Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dong Lai Shun [Hong Kong] - Summer Eel Dishes & Regional Chinese Cuisine

  Dong Lai Shun from Beijing and Mongolia is famous for their Mutton Lamb dishes and Copper hotpots,  yet in Hong Kong this imported restaurant brand has also received a slight upgrade,  dishing up some some of the more fancier and authentic Chinese Regional dishes from up North in China. Many items on the menu are noticeably from both Beijing and Shanghai,  with occasional references to Hunan or Hangzhou cuisines as we also experienced this night as a big table.  A previous review of their more Hotpot dishes can also be found here:

椒油香烏筍 (萵筍) -
Shaved Chinese Lettuce Stems Salad with Chili Oil.  One of the special ways to make a Lettuce based Salad not based on the Leaves only, but also the stems.  Notice the delicate kniving work in the middle which are then twisted by hand.

Woodear Fungus with Vinegar -
This is a popular dish in Jiang Nan and Shanghai cuisine,  but I notice that nowadays it's sold in many regional Chinese restaurants.  A cool appetizer.

Sliced Mutton Lamb Belly with Mustard -
This was lovely.  The mutton meat were almost tender and moist,  none of the overly dry versions available in many Peking or Mongolian restaurants,  it's also neatly sliced.  The addition of a hot Mustard always baffled me as to it's origin, also it's usage in Chinese cuisine

Dragon Well Tea Smoked Duck Eggs -
One of the best in Hong Kong for many years, it's topped with some fried Conpoy shreds

Drunken Pigeon -
Another favourite here, that is sliced so elegantly.  I don't often say this but I hardly experience Poultry butchered up as neatly in many overseas cuisines,  with a few exceptions.  The Shaoxing wine fragrance was lovely here,  you almost wanted some cold rice noodles to slurp up the sauce

Duck Tongues in Braising Sauce -
An acquired taste and ingredient, obviously as someone from Hong Kong and often traveling up to China,  I was born eating this...  but it is more fanciful for some eaters than others.  I will eat it but I haven't developed a fetish love for French kissing ducks as a habit.  But if it was Ox Tongue,  different story : )

Smoked River Eel with Dragon Well Tea Leaves - 龍井煙燻河鰻
What a lovely dish, the Eel is meaty yet marbled & gelatinous, best possible Spring-Summer produce condition, external is Crispy. The marination was perfectly balanced to augment the eel's natural oil sweetness. HKD $398.  A must order when in Season,  which would be around Summer to Autumn.

Steamed Reeve Shad with Fermented Rice, Duck Ham, Mushrooms & Shaoxing Wine - 
A delicacy dish that is highly prized, here made with Duck Ham instead of Pork since this sometimes Michelin 1 Star Restaurant is Halal approved. HKD $1280.  Very good and not as bony as some other versions,  the fermented rice and wine flavour was simply exceptional and memorable.  In Japan they also use a similar method to cook, especially closer to Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto.

River Shrimps with Peas -
A Hangzhou dish popular also in Shanghai restaurants,  they are either cooked with tea leaves or in this instance in spring summer,  hand peeled peas. 

Kung Pao Eel with Fried Corns and Cashew Nuts -
A variation to the above Smoked Eel dish, this time done in a Sichuan method.

剁椒河鰻 - Hunan style Chopped Chili, Garlic & Ginger sauce with River Eel HKD $398
A Hunan eel dish this time.  We were simply doing a few Summer Eel dishes using various Chinese Regional cuisine and techniques.  Truth be told they were all amazing in their own ways, it's really hard to pick one over another.  So might as well try a few of them in comparison as an Eel lover.

Sizzling Mutton Lamb with Onions, Leeks & Mandarin Crepes - 鐵板蔥爆羊肉 (麼麼皮)
The meat taste was quite strong gamey with hint of cumin, as expected from this shop selling Mongolian-Pekingnese cuisine. Not too sweet saucy either.

Trio Colored Beijing Lamb Dumplings -
I have had these quite a few times.  The Green ones made with seasonal vegetables, such as Chinese Chives or Spinach is usually my favorite.  I find that sometimes,  the dumplings can be juicier inside than other nights though.

Toffeed Strawberries & Fresh Pineapple - 拔絲士多啤梨及新鮮菠蘿
We were so full already and decided to finish off the meal with Toffeed Seasonal Fruits,  this time its Strawberries and Pineapple.  Both worked really well indeed, with the acidity in the fruits balancing with the sugary crunch.  The sculpture like pulled sugar in the middle is also made meticulously by the dessert chef,  more for presentation!   It capped off a wonderful night and dinner with Eel as the Theme, and a few Appetizers and Lamb dishes thrown in.  I have little idea why Dong Lai Shun lost their Michelin 1 Star,  but for me personally it is always trustworthy and accurately cooked,  hence why my family loves coming here for dinner too at both Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay newer branch!

Price: HKD $300 to $600 + 10% Per Person (Eel Tasting Menu Organized by Royal Garden Hotel)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 - ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address: B2, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Ph: +852 27332020

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