Saturday, July 28, 2012

Septuagennial anniversary, 70 dishes and lucky 32

I have always known that Yung Kee is famous in Hong Kong because everyone has asked me whether I have tried it before. Same with other Chinese places, I don't really know what to order when I am there.

Finally went because my friends said it was their 70th anniversary on 21st of May, eight days before ATV's anniversary and from May 2012 onwards they will have ten special dishes on their menu every month until November 2012 which changes each month on the 10th.

It is located close to Central MTR station near Lan Kwai Fong.

Yung Kee was founded by Kam Shui Fai where his initial restaurant was located at 32 Wing Lok Street, later moved to 32 Pottinger Street, then finally 32 Wellington Street, the Yung Kee Building! (His destined lucky number!)

When I got there I was surprised the restaurant had four floors with their own lift as well because I did not know it was the entire building.
Upon opening the door the restaurant was filled with tourists and locals.

I spent longer at the reception than I intended to because the customers behind me were very agressive and barged to the front to inform that they had arrived.
There were at least two people who did that, so I approached a member of staff walking past and was shown kindly to the lift to the corresponding floor where our table was allocated.

Anyway finally sat down and was presented with the special anniversary menu, the design was really nice.
Each dish had a beautiful Chinese description and name but you wouldnt know what it is unless you are native.
Just like Shepherds pie or Cottage pie which does not mention any beef or lamb so unless you are native or have tried it before then you wont know what it is, but saying that they had a simple English menu which tells you exactly what the dishes are.

I only ordered one dish and the rest ordered by them as I was clueless on what to order.
Thousand year egg with pickled ginger
To start off this was placed on the table.
The texture of the egg was jellier and softer than the usual ones I have tried and the yolk was extremely molten.
Smoked Layer Pork with Pine Nuts - $350
I only ate the meat which was nice and soft and it was nice accompanied with pine nuts.
Also with the pork, there was some pickled vegetable which acts as a cleanser for the palate after eating the fatty pork.
Usually this item needs to be ordered a few days in advance but because of the anniversary menu it is available this month.
Stir-fried Frog Stomach with Asparagus & Pine Nuts - $180
This was my favourite dish, the locals were just as surprised as I was seeing Frog stomach on the menu.
It was nice and colourful with green pakalana flower buds (a flower that has a strong aroma at night).
Initally I assumed the orange coloured item was the frog stomach because I associated it with sea cucumber internal organs which are also orange but it turned out to be orange tree fungas which I've never seen before.
There was also gingko nuts in it as well which has that nice creamy taste with some bitterness.
The frog stomach's texture and taste was similar to squid but much crispier and similar to fried chicken cartilage.
Just for this dish they had to stock up so many frog stomachs to make it available for this month!
Braised Pigeon in Gooseberry Sauce - $180
Again if I saw the Chinese menu I would not know what this is but I really like tangy food so I liked this as well.
However the gooseberry is slightly different to the ones in England. The ones here have a large stone in the middle whereas the English ones are veiny and juicy like grapes.
When it was placed on the table all I could smell was the sliced bell peppers but after trying out the pigeon I could taste the tangyness of the gooseberry but the gooseberries were not really visible in the dish.
I found it spicy as well but it was not the chili or pepper type, it was the sichuan type of pepper.
Double-boiled White Mushroom Soup - $88
The highlight of the soup was the white mushrooms and they really did look paler than the usual dark shiitake mushrooms. It tastes similar to the British mushrooms which are earthier in taste.
In the soup there was a slice of ham which was not the usual Chinese ham (gum-wah-foh-tui), it was sliced from the hind leg part of the pig, similar to the smoked thinly sliced trotters (fun-tai).
Braised Pomelo Peel with Shrimp Roe - $138
This was my favourite, a thick and wholesome pomelo peel!
Usually the rind is used in cooking, but here it was the white interior part between the pomelo and the rind.
The texture was like soft mushy braised white carrot, and it was slightly translucent which I didnt expect because raw pomelo skin is white just like the covering of Camembert cheese.
The taste was amazing, it was light, and there was no bitter taste at all with the full flavour coming from the dried prawn roes.
Overall I felt that their featured dishes were good and it gives people an insight of their popular and awarded dishes.
Also there are dishes which usually need to be pre-ordered but are available during the anniversary.
For improvements, I think they should have the coming new dishes for August on their website so that people can mark their calenders if they see a dish they like as the tables get booked pretty fast.
Yung Kee's Website:

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