Monday, September 8, 2014

Man Wah, Seasonal Sichuan menu from Da Rong He, from 19th to 27th of September

Michelin 1 Stars

 蓉和 Da Rong He is a reputably famous restaurant group in Sichuan Region,  and Michelin 1 Starred Man Wah is bringing in their Chefs to recreate this Sichuan experience in their Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental Hotel,   during the 19th to 27th of September period.   We received a glance of this meal during an Invitation by the hotel staff,  and below are some of the signature dishes which will be available soon at Man Wah in September and serves as a preview. 



P1340467Sea Whelks,  Pickled Bamboo Shoot, Baby Ginger, Lettuce,
Morel Mushrooms, Fox Nuts, Walnuts - 老壇泡山珍
I came a bit late and started on this Sea Whelks appetizer dish,  which was slightly spicy and sour.  It might look simple but the level of sophisticated input into the dish means this is more about micro-tuning,  which is often neglected by the masses   ~  7/10



P1340472Sichuan Peppercorn and Bamboo Pith - 蜀南竹毛肚
The Chinese name suggests this is Beef Tripes but it is in fact totally Vegetarian and only due to it’s looks resembling a certain part of a cow’s stomach.   It is the same Bamboo Pith used in Cantonese cuisine but served horizontally-sliced instead.  Nice aerated crunchy texture with an absorption of peppercorn sauce,  served with fresh and pickled cucumbers on the side.   ~  8/10


Minced Chicken & Egg White Pudding with Birds Nest  - 官燕四川雞豆花
This was very finely hand-diced chicken mince with egg white,  which then undergoes a sieving process to making it smooth,  before becoming steamed.   It had the texture of silken tofu as per its namesake but carries the taste of chicken!    Eaten with Birds Nest and a base chicken stock.
  Amazing dish and said to be one of the first Chinese Molecular style cooking dishes in Chinese food history.  ~  8/10 


Steamed Fish Head and Tails,  Red Capsicum, Red Chilli - 開門紅
When this arrived we could barely spot the fish.  As one of the signature dishes,  this had peeled capsicums and chili,  and despite the clear looking broth one of the hottest dishes for the night.   Later on we added in some hand-made noodles to accompany the base broth and it was tantalizing yet simultaneously challenging with it’s spiciness and numbness.  ~  9/10



Fried Veggies and Pickles -
To sooth the spiciness of the above,  Signature Fish Head dish..
Much needed to cool me down again.



Tea and Camphor Wood Smoked,  Bone-in Duck - 樟茶鴨
The butchering technique was neat,  to the point I think I was being spoiled.   Many modern versions of this smoked duck dish are so roughly made these days?   This was shiny on the skin’s surface and actually very crispy too.  However the Tea and Camphor wood smokiness wasn’t as strongly penetrating as I would have liked.    The tenderness of the pinkish duck meat with a super crispy skin definitely made up for this deficient.   This is one dish that I have always found elusive to find a perfect version in Hong Kong and I have been eating a better version in Melbourne at 翠竹閣 Bamboo House for many years...    ~  7.5/10



Wok Fried Abalone with Bean Sprouts - 自發豆芽爆炒鮮鮑
The bean sprouts are home-grown and hand harvested just when they are ready,  amazing isn’t it?  A normal customer wouldn’t be able to pick the difference.  The Abalones were diagonally cut to review a turtle like pattern,  which absorbed in more sauce and wok-chi.   A lovely dish and unique in Hong Kong.   ~  8/10



Fish poached in Sichuan Hot Oil sauce - 沸騰魚
Basically a 水煮魚,  with lots of red chili and sichuan peppers which numbs your senses.  It reminds me of the Fish Heads dish above but this was surprisingly less chili  but had a more numbling effect.   It shows that Sichuan cuisine isn’t all about spiciness and hotness,  but seeking a balance of equilibrium in between…   ~  8/10


Container Bowl carried from Sichuan’s Da Rong He all the way to Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental Hotel..

Rice Congee with Shrimps, Sea cucumber, Fish, Taro in Chicken Broth - 金湯養身鍋
This was surprisingly rich in seafood and chicken flavor,  hope this is not a once-off as this was very memorable for me as it tasted like what the recipe actually says !   Rice was boiled down to a thick gravy-like consistency too.   Comfort food turned into super comfort food for me.  ~  9/10


Ginger,  Garlic and Wine Gai Lan - 薑汁芥蘭
This is interesting because it seemed like everyone on the table already knew they made the best version in town here,   coz we always order this ourselves too.   Tonight’s version still looked great but to me a little under-cooked.   It actually happens -  a lot of time it’s the simplest of dishes that the Kitchens might assume is done right,  but which they could take a bite of as QC being serving to customers.   ~  6.9/10

Birthday Lotus Seed and Salted Egg Yolk bun -
It was a Elaine項項’s birthday and we all got a share of this sweet bun!  Thanks so much to her Open-mouthed smile The inside was minced well and smooth with good egg yolk taste,  but the bun was a little dry for some reason.    Overall the Sichuan Themed Meal was always going to be an Elegant version and the real deal,  not the street food or compromised version we see everywhere else in the world.   Worth coming to here and experience what real Sichuan food is really about.  



Price: $800 – $900  (This Meal was by Invitation.  You can also find on this Blog my self-paid Meals here)
Ease of Access:   4/5 
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri  12:00am - 23:00pm
Sat to Sun 11:30am - 23:00pm
Address: 中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店25樓
25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central

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