Friday, February 27, 2015

Xia Fei Society 霞飛會館 - Trying out Dishes by one of Top 10 Chefs from China

 Xia Fei Society is a more upper end version of Xia Fei Shanghainese Restaurant 霞飛點心拉麵.   Looked after by Chef Chow 周元昌,  who is mostly based in China but periodically visits this Hong Kong store and ensuring the dishes are cooked to his intentions.  He is noted as being one of the Top 10 Chefs in China.   We came for a New Years meal since their Dining Group wanted to celebrate CNY with us foodies.   It coincided with Chef Chow also being in town and bringing in his specialty dishes for the festive season.  A special mention must also be given to the female Dim Sum Master here,  who is highly regarded in the restaurants circle but hardly gets a mention by default,  in fact Dim Sum Chefs in general should be given more recognition I find.



Four Treasures Tea 四寶茶 -
It’s made with a variety of flowers and fruits such as Logan and Rose Petals,  Goji,  Date, etc.




Chili and Crunchy Chinese Cabbage 泡椒爽口娃娃菜 - $68
Actually a small Chinese Cabbage has always been part of Imperial style cuisine in China and is highly regarded,  and often winning many awards.  White Baek Kimchi in Korea is based on a similar concept but since white kimchi is hard to come by outside of Korea,  not many see this relation and transitional borrowing off each others techniques.   ~  8/10




Sichuan Pepper and Cooked Akagai Ark Shells,  with Eringi Mushrooms 椒麻北寄貝杏鮑菇 - $78
This dish to me personally is a little Japanese.  The crunchy textures within were appreciated,  although I thought this wasn’t too Chinese or Shanghainese in concept somehow.  ~ 6/10




Shandong Wild Wood Ear Fungus in Vinegar Sauce 醋椒野生木耳 - $58
This special type of wood ear is curvy and round,  and only available from the colder regions in China.  Very unique,  despite a resemblance to the more wavy variety we eat.   Very crunchy and refreshing,  I think one appreciates this more from the ingredients rather than recipe’s side.  ~ 8/10




Fried Zucchini Strips and Prawn Dumplings 香炸翠瓜蝦球 - $88
Surprisingly good.  I said instantly online this reminded me of Italian Gnudi.  There is more zucchini than prawns taste though,  so if only this is your thing…   I wanted more prawns but I love zucchini so hard to rate ~ N/A




Two types of Bamboo Shoots with Cooked Mud Crab 砂窩膏蟹煮雙笋 - $468
This was rather refreshing than heavy.   The crabs are nicely cooked.  The soup was sweet but more from the veggies than the crab input.  Still nice.  ~ 7/10




Cognac Braised Oxtail with Seasonal Kumquat 香邑金桔燜牛尾 - $188
This was really lovely and I heard it also had red wine poured in.  The oxtail is partially attached with the skin on certain pieces,  a good balance.  The highlight was certainly the festive New Years Kumquats,  which added the perfect tangeriness touch.   Very appetizing as a result and needed white rice.   ~ 9/10




Wild Rice and Sticky Rice with Black Truffle Steamed Pork Ribs 黑松露野米蒸排骨 - $168
This was actually my favourite dish,  because the concept fascinates me.  You see, usually pork ribs are steamed and accompanied by a big bowl of rice to eat.   In this reverse and what I call a ‘misnomer’ recipe,  there is substantially more meat than rice.  Meaning that the flavour absorbed by the rice grains afterwards is multiplied and maxed out.  And this wasn’t the only dish I had recently which practices the same methodology.   ~ 12/10




Abalone,  Prawns,  Mushrooms,  Dried Conpoy,  Fish Maw 砂窩和味全家福 - $688
Yawn.  Look I understand this is a standard dish throughout China during Chinese New Years,  but at the end of the day…   It’s the Chinese Cabbage underneath which benefits and absorbs in all the flavours.   ~ 7/10




Black Truffle and Pickles on Fried Prawns 黑松露焗明蝦 -
This was quite likeable,  I ate it with all the shells on as it was crunchy enough.  Although black truffle is not such a Chinese thing,  it is becoming a local delicacy as it is grown in Yunnan region nowadays.  The coating on the prawn reminded me of a Duxelle!   I liked this a lot initially,  but surprising this was trumped by another prawn dish below…  Interesting.   ~ 8/10





Wild Fermented Black Garlic with Fried River Delta Shrimps  野生黑蒜爆基圍蝦 - $148
An uncanny dish in 2 ways.  First of all the wild grown black fermented garlic is prevalent in Anhui region,  although also spotted these days in Korea,  Japan,  or even Switzerland or other parts of Europe.   I find that Black Garlic from all places taste slightly different however,  some are just sweet whereas others are more pronounced in character.   The prawns here were super crunchy and mixed with fried shallots and other herbs, complex enough especially on top of the black garlic.  Easily the dish of the night and we were saying this could pair so well with some plain Chinese La Mian noodles as well.  Amazing dish !   ~ 15/10



Pork in Grilled Buns 灌湯生煎包 - $45 for 4
One of my favourite dishes.  The inside wasn’t as juicy as I had hoped.   Other than that it was only passable.  ~ 6.5/10




8 Treasures Rice with Wine Soaked Date, 
and Sweet Dim Sums  五福臨門 -
The Female Dim Sum Chef was here to shine..  The intricately made sweet dim sums looked spot-on at least.  Looks can be deceiving but let me assure you they tasted equally decent and the Peanut piece was balanced.  Our favourite was the 順風葉 which is made of a mixture of spinach stock,  some carbs and coconutty sugar and peanuts.  Very intricate  ~ 9/10  





Price:  (New Years Meal via Invitation)   Approximately $500 + 10% per head for this Menu
Food:  ♕♕♕♕ - ♕♕♕♕♕

Address:  中環德己立街1-13號世紀廣場4樓
1-13 D’Aguilar Street,  4/F Grand Century Plaza, Central,  Hong Kong
Ph: 2522 7611

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