I have a friend from the US and she said there’s no good food in Hong Kong. She’s lucky we were chatting online when she said that or else she would have heard my loud scream, “Are you crazy?” I’ve forgiven her for that blasphemous statement.
You can find cuisine from all over the world in Hong Kong. But my priority is Chinese food since that’s what they do best. From a street corner where you eat from a stick to one of the multitudes of dim sum restaurants to a hole in the wall find.
I don’t often eat at expensive Chinese restaurants since the regular priced restaurants are already very good. When I want to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant it’s usually French or Italian food. The only Chinese Michelin starred restaurants I’ve eaten at are Tim Ho Wan (1 star cheap), Nanhai No. 1 (1 star) and Lung King Heen (3 stars).
It was Jin’s declaration of the best char siu ever that piqued my interest in trying out Tin Lung Heen (Michelin 2 stars) at the 102nd floor of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Kowloon. I’ve eaten at Tosca (Italian restaurant) before and even toured their rooms.
When you first enter the high ceiling dining room you won’t think it’s a Chinese restaurant. It looks just like a beautiful high end restaurant.
This whole wall held Chinese wine. Waiter, I’d like a glass of wine from the top most shelf please.
Sleek black tiles alternate with wood carving.
I’m always unlucky when dining in restaurants in high floors like in Shin Yeh 101 in Taipei. I finally get the most coveted window seat just to look out to nothing.
My parents were supposed to come along but they didn’t have any table for 5 so I just had lunch with my friend Deb and her daughter Sam who happened to be in Hong Kong at the same time.
You are hereby warned. These lightly glazed sweet and crunchy walnut are highly addictive. If they didn’t remove it while we weren’t looking we would have munched on these until dessert.
The average price for dim sum was HK$80-100 for 2-3 pieces and there were so many to choose from. To remove the stress from choosing we decided to have the Executive Set Lunch since it looked pretty good and my objective (Iberian pork) was there.
Each person got two thick slices of barbecued Iberian pork. Even though the pork was quite lean it was tender but with enough bite. My favorite part was it’s meaty flavor that was heightened with a thin glaze of sweetness and grilled taste. It was indeed the best char siu ever!
As good as the pork was the roast goose was disappointingly dry and tough.
My next favorite was the big bowl of rich, clear, concentrated broth with one giant dumpling filled with fresh crab meat. After this bowl of soup I was half full already.
Don’t be deceived. The kale looked plain and sauce free but it tasted quite flavorful. It was obviously cooked in good quality stock. The prawns were big, firm but not tough and put me over the edge tummy wise.
Deb and Sam had their next course wrapped up because they had a heavy breakfast. I came prepared and continued eating.
The menu said chicken in black bean sauce but it didn’t look or taste like black beans. It was surprisingly my next favorite dish. If I had a cook who can make me this chicken dish I would gladly eat it everyday. I don’t know how to describe the taste which could be simple or profound. It just tasted freakin good.
My friends know I don’t eat white rice. Since this was colored brown, wrapped in a leaf and mixed with lots of diced abalone and shrimp I ate it all with gusto!! Seriously this small package was a meal in itself.
Great I finally remembered our lunch came with a glass of fresh fruit juice or a glass of wine.
Whoever said there’s always room for dessert is absolutely right. The chilled milk jelly tasted just like panna cotta so down the hatch it went. Next were the petit fours of cashew cookie and osmanthus jelly.
I saved the egg tart for last since I’m not a big fan of it. I took a small bite and quickly changed my mind. All the egg tarts in Macau have nothing on this creamy filling which reminded me of creme brûlée but not as rich. The crust was also the lightest and flakiest I’ve eaten and I don’t care if they used lard either.
Finally the sky cleared and we saw something out the window.
After lunch goofed around posing in the all glass ‘runway’ on the way to the restroom.
Compared to a French set lunch with a similar price I must say this Chinese meal was so much more filling and enjoyable. From time to time a change in ambiance is welcome. I definitely liked the food here more than at Tosca. Thanks for lunch Deb and Sam!!!
Tin Lung Heen menu
Tin Lung Heen
Level 102, International Commerce Ctr.
1 Austin Road West
Kowloon, Hong Kong
852 2263 2270
Lunch: 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.Dress Code: No beach sandals, open toe shoes, sleeveless shirts and shorts for gentlemen.