Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lai Bun Fu 禮賓傅 [ Hong Kong ] - Chinese New Years Celebratory Dishes

 Lai Bun Fu was so kind to host a Chinese New Years dinner gathering for us, and Chef Chung Kin Leung not only used to cook for the HK Government, he has also served the likes of US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Actually this was my first time here as previously there were rumors that this restaurant can be pricey. In fact after checking the Menu Prices, it is quite the opposite. Most dishes here are priced at only around Lei Garden or similar restaurants price, but the attention to details was top notch.

太史五蛇羹 - $238 Per Portion
Traditional Snake Potage

This was julienned nicely and unlike some places, the snake and chicken meat were well lubricated and not dry. The medicinal herbal taste was also very apparent in the background, something which I love but not many restaurants are so bold. Topped with Red Beancurd Crisps and Chrysanthemum flower petals. Very well done job and I would say even better than some so called Michelin 1-2 Star places in town. Although as someone pointed out, this would fare better with Kaffir Lime leaves, which they served with the lamb pot below. ~ 9.5/10

金華火腿伴脆蠔卷 - $238 Per Portion, Shown is a larger portion for the whole Table 
Deep-fried Jinhua Ham and Dried Oyster Rolls

This was interesting as hardly do one see this traditional Chinese New Year oyster dish wrapped with Chinese Ham! Very smart idea and it worked a treat. Topped with some bling bling silver foil. Full of dried oyster taste but still moist, not needing any spiced salt either as the ham provides that saltiness. ~ 10/10

禮賓傅經典盤菜 - $1880 for 1 Portion. Picture shown is again sized up to around 1.5 Portioning
Lai Bun Fu’s Classic Big Bowl Feast

This classic Cantonese New Years Feast Bowl is filled with goodies like Abalone, Goose Webs, Fresh Chicken, Prawn Balls, Semi-Dried Oysters, King Prawns, Turnips, Fish Maw, etc. The chicken was the highlight as it was soft yet full of chicken taste, one can tell from the bite of the bouncy chicken skin its fresh. The sauce underneath asked for a bowl of white rice. ~ 8/10

豉汁蒸脆鱔 - $238
Steamed Eel with Soya Sauce 

My favourite dish tonight. The eel was full of crunchy meatiness and without any muddy taste. Another thing I noticed was how much meat there is vs the bone. The sauce was just right and not over powered by the soy or black beans. One of the most impressive Eel dishes I have ever had in my life time... ~ 12/10

子母福袋糯米釀雞 - $588
Lai Bun Fu Whole Chicken Fortune Bag, filled with Glutinous Rice. Paired with Vegetable Pouches

Just like the above Feast Bowl, the chicken meat here was also very aromatic - imagine smelling roast chicken off a French rotisserie shop, but in a Chinese way. The fortune bag is made from soy bean sheets. The glutinous filled chicken is a novelty idea actually, most of the versions in town have a fried chicken casing. For once however I expected more sauce in this dish, just coz I could taste more of the chicken essence in the rice too. ~ 7/10

香桃紅酒燴牛腩 - $238
Braised Beef Brisket with Assorted Peaches

The beef briskets were really thickly diced and we mentioned the Chef has to be very confident of himself!! I like it this way yet most people on the table were onto the way of becoming full and everyone tried to find a smaller piece! The Red Wine taste was very apparent here - I don't remember any other version in town which was so 'wine' orientated, I suspect more was added on a 2nd latter stage. The 2 types peaches balances the sweetness and acidity. Personally I think it could handle just a tad more dried spices too. ~ 7.5/10

古法黑草羊腩煲 - $380
Stewed Mutton and Beancurd Sheets

The mutton was served skin on. Meat was tender and not too gamey, just right for most people I think. The dried Beancurd Sheets expectedly absorbed the liquid well, and both dipped into a traditional fermented beancurd paste with kaffir lime leaf dip. We ordered extra Chinese Lettuce to be cooked into this soup. I think I ate a lot of this, as I love lamb and mutton when done very right like here. The other really great version I had recently was at ( 海景軒 Hoi King Heen ) just for comparison. ~ 9/10

伴塘五秀 - $128
Stir-fried Lotus Roots with Young Ginger, Water Chestnuts, Lily Bulbs, Goji Berries and Mountain Yam

Interesting this was served closer to the end of the Snake and New Years Course. The young pickled ginger was quite fragrant and not bitter chewy. I liked this but I think it would be even greater as a starting dish as it opens up your appetite. ~ 8/10

黃金海膽蜆肉炒飯 - $268
Golden Sea Uni Fried Rice with Clams

This had a lot of Japanese Urchin and small clams. The rice was fried to a golden hue with some vegetables and small dried prawns! I was saying on Instagram, for some reason I thought this dish's texture will benefit with some diced King Prawns too. Just my 2 Cents of thought! Obviously with the sea urchin, it is never enough but at this pricing point it is good value! ~ 8/10

天山雪蓮燉雪耳 - $68
Double-boiled Snow Fungus and Snow Lotus Seeds

Snow Lotus Seeds have a traditional Medicinal use for people living high up in the mountains beyond 4-5000m above Sea Altitude. These days it is rare to find in large quantities. Here it is only at $68, unbelievable. 

Price: $1299 + 10% Per Person
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: 中環安蘭街18號5樓
5th Floor, On Lan Lane, Central, HK

Ph: +852 2564 3868

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