Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fatty Crab, Hong Kong - 1st Visit and Impression about New York-Asian Food in HK

 I have been temporarily staying off Modernized or slightly Fusionized-Asian food for this period,  because deep under I am on a personal mission in tracing back and learning more about traditional Chinese and Asian food and it’s past movements,  also other personal Religious discoveries – I needed a calmer inner-self to see everything clearer.   Take for example Fujian, Chiu Chow aka Teo Chew,  Hakka or Hokkien,  Cantonese and Shunde cuisines which have all spread to South East Asia,  Thailand, Indochine, Taiwan and then in reverse immigrants repatriating back came back with foreign inspired recipes.   Within these transitional micro-cuisines there is enough confusion already as it diverged.   Anyway the lovely Coco Alexander PR Group has asked me to join many dinners already to which I did not actually turned up,  so I feel guilty enough to making sure I really should turn up for once for this Fatty Crab dinner and it might just give me some clues about how Asian food work around the globe,  especially knowing this is an Asian concept re-patronizing from New York to Hong Kong.   It might just help me with my own endeavours.



Daily Oysters – Lucky Lime Oysters tonight from Canada – Seasonal Price
It’s served with Spicy Lime sauce,  Mild Chili sauce,  Fried Shallots and Shallots.  These oysters have a shell shape which is slightly round and flat outside,  kind of unique.  If these were all mine I would have put on some sauce but since we got 1-2 each only,  I prefer eating them plain to test the natural molluscs taste..   ~ 8/10




Beef Tartare with Kaffir Lime Leaves,  Chili Spices on Prawn Crackers -
The beef were strip sliced rather than diced.  Surprising.  A very good tartare and it worked well with the generous amount of crackers given.  A bit spicy but surprisingly the beef flavour and texture was kept  ~ 8/10



Crab Cakes with Crab Aioli, Chili and Salad – $130
This is using lump crab meat and unlike many of the crab cakes in town,  this I could really taste the crab meat and isn’t overly diced.   A lot of restaurants use cheaper pre-bought mealy crab meat,  not here.    ~ 8/10


Wok Fried Kang Kong Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu & Sambal – $60
Not enough fermented tofu,  sambal or chili taste.  I can find a better version in HK almost anywhere.    To give it credit?   These were really young sprouts of Water Spinach or Morning Glory.   Could be easily fixed though, where’s the Chili though?   ~ 6.9/10


Pork Riblets,  Chili,  Garlic and Romanesco – $90
Depending on your viewpoint,  this could just be an re-invented Broccoli dish.   Since Romanesco also belongs to the same Broccoli vegetables family,  but more exotic in Hong Kong context of course.   Regardless of how this could be slightly pretentiously different,  it ended up tasting really addictive with the pork and chili..  If this dish is being classified as ‘fusion’ or not,  I would say not much in recipe,  but more in the ingredients used  ~ 8.5/10


Fried Pork Belly with Pickled Watermelons,  Thai Basil and Ginger Lime Dressing – $150
Not my 1st time having this Signature here or at other restaurants using a similar concept.  This has always been a perfect pairing.   The Fried Pork Bellies had crispy surfaces and you can only wished this was all yours !   ~ 8/10




Pork Bao Buns with Eggs -
A new item.  The slow-cooked pork was slightly Black Vinegar acidic,  the side sauce was what seemed like an Indonesian soy sauce of Kecap Manis and Thailand Sriracha chili sauce.  I was actually guessing from. The Gua Bao is originally more Taiwanese-Chinese and has Coriander,  Sesame,  Peanut Powder and Red Sugar.  Whilst I liked this version,  the Taiwanese rendition is just more complex and complete.  I might sound systematic but Japan and Taiwan and China have been doing this bao for ages…  I don’t really understand why this is a current 2013-15 Food Trend when the originals have always aced the formulas and so far haven’t been beaten,  especially the versions in Taipei   ~ 7/10




Grilled Sea Bass – with Sambal Goreng
This was a bit salt crusted and served with Lime.  Pretty decent,  although parts of the fish were slightly under-cooked.  But I much prefer it this way than the other way around.   ~ 7/10


Lamb Curry -
Didn’t get the full description of this but this was done very well and almost traditional to it’s original and I would say more Indonesian/Malaysian intents.   ~ 8/10


Red Duck Curry with Gula Jawa Palm Sugar,  Thai Chili and Roti Bread – $195
I liked this dish and it wasn’t too coconutty.  The gravy sauce was thicker than the normal Thai versions,  so the taste sensation was more compacted.   I cannot see any ‘fusion’ elements here either so despite this being more modernized,  I am starting to think this and ChaCha Wan are pretty loyal to the traditional concepts -  just cooked differently.   ~ 8.5/10 



Fatty Dungeness Crab with Curry Eggs Sauce and Pullman Toast – $525
I haven’t been here b4 but apparently the recipe changed.  The ex-version was more like a Singaporean Eggy-Tomato chili crab,  but the new version had an emulsified eggy smooth sauce and it worked a treat!    Very likeable and although not as Singaporean or Sri Lankan based anymore,  it was also not a ‘fusion’ dish by the ingredients used.   ~ 9/10




Some Cocktails during the Night -
Overall the Concept was sound and although not tasting totally like traditional and exotic South East Asian food,  they didn’t try to deviate from that intent.   It seems like they were trying to re-invent some favourite dishes but keep the original spirit and ingredients.    The Chili Crab was a prime example.  All the same ingredients are found as in a Singaporean same dish,  they just altered the formulae to try make it better.  On the other hand,  the Pork Belly Bao went the other way around as it was lacking the right amount of Coriander,  Peanut shavings and Red Sugar.  It was more like a Japanese Nagasaki China town version or a New York Ippudo one,  but at least it had some eggs to compensate. 




Price:  Approximately $350 + 10% plus Drinks  (Meal was by Invitation by Restaurant PR)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address:  11-13 Old Bailey Street, Central
Ph:  2521 2033

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