Monday, August 31, 2015

Tycoon Tann 大官廳 - [ Hong Kong ]

  My next 2 meal reviews in succession are going to slightly compare the Cantonese food trends stretching from the past to present,  itself heavily influenced by micro-regions inside Canton,  such as capital city Guangdong itself,  Chiu Chow/TeoChew near the sea,  Shunde region and even the Hakka nomad settlements into Canton.   I am starting to see that Hong Kong and Macau’s Cantonese food style are developing and diverging into about 3 slightly different styles nowadays,  so I just wanted to post a review about my thoughts and put this into online as Historical reference for future generations to come and which I won’t ever see for myself.    Coincidentally,  both of these Cantonese restaurants I will cover are just a few steps away from each other but you can definitely see their divergent directions of approach.



Tycoon Tann -
The name itself already suggests it’s aimed at the Classy Clientele. 
In fact some of us foodies do think it’s also secretly aiming slightly at the Expats market and demographic crowd in Central.   Yet,  the recipes we encountered here were actually quite traditional but with smart twists and fine tuning.  The Chef here used to work in the Dragon King & Dragon Seal 龍璽酒家 Group,  which is very famous as that owner chef 幟哥 is a Celebrity Chef himself and well travelled.



There are 3 floors -
All floors have slightly different design styles

Abalone Puff,  Spring Roll,  White Siumai with Scallop & Pork, 
Prawn Har Gow Dumpling platter – $138
The Abalone puff pastry seems to be popular in HK nowadays,  especially when Hong Kong Lung King Heen got their Michelin 3* status and their sister restaurant 2* Zi Yat Heen in Macau also does the same.   The version tonight here had some diced chicken cubes too underneath and a buttery aromatic pastry case.  The other dim sum items were also executed well.   ~ 8 to 9/10 

Hungarian Mangalica Hairy Hog BBQ Charsiu,  Honey Sauce,  Rosemary -  $288
Truth be told there is very obviously a Charsiu war out there nowadays and restaurants are competing with each other.   They all Claim they are the best,  and quite often this defensive stance means they haven’t tried better to compare.    With different Spanish Iberico pork cuts,  Japanese Kurobuta or Hungarian Mangalica ‘Hairy’ hog,   however this to a customer has never been the real key for the best Charsiu if you ask the real foodies.   Macau Hotels have been doing imported Multiple-Countries Black European based Pork Charsiu’s for many years and in this aspect HK is only catching up as a late comer.    But guess what I really think?    I still haven’t seen restaurants do a British Berkshire or Middle-white pork,  or a Japanese Agu Pork Charsiu version if you really want to be gimmicky and they would definitely work very well too.   Throughout HK there are so many local shops using just local Chinese Pork that tastes equally well at 1/5th to 1/3rd the price too.    The key element for Charsiu has always been about the Marination and Roasting technique method rather than the meat itself.   If you go to Malaysia or Guangzhou, sometimes even Singapore or Macau,   many shops use different fattier pork cuts and their micro-tuned marination techniques achieve amazing results too.   OK I think I deviated a little too far -  the version here was quite decent and served on a warm plate with an open flame beneath,  a nice touch!   The Rosemary herb is interesting because whilst it was more a decorational purpose,  I decided to toast it a bit on the spot,  because I believe Mangalica Hog’s meat can be enhanced by it if you think from the Italian or Hungarian’s wild boar meat recipes.    ~ 7 to 9/10  




Mangalica Pork -
I have had some really lovely Hungarian Mangalica b4 in my life.   Their Salami’s are always to die for.  I think for this time it can be more wild in flavours if that makes sense.   It was good but a bit clean.



Baked Crab Carapace -
Many Cantonese restaurants serve this but they do use different Crab types,  and some of the restaurants you know they use the instant picked type,  the flavour is really unmistakable.   The common problem is that too many places serve mouldy meat,  too thickly sliced raw onions,  too gooey cheesy.   The version here I can report back is one of the best in HK,  comparable to 2* Yan Toh Heen’s version and even more thickly cut strandly here.    ~ 10/10


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Soy Sauce Simmered Chicken in Casserole – $190 /half
This used a local yellow skin chicken and was ever so tender.   The base sauce literally begged for some white rice.   Very good.   ~ 8.5/10




Sweet & Sour Kurobuta Pork Fillet with Fresh & Dried Figs – $238
I have my own take on this Globally famous recipe.   It should be coated with a Hawthorn Berry & Plum based sauce.    Not just tomatoes,  vinegar and red food coloring.    I can’t work out when this became so complacent in this world,  in the past this is paired with Young Ginger when in season.   Nowadays its with Pineapples,  Bell Peppers for color contrast,  and this time Figs..   I thought the meat was a bit hard myself this time   ~ 6.9/10


Sauteed Wasabi Wagyu Beef Cubes – $628
As mentioned on Instagram,  I liked the Wagyu Beef oily flavour but for me the big diced pineapples distracted the experience a bit.   Overall this was still good,   or may be I am too sensitive to the acidic Pineapples.   But looking at the portion it was quite pricy too..   ~ 8.5/10 


Peking Duck Skin with Caviar – $468
This is to me not worth $468 as a dish,  sorry if I have to be frank.   I expected at least double the proportion or more.    Since it was still New Opening,  they did think about whether they should add Tian Mian Jiang sauce…  Of course they need to,  its part of the original recipe to complete the Beijing Package.   I think the Peking Duck can also have more meat,  the Skin can be crispier or crunchy.   ~ 6/10




Signature Fried Rice with Abalone,  Eggs,  Conpoy,  Sakura Ebi Prawns – $328
This performed really well but I think the price is blown out of proportion.   It is a rice dish after all,  even with Abalone and exotic ingredients to support it.  Though it tasted really nice accurate,   but the only point I can pick out is that the Sakura Prawns can be more toasted fragrant.   ~ 8/10



Purple Sweet Potato Skin Dumplings,  in a Gingery Soup -
A twist on the original White version.  This was well received just as I was becoming too full…  after all I am not a dessert person except when I am in France,  Taipei or Japan.  Although I grew up with this I must admit I became a little tired of eating out lately.   ~ N/A


Price:  HKD $500 to $800 + 10% Per Person
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕

Address:  G-2/F, Ming Fat Building, 74 Wellington Street, Central
Ph:  3125 3228


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Malaysian Food Fair until 30th September - [ City of Dreams & Altira Hotel, Macau ]

 City of Dreams and Altira Hotel are hosting a Malaysian Food Fair with MATRADE until the 30th of September for a whole one month’s time.   Malaysian Nyonya/Peranakan style cuisine can be found in many outlets here at COD in this special period,  wished I could be back myself too.  As someone who used to grew up in Malaysia and spent a few years of time there,  this certainly brings back childhood memories.   I still remember last year when I went back to Kuala Lumpur for a Lamborghini Racing coverage as an Editor for a Magazine on the F1 Sepang Circuit.  I didn’t get around to sample again the local food much due to time constraints.   This time around -  they came to us instead and are showcasing the real Malaysian Food in Macau side.



Minced Curry Bread -
A piece of the introduction Bread Piece on Stage for cutting… 
So addictive  and correctly spiced.   ~ 9/10


Rojak Salad -
With fried Chinese Crullers.   This was pretty accurate..  Just a little sweet,  and could be more Seafood Exotic in the sauces in the end.   At least it has Peanuts and Cassava and one of the best versions I have experienced Locally outside of Singapore or Malaysia.   ~ 7.5/10   

Satay/Sate  Chicken & Beef -
With Rice Cakes,  Purple Onions and Cucumbers,  Peanut Satay Sauce.   This was pretty good to me since the meat of chicken and beef were marinated well but tasty/tender in the end.    ~ 8/10



Mackerel Fish in Sambal Sauce-
A typical Malaysian dish.   Another variation is to make this into a Fish based Laksa soup version instead.   Makes me miss my days eating in Malaysia..   ~ 8/10



Roti Jala -
A local Malaysian spring roll



Beef Rendang -
With plenty of Lemon Grass and Bay Leaves and Curry.  Good and correct..   I scooped a lot of this to make my Nasi Lemak tonight.   



Duck Soup -
Fairly Medicinal.  Reminds me of Bak Kut Teh tea..    This probably saved my Stomach Problems if you ask me and was so correct medicinal …  Loved this  ~ 10/10



Stinky Beans with Spring Beans -
With some but not too much smelly Stinky Beans dish today,  it was balanced enough.  Stinky Beans proportion could have been more to make more of an Impression, but that’s life : )   ~ 8/10



Fried Clams with Chili -
This I looked forward to a lot..   It had all the right components.   ~ 9/10





Young Coconut Juice -
So typical South-East Asian.  

Curried Crab -
I want more of this of course.  Scooped over rice. 


Local Crispy Pancakes -
Malleable at least.  I am not a Sweets Person by default,  but this looked legit.   : )

Local Malaysian Desserts -
With Pandan leaves and Cassava Roots.  




Nasi Lemak with Pisang Goreng Bananas -
It’s pretty Malaysian traditional for Fried Bananas.


Price:  MOP $200 + 10% 
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  City of Dreams Hotel, Macau
Ph: +853 8590 3000

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Vida Rica Restaurant - ( Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Macau )

 The French Chef Dominique Bugnand looks after here well at Macau Mandarin Oriental Hotel.   Everything was cooked to exemplary standards and even down to the Bread and Brittany sourced Butter.   I also thought myself that it carried more than just a French accent,  sometimes carrying into the Spanish culture side next door and also a bit of Portuguese influence too,  which the latter is expected within Macau as an ex-colony.



Bordier Butter of Yuzu flavour,  Espelette Pepper,  Salted and Un-salted -
The hand-churned butters from Brittany,  France.


Bread Basket -
With pointy nipply Baguettes,  Tomato Focaccias,  Whole Wheat Breads.   All baked very professionally here and precise.   ~ 9/10



Lobster Mousse Terrine with Jelly,  Croustillant and Beetroot Sorbet -
A lovely starter Course which is thoughtful,  the crispy croustillant in-between made sure it carried the quenelle of sorbet above well and adding texture.   ~ 9/10




Alaskan Spider Crab wrapped in Lobster Jelly, Sturia Caviar, Mango & Avocado Sauce,
with a Dollop of Sour Cream & Dehydrated Olive Soil –  MOP $310
Very delicately made and pretty.  There is also a 2nd variation,  the Spider Crab parcel nearer the front had more herbal input and was wrapped in a slightly acidic fruity skin.  It is these small details which distinguishes a good from a great restaurant.  ~ 10/10



Onion Soup,  with both Crispy Gruyere and Foamy Gruyere Cheese Espuma,   Caramelized Onion,  Onion Jam,  Pickled Onion on Toast,  etc -  $130
I was starting to see the style here already.  Many micro-styles of the same ingredients done to precision just to create a contrast.   Totally my style.  Very compacted onion tastes    ~ 8.5/10



Red Sea Prawns with Head Reduction Sauce,  Iberico Pork Presa & Spelt Grain,  Broad Beans & Fennel Purée & Chourico Sausage,  Pickled Onions -  $390
The prawns are slow cooked and still fairly rare and lovely to eat, the red prawn sauce seemed to have a nutty caramelized Beurre Noisette base and very addictive. Wonderful flavours combination and cooked precisely..  ~ 9.5/10




Raspberry Chantilly,  Lychee-Raspberry Sorbet,  served with Summer Berries & Warm Berries Sauce on a Crackly Chocolate Shell -
This had a lot of Popping Candies within too,  a pretty recent Spanish Dessert Concept and hence I mentioned Spain and France in one sentence.   Pretty fun to eat especially when the chocolate shell melts and then when you scoop it into the mouth it starts popping non-stop.   ~ 8/10




Price:  MOP $1000 + 10%  
Food:   ♕♕♕♕♕

Address:   澳門文華東方酒店2樓外港新填海區孫逸仙大馬路
2/F Mandarin Oriental Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Nape, Macau, Macau, Macau
Ph:  +853 8805 8918




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ping Yue 品悅 - Chongming Hyatt Regency 崇明金茂凱悅酒店 [ Shanghai ]

 Chongming Island 崇明島,  is the 3rd largest Island in China.  It itself is bigger than all of Hong Kong Island,  Kowloon and the New Territories combined,  and is about 30 minutes drive from Shanghai Pudong.   We came to Chongming Hyatt Regency like a resort visit,  and here they also allow Pets,  which is large market in itself in China nowadays.    The food at their Ping Yue restaurant was mind blowing and locally Chong Ming Island based.  Very impressed by the meal here and sticking to the island’s traditions.   Really regional and amazing stuff that is pure yet innovative..



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A few Photos of the Hotel Room and Surroundings itself.. 
My only complaint is that the Bar closes at around 10:30pm,  and we cannot find a Convenience store to Buy anything for now.   The Wi-fi Connection in the rooms are also patchy and we could not connect for hours at a time.   The food is totally amazing,  but these peripheral issue need to be addressed for a Customer to travel all the way to here and enjoy the Resort feel.


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We were coming all the way to Dine at their Chongming Island Style Restaurant -
I love micro-regional cuisine and being the 1st time here,  I knew it was going to be educational for me.  Smile



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Appetizer of some Pickles with Chili -
It reminds me slightly of Korean Kimchi,  but they were always cross-referenced as food spread throughout the world via transitional movements nearby…  Even all the way to Japan,  Hawaii,  Guam,  Peru,  California or even Peru & more. 

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Local Chongming Chilled Boiled Pork Cheek Meat - 祟明白切豬臉肉 RMB $56
Dipped into a slightly vinegary dip,  this was sliced precisely squarish.  It actually reminds me of French cuisine and their terrines.   Very good cold starter already..   ~ 8/10


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Shanghainese Style Fried Smoky Fish - 老上海熏魚 RMB $68
This fish isn’t actually smoked by default as I have mentioned a few times,  it is just fried then marinated in a sweetish and spicy solution.  This is so crispy and moist,  better than any version available I have had outside of Shanghai or ChongMing Island,  served coldish.   It ended up not being the best version of this dish we have had on this particular trip at all but it was still missable…   ~ 9/10

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Chinese Wine Marinated Abalone,  Prawns,  Duck Tongues and Snow Peas - 江南糟四鮮 $118
This was superbly done too.  For me it was so balanced for a cold appetizer and the bottom snow peas were so absorbing of the flavours.  I still remember this dish to this day and want to have it again…  Just wished there was more to share around.   ~  10/10



東灘醬 Local Free-range Duck fed on Reed  - 東灘醬燒蘆葦鴨 $62
This is a local duck and then cooked in a special solution and with aniseed.   Look,  I have had so many local wild ducks in my life especially in Canton regional places,  I think I can conclude that they are all chewy and tough.   Not here.  It was so balanced and tender,  with the right amount of vinegar and spices.   I so miss this perfectly executed duck.   ~ 15/10



Steamed then Chilled Local Chicken - 桔圓家戶雞 $68
This was just okay.  It was cooked perfectly mind you,  but it didn’t have much Chicken taste or texture.  Too dry thin to my liking and then we are entering into subjective area again..  ~ 6/10



Baby Zucchini Flowers with Local Veggies - 祟明有機蔬菜沙律 $52
I loved this cold salad so much.  It is grown locally on ChongMing Island and are such baby veggies.  With a slightly Sesame based dressing.   The veggies were semi-powerful in their own taste but what inspired me the most,  was that this was coming from a Chinese-Shanghainese-ChongMing Kitchen,  it was totally showcasing what the island is capable of in terms of locally grown veggies.  ~ 9/10 

ChongMing Island Crustacean Soup - 祟明鄉下濃湯 $88
This was disappointing to me as a Signature soup,  it didn’t have much complexity.  The Restaurant is going to hate me for saying this but I don’t care..  Just speaking the truth.  Too flat la. ; )   ~ 5/10


DongPo Black Pork with Abalone - 祟明散養黑毛豬 $198
Braised and paired with Fried Scallions as a new concept…  This was very soft and infiltrated tasty,  although one could argue the black pork DNA means the fat melted too much,  meaning it was too oily in the end.  I personally don’t mind it as it is mono-unsaturated fat plus I liked the Fried Scallions part.  To other customers however,  I would think its a bit too oily…  Abalone was a nice touch on top  N/A




Pretty Bread to go with the above Legendary Pork Dish from nearby Hangzhou to Shanghai -




Sliced Tofu in Fish Soup - 祟明大湯煮乾絲 $88
This is hard to rate,  but I think the soup could be stronger…  Despite the other components done right.  ~ N/A




Sizzling Wagyu Beef on Teppan Iron Plate - 滋味鐵板澳洲牛肉 $198
This was done really right and had the right Wagyu beef oil taste.  It came with some chopped tofu and lily bulbs,  also snap peas.  I normally think these dishes are so boringly 2 dimensional but this I was appreciating as a multi-dimensional creation.  Well done to make a Australian Wagyu dish alive and keeping the taste alive..   ~ 9/10



Half Shredded River Prawns with Tails On - 手剝長江蝦仁 $428
This dish is a very typical Shanghainese 凰尾蝦 boiled plate.  Here it uses the very local river prawns which comprises of both long Clawy ones and non-Clawy ones,  half of them are almost like Scampi and that is another review.   Amazingly plump sweet and it’s funny how customers will never find out these all came from 2 types of Prawns with totally different looks.   10/10 



Steamed Local Mandarin Fish Fish - 懷陽松子長江桂魚 $248
This was the fattier type than usual.  Slightly Muddy as expected and fishy…  It is pricy appreciated although all the farmed fishes in China these days are to me killing its potential.  All muddy fishes need to be detoxed for 3-7 days to keep the right taste but not the muddiness if you ask me..   ~ 7/10




White Organic White Amaranth - 有機白米莧 $88
The usual appealing ones are purplish but this is the greener/whiter version sprouts.  ~ 9/10




Salted Pork and Veggies Rice - 祟明砂鍋鹹肉飯 $58
A Staple rice in the Region.  This was only okay,  too healthy to me.   I have a personal issue with this recipe,  as in the past it was really porky and veggies like.      Nowadays it is too healthy and one can’t taste much…  It isn’t not understandable either,  imagine if you grew up eating all these greasy stuff.   Someone else will desire a healthier version.   Just like Peking Duck vs Da Dong,  its a long term strategy game…    ~ 7/10



Local Grass & Mochi Cake - 祟明砂鍋鹹肉飯 $58
This was so locally invented and we all loved it so much for the grassy and chewy texture.   Wish I could have this again everyday,  so unique on ChongMing Island indeed.


The Pets Friendly Hotel here -
It is probably more attractive to the locals than us in HK,  and if they could improve their Wi-Fi Performance.   The food meanwhile was so original and fantastic…  Wished I could be back to sample more.

Price:  RMB $250
Food:   ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2 
(Under 1 Hours Drive Away but totally Worth the Trip to This Meal,  for some iconic local ChongMing Island Dishes.  Oh yet,  only if they fix they Wi-Fi coverage. )

Address: Lane 799, Lan Hai Road, Chenjia Town, Chongming County, Shanghai, China.
Ph:  +86 21 6703 1235




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