Tuesday, June 7, 2016

東來順 Dong Lai Shun [ Hong Kong ] - Lamb Hotpot from Mongolia, with Hong Kong Only Specialty Dishes

 Dong Lai Shun was previously a recipient of 1* Michelin, and over the decade or so when it opened from Mongolia to Hong Kong inside Royal Garden Hotel TST, it has provided some of the most authentic Mongolian Hotpot & Pekingese Specialty dishes in Hong Kong. Uniquely enough, many of the past famous Pekingese restaurants have either closed or now offer improvised dishes catering for overseas tourists.   In comparison, Dong Lai Shun remained one of the most authentic and classier Pekingese cuisines in town.

The Restaurant is well spaced out,  with a Modern Design - 
Classy and spacious enough,  perfect for the business dinner even if you aren't sitting inside their private rooms..

Dragon Well Tea Leaves Smoked Duck Eggs - 龍井煙燻蛋 $43 Each
Really well smoked,  you could smell them from 3 feet away but it's not bitter at all.  Nice egg yolk taste too.  Well executed,  topped with fried Conpoy shreds  ~  10/10

Sichuan Pepper & Spicy Small Geoduck with Mungbean Noodles - 麻香小象拔 $208
This was interesting as they used the smaller geoduck than normal in Chinese Cuisine,  this dish was appetizing and less chili than I envisaged from the looks ~  7/10

Chilled Razor Clams Sichuan Style - $218
This was a lovely Razor clams dish.  Cleaned then sliced into good biteful sizes properly,  the sauce was slightly tangy yet spicy,  the clams barely cooked and plump ~  9/10 

Smoked Yellow Croaker Fishes - $98 Each 
Smoky again like the above eggs but in a different way.  The fishes were surprisingly smooth and oily,  which defers from the usual renditions of this fish which are dryer elsewhere.  We commented on how this fish is different from many other fishes,  as it is more bony towards the tail - whereas most fresh water fishes have bones further towards the belly side.  A must order here,  I seriously can't remember a version better than this anywhere else ~  10/10

Crane Sculpture with Crab & Lobster Meat,  Crab Roe on Salted Duck Egg Coated Rice Puffs
鶴湖蟹影 - $418 for 4 Pieces

Basically the must order here since for many years, it's been their Multiple Awards Winning Signature dish.  Despite not being in season yet, the Shanghai crab meat and roe were fresh tasting with umami and sweetness,  the lobster adding more texture,  the salted egg rice puffs completed the final touch.  *Note:  usually this is also served on top of a fried Taro Nest,  but its a bit humid in Summer in HK so this reverts back to the Taro recipe when it's in season  ~  9.5/10

Amazing Crab & Lobster Dish -
One can never get enough of this...  One of the best dishes available in Hong Kong

Mongolian-Pekingese Hot Pots -
Their Specialty here on top of the amazing, award winning appetizer dishes

Sichuan Pepper and Chili style 'Ma La' Hotpot - 
This style of hotpot seems to have taken the world by storm these years, in fact,  you can also see this being prevalent within China's provinces everywhere these days...  The one here tonight was only mild-spicy,  even someone like me could take it easily.  It has the sichuan pepper fragrance and also a bit of the numbness factor.  If you like spicy,  order it extra spicy here !

Top - Tuned Sesame Sauce with Dried Shrimps, Fish Sauce, others, etc
Below 9 Sauces - Sugar, Chives Puree, Red Fermented Beancurd, Black Vinegar, Hua Diao Wine,  Soy Sauce,  Sesame Oil,  Chili Oil,  Fish Sauce

Green Amaranth, aka Chinese Spinach 莧菜 - $98

Surprisingly these were very young sprouts,  meaning unlike the ones you use to boil soup,  these were very tender and not old chewy ~  9/10

Prawn Balls - $168
With both an 'elastic' well beaten minced prawn texture,  filled inside with chunky pieces of diced prawns, this was recommended by the staff and well received.  I personally thought this was on the pricier side,  but knowing the inflated price of fresh prawns nowadays (it is more expensive than most lobster by the tael) ~  9/10

Thick Sliced Mongolian Mutton Shoulder - $195
Thick and full of mutton lamb flavor,  this was everyone's favorite for the night..  ~  9/10

Hulunbeier Deluxe Mutton cut from just Behind the Neck 杜泊貝爾大草原羊上腦 - $230 
A cross breed between Inner Mongolian x South African muttons, this butchered cut and breed is one of the most sought after in the world for its soft marbled meat and balanced sweet lamb flavor! This polarized the table, I guess it is a bit refined and soft... But it is a very rare part.

Chinese Chives and Mutton Dumplings Beijing Style - $98
This came highly recommended by the staff.  We really loved this, the skin is still Beijing like but more evenly pleated,  you can actually taste the Chives in the skin, also the lovely mutton meat within.  Note that Dong Lai Shun is actually a Halal restaurant...  so they don't serve any pork dishes here  ~  9/10

Honeycomb Frozen Tofu 凍豆腐 - $98
This is one of my favorite tofu dishes in the world, even in Japan they have a similar Koya Tofu 高野豆腐.   The one here was more layered than porous,  interesting.   Lovely and with plenty of fresh soybean flavor,  not easy to achieve considering this needs to be frozen and thawed at least twice ~  10/10

Sliced Local Yellow Beef Neck Meat - $380
A lot of hotpot aficionados in Hong Kong or Canton region swear by eating locally slaughtered cows or steers for meat flavor,  over the USDA or Australian,  even Japanese Wagyu options.  I think one could argue either way,  but when it comes to local beef it has to be hand-sliced by default.  I thought this could do with even more beefiness,  so I preferred the muttons above  ~  7/10

Osmanthus Flower and Fermented Rice Lees with Sesame Dumplings - 
To me this is a mix between Shanghai and Ningpo recipes,  although since decades ago this was always a dessert in a Beijing Hotpot restaurant.  Very good dessert soup base,  slightly sour from proper fermentation and plenty of Osmanthus floral aroma,  something hard to find nowadays...  encore !  ~  9/10

Black Sesame 'Tang Yuan' Glutinous Rice Balls - 
Black sesame was toasted well fragrant,  lubricated but not too lardy greasy.  Great balance with a thin skin that held its shape and chewiness.  Not too sweet either!  ~  9/10

Longan and Date Dessert Soup - 
This is soothing for summer,  although we deemed it a bit too sweet tonight ~  6/10

'A Rolling Donkey' Rice Roll with Red Bean Paste & Soybean Powder 馿打滾 - $88 for 4 Pieces
One of my favorite Beijing desserts,  which used to be served in the Imperial Palace.  The Beijing dessert version here has always been famous within Hong Kong,  within revisiting this I found it quite chewy with a good non-cloying red bean paste.  Apparently Donkeys clean themselves rolling on the floor and this dessert also coats itself with soybean powder, hence the name.  On the spot I kept thinking this seems to be like a mixture between a 芸豆卷 and a 豌豆黃 when it comes to ingredients,  or looks ~  9/10

A Photo showing the New Extension of the Royal Garden Hotel Rooms Upstairs - 
Overall Dong Lai Shun has always been exceptional,  from Appetizers to Hotpots.   The Michelin 1* they occasionally receive depends on each year,  but over the last decade or so it has opened in Hong Kong and despite the occasional swap of Chefs,  the standard to me has always been consistently dependable and comes highly recommended

Price: HKD $300 to $400 + 10%  (Remember Crab Dish above is around $108 Per Person)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ - ♕♕♕♕♕ 

Address: B2, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 
Ph: +852 27332020

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