Monday, June 27, 2016

China Tang 唐人館 海港城 [ Hong Kong ] - Sister Restaurant to China Tang Central HK & London, opens in Harbour City

 China Tang 唐人館 in Harbour City opened recently and surprisingly we received an invitation to try out their latest venture's Menu.  To explain the Concept and History probably needs a flow chart,  so let's shorten it as this way:   David Tang of Shanghai Tang 上海滩 (Luxury Clothing with a Shanghai Design Emphasis),  opened restaurants of Members Only China Clubs in HK,  Singapore & Beijing.  China Tang was opened 1stly in London and subsequently re-introduced back into Hong Kong with now 2 outlets,  being sister restaurants to some Michelin Starred Island Tang, Kowloon Tang & Chiu Tang.  Collaborated with Lai Sun Group,  another HK Listed F&B Restaurant,  Entertainment & Property Developer Giant in HK,  which itself owns other Multiple Michelin Starred Restaurants like 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo,  CIAK series, & Japanese restaurants like Wagyu Takumi and Wagyu Kaiseki Den,  Rozan,  Ginsai, etc.   It's called doing real food business I think ! ..

The Tang's Restaurants all have slightly different Designs,
but most of them go down the eccentric theme of Retro Shanghainese-Hong Kong details.  In design speech similar to Shanghai Tang's apparels..

Yakitori of Shiitake Mushroom, Chicken Wing & River Eel - $48, $48, $68
I was initially surprised when this came out from a Chinese Restaurant.  Japanese food is part of the Bar Area's menu... In another interpretation, you could say this is historical as in the past Shanghai, the Night Clubs would have served Japanese dishes to please their Japanese clienteles.  Also don't forget Lai Sun Group also owns some of the best Japanese Restaurants in Hong Kong, so they are in good hands for this cuisine.

醬香一口脆 Pickled Turnip Pagoda - $68
A cold appetizer item that's picking up in Michelin grade restaurants in recent years, remembering 2 sister Tang shops to here already have Michelin Stars too

紅酒鵝肝凍 Red Wine Flavored Jelly Goose Liver Terrine - $98 per Portion, this is 3 Portions
This is quite a French concept but presented in a Chinese way, which suits the Tang's image too with the mysterious quasi Western Shanghainesque-Hong Kong theme. 

陳年花雕話梅蝦 Marinated Shrimps with “Hao Diao” Wine and Salted Plum - $128
This was good as the wine didn't overpowered it but was balanced fragrant. A lot of places make them too alcoholic for my liking sometimes.

泡菜海鮮餃 Steamed Seafood and Kimchi Dumplings - $48 for 4 Pieces
Kimchi in translucent thin skins. The seafood to me could be diced thicker for more texture, overall this is like a Cantonese interpretation of a Korean Kimchi Mandoo..

南翔小籠包 Steamed Shanghai Pork Dumplings ‘Xiao Long Bao’ - $48 for 4 Pieces
Out of all the Tang restaurants in HK, here did the best version, comparable to Shanghai and Hangzhou, etc.  It's sweet inside with the pork and soup. Priced reasonably too.

西施蟹肉餃 Steamed Crab Meat and Egg white Dumplings - $60 for 4 Pieces
This is almost like an 賽螃蟹 dumpling, except it uses real Crab Meat. The skin could be a little thinner this time, but the ingredients inside were fresh chunky and not overly cooked..

金錢雞 Gold Coin Chicken - 
BBQ Chicken Liver Skewer with Honeyed Lean Pork, Pork Fat Layer - $168 for 6 Pieces
The Rose Wine & Sugar soaked Pork Fat 冰肉, is always the first part to study when judging a Gold Coin Chicken. It should be translucent, most fat rendered off during the roasting to lubricate the lean Char Siu pork. This version was smaller than some, but overall done very well, even the Chicken Liver is smooth and not too crumbly dry (in the past, they use Pork Liver in the recipe). Highly recommendable!

Another Look at the Gold Coin Chicken - which has No Chicken Meat
Historically Chicken was expensive and only the wasted parts of a Pig were used to make this into a poor men's Char Siu recipe... Labor intensive but no wastages.  Some versions have a piece of Ginger on top to cut down the grease, whilst some have thin Lotus Bread to sandwich it..

Brought along his rare to purchase Glenmorangie Milsean, aged in Portuguese Red Wine barrels and carrying a warm spiced honey and mandarin like note. Thank you..

杏汁菜膽燉白肺 Double-boiled Pig’s Lung Soup with Almond and Heart of Greens - $98 Each 
Possibly the most famous soup in Cantonese Cuisine, in which the Pig's lung need to be flushed for 3 hours+ to rid of any innards taste. It then uses two types of almonds to boil again for hours, before extracting the milky color and sweetness. I have had the pleasure to drank almost all famous versions in town and most are just mediocre compared with the benchmark at Luk Yu Tea House's Dinner version.  Here it was creamily right up there but slightly more savory.

百花炸釀蟹拑 Fried Shrimp Mousse & Crab Claw, into a Sweet & Sour Sauce - $138 Each
This dish is popular in Hong Kong, and I think like Sweet & Sour Pork,  this recipe also made it onto the much craved dishes list Overseas too, along with Prawn Toasts (All fried wink wink).    The one here was done decent. TBH they all taste more of the same to me.  If say they put chunky prawn pieces inside the prawn mousse paste,  or Steam it then served on Dehydrated Deep Fried Lettuce Cups topped with Jin Jiang Vinegar Foam instead, then that might make it 21 Century Modernized Cantonese... Just saying for fun : )

Chef from Beijing, who used to work in Kitchens affiliated to the Hyatt Group -
Which as we all know, their Peking Ducks are considered one of the best in the world from 'Made in China' 长安壹号 fame..

老北京傳統 片皮鴨 - $638 1 Eat Per Duck. $688 2 Eats Per Duck, such as Duck Sang Choi Bao
The Belly Skin is dipped into caster sugar, the Back Meat with Skin can be put into the Crepes with Garlic, julilenned Condiments & Tian Mian Jiang sauce. The Plain Meat itself are mostly put into the thin crepes too.  Hong Kong and Macau nowadays have some authentic Peking Ducks right up there with Beijing - here China Tang Harbour City, also Kowloon Tang, Hyatt Shatin 18, Macau Grand Hyatt Beijing Kitchen,  Mott 32, 大都烤鴨 Empire City Roasted Duck, 大都淮揚 Empire City Huaiyang.  Been to all of them mostly a few times but not all were covered on this website.  I would rate Beijing Kitchen Macau, Shatin 18 & Mott 32 the top in the region,  followed closely by here China Tang but which is slightly cheaper too. But in general all of them are satisfactory except 大都烤鴨 which is too soft on the skin...  There are also others serving a more HK style Pekinese Duck I enjoy,  but I won't explain on the technical details here..

Traditional Beijing style Peking Duck -
The Beijing Chef doesn't even speak Cantonese if you want to know how authentic...  He is concentrating on roasting the ducks and slicing them into 3 ways.

水煮魚塊 Simmered Fish Fillets with Sichuan Chili, Peppercorns in Chili Oil - $238
More healthier and slightly less spicy and numb than the Sichuan counterparts, this is made using a Chinese Perch 桂花魚 or 桂魚, also known as Mandarin Fish (actually the names all belong to the same family but carry small differences).  Silkily soft, not too oily.  It came with some Sweet Potato noodles at the bottom.  A little adjusted to the HK Market but I am sure you can order a full palate impact version as a crescendo build-up.

雲腿扒津白 Braised Chinese Cabbages with Yunnan Ham - $188
The Chinese Ham was not too salty or hard at all.  A staple dish with a creamy sauce done right,  a childhood favorite of mine.

黃金炒飯 Fried Rice with Shrimp Coral and Crab Meat - $238
Most higher end fried rice especially in Hotels are slightly moist, to be elegant. Not this one - which they chose to make it with Wok Hei and fluffy dry, long individual grains.  I have my own take on this,  but I will keep it to myself.

芋蓉燉鮮奶 Double-boiled Milk Pudding with Taro Puree - $42
We were saying this dish tasted familiar, and then we realized we ate this at another famous Chiu Chow restaurant before.  A must order here,  I even suspected the milk was made from Buffalo Milk as it had that distinct fragrance which is super rare to find in HK.

蜂蜜黑糖糕 Steamed Dark Sugar Cane Sponge Cakes with Honey - $39 for 3 Pieces
This fermented sponge cake is similar to the White or Yellow Sugar version. From the 1 day raising and fermentation it is meant to be just slightly sour, but modern consumers can't usually grasp this sourish concept. This sourness here was offset with the addition of Honey, smart. 

香芒綠茶糯米糍 Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Green Tea Flavor with Mango - $39 for 3 Pieces
I was kicking myself at this stage because this was really amazingly executed, but I was so full and took only 1/8th of a bite! The sticky rice coating was thin and did carried green tea taste, not just color. The inside was filled with fresh mangos with a creamy coating.  A few places do this but none were executed like this one.  Encore next time..   Overall I thought China Tang Harbour City was the best one I have tried so far and they had the best dim sums and duck,  with sophistication - at the same time I actually found here slightly more affordable.  Obviously because this was of Invitational Event as a trial,  we will have to come back and re-judge it by ourselves as true indication.

Price: Estimate around HKD $350-500 Per Person Dinner + 10% (This meal by Invitation by China Tang)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address: Shop 4101, Level 4, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ph: 2157 3148

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