always rather disappointed,  especially with the so-called Crab cakes.  But today I was really surprised at the very sweet crab meat taste here and the buttery pastry case was equally wonderful.  One of the highlights of the lunch session definitely.   ~  10/10




Pork & Shrimp with Matsutake Mushroom Shiu Mai – $78
The shrimp was definitely there.  But we couldn’t taste much of the said Matsutake mushroom and the expected aroma.    It’s definitely not bad and enjoyable,  but reading the recipe again I think it is not very convincing right now.   ~  7/10




Baked Char Siu Bun [蜜汁蠔皇叉燒包] – $78
This is made famous by the likes of Fu Shing and Tim Ho Wan already.  The one I found here was too sugary sweet externally on the bun,  and even though the Char Siu pork filling was correctly diced,  it ultimately still ended up being quite sweet and not very smoky.     6/10




Dessert Platter -
We ordered quite a few desserts.   They somehow arrived on the same black ceramic plate and I must add,  looked very prettily presented!   Equally surprising was of the taste.  The Black Truffled pudding was so strong in the truffle essence and surprisingly it worked with the milky pudding.  The fried Doughnut with a Salted Egg filling was to-die-for material too!   Even the Fried Chinese pastry arrived with some candy floss adorning the top.   The Egg tart was also of very high quality,  almost on par with what I consider the most expensive but utmost quality Egg Tart in HK at Man Wah.     9/10




Dessert Close-Ups -
Although my previous visit to here was both promising yet needed adjustments to be made,  I am glad I came back to re-try despite the price rise and we ended up paying around $450-500 a person for lunch.   The quality has improved across the board and some items were much nicer than during a previous encounter.  Some could still do with minor adjustments still yes,  but overall we were pretty happy with this lunch meal for once!   Definitely one of the hottest tables you should land yourself a seat right now,  even if it’s not perfect as yet but nearly there.





Price:   HKD $450 
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Ease of Access:  4/5

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri - 12:00pm - 14:30pm,  18:00pm - 22:30pm
Sat to Sun - 11:30am - 15:00pm,  18:00pm - 22:30pm

Address: 尖沙咀柯士甸道西1號環球貿易廣場(ICC)香港麗思卡爾頓酒店102樓38/F
102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: 2263 2270

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