Jul 30, 2017

Hong Kong T'ang Court - Where You Can Find Cod Version of "Crème Brûlée"

While in Hong Kong, why not try some Cantonese delicacies? 

T'ang Court 唐閣 is one of the only two Cantonese restaurants that was awarded three Michelin stars in Hong Kong. The other one is Lung King Heen 龍景軒 at the Four Seasons.

Frankly speaking, I was aiming for a dim sum feast at Lung King Heen. However, this restaurant can get very popular during the weekends, when more dim sum selections are offered. I called a month ahead for a weekend lunch spot, but was informed that the earliest available slot will be after 2:30 p.m. My stomach won't survive that long without a proper meal during daytime, so there it was my plan B.

Perhaps not as grandiose as the Victoria Harbor view of Lung King Heen, but I was glad to find crème brûlée-liked cod dish at T'ang Court. Cod is known for its flaky and fatty meat, which tastes very good, but I never knew it can be THAT delicious and completely blew my mind.

Some condiments on the table -

We came in early at 11 a.m., but most of the customers actually showed up after 1 p.m., do the locals tend to have late lunch on the weekends?

There were two big menus, mostly a la carte dishes, some sets, and just a few dim sum options. The ones we really wanted to try were all a la carte dishes, so decided to give only one dim sum a try. Just a brush of taste.

Fried pastries filled with shredded turnip and diced Yunnan ham -

Be careful, it's steamy hot inside.

The shredded turnip inside was thicker than expected, but I found out why once biting into these cicada cocoons looking pastries.

The turnip was so juicy and filled with aroma that reminiscence of Chinese stock. That's why, the shredded turnip were swelled from absorbing all the essence during the cooking process. Paired with flaky buttery pastry, it's good, but can also be very filling. So don't be too greedy, we still have some more dishes to come.

Sautéed cod fillet with soy sauce and cod fish taro puffs -

Also known as crème brûlée of the cod world.

At a first glance, the chunky fish actually looked quite like Japanese karraage. The thin soy sauce-colored coating had an irresistible crunch and the secret fell on finely chopped celery. 

Celery can also be used in dessert, providing a certain degree of sweetness with a touch of cinnamon and fennel aroma. When used here, it blended nicely with the sweet and savory sauce and provided a nice crunch to the velvety fish beneath.

The fried taro puffs were delicious as well, but it could be very filling just like the previous turnip pastries. Trust me, for someone who doesn't like taro (that's me), even I agreed that these puffs were pretty wonderful. The creamy taro past inside is a must, but the wok hei infused threads all over the filling were even more addicting.

Roasted suckling pig and duckling -

It's like chicharrón in sandpaper form. 

Look how thin the skin was, and the crunchiness remained even above that 1mm layer of snow-white fat.

The suckling pig came with a little round bun beneath, think of it as a mini version of Chinese burger, or the petite "bao" from that famous joint in New York.

The duck was pretty good but the halo definitely got stolen when served next to the suckling pig. Not mentioning that buttery cod fillet.

Mixed vegetables and mushrooms with vermicelli in clear soup -

Something light in between so my palate could take a break from all the intense-tasting food. The waiter put the pot on the side and scooped out individual portions for us. 

Light, but not bland. I think if I didn't have all the flavorful dishes to begin with, the gentle sweetness drawn from the veggies can be detected even more easily on the tongue. Texture-wise, the bok choy was so tender, just like the translucent onion pieces found in chicken stock.

Roasted crispy pigeon -

While in Hong Kong, must have pigeons!

Don't get all weird out with the idea of eating pigeons, it's just like eating pheasant or spring chicken.

If you're a fan of dark meat, this is the one to go for. The pigeon had a more intense dark meat aroma similar to aged chicken. Also the wings were extra crispy and perfect to munch on. 

The crispy pigeon came with a slightly spicy and fruity citrusy vinegar sauce. It added another layer of excitement to the dish, but just by the bird itself was deeply flavorful already. 

By the way, the fried lotus root chips were addicting, only wished that I could get a big bowl of that while catching up TV series at home.

Those were a lot of food for just two people, and we did manage finishing nearly all of them, except for one fried taro puff and some left over vermicelli in the pot. As usual, there's always extra room for dessert.

Baked sago pudding filled with lotus seed paste -

Freshly baked dessert that made me thought about my favorite bread pudding back in San Diego, CA. Let's just say this was the Asian version of bread pudding. Warm, filling, and comforting.

Hours passed, we took it slow and enjoyed a few more cups of freshly brewed tea before venturing to our next spot in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong has changed tremendously over the years, especially when my last visit was over 10 years ago. It got so crowded that even walking on the street bumping ones shoulder became an intolerant task. Shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes were all packed with people, which might be ok at first, but trust me, after few hours you just want to run away from it. 

Unlike Japan, which is also packed with people, but it feels much more organized and even the strangers are polite toward one another. So these 2 to 3 hours dining slot at T'ang Court was also a getaway from the mass (mess). Not quite related to how the food tastes like, but the peaceful moment at the restaurant more or less raised a few points in my mind.

T'ang Court 唐閣 currently holds 3 Michelin star status.

T'ang Court (inside The Langham Hotel Hong Kong)
8 Peking Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(852) 2375 1133
Website: The Langham Hotel T'ang Court

Operating hours:
Mon - Fri 12:00 noon ~ 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m.
Sat, Sun, public holidays 11:00 a.m. ~ 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m.

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